One of the most important decisions when designing your custom home is choosing windows. Windows play a critical role since they have such a large impact on your home. Windows provide both aesthetic beauty and serve functional purposes. Attention to details in the planning and design phases can reap substantial rewards in both cost savings and the long-term enjoyment of your new home.
Chances are that the location of your home has a beautiful view. Windows are much like a picture frame in that they accentuate the view and emphasize architectural lines. From inside, windows and trim compliments your view. From the outside, windows provide character and beauty to the overall look of your home.
Planning for Sunlight
Of course windows allow natural light into your home. The way light falls into a room can bring out other design details as well as provide a comfortable setting for your daily activities. Consider how you will use each room, the time of day (or night), where the sun is at through the day as well as how it varies according to seasons. These considerations also play into what additional artificial lighting you will need. All of these considerations can help select the appropriate style and size windows as well as locations within each room.
Another concern is UV light filtering. Constant exposure to sunlight can age and damage carpets, furniture and most anything else that is exposed for long periods of time. Many windows are available with UV filtering that can reduce exposure and potential damage.
Durability and Weather
Northern Michigan has harsh winters, so durability is an important consideration. If your home is located on the water, especially larger lakes like Crystal Lake, Glen Lake, and especially Lake Michigan, then additional protection from high winds and storms is an additional concern.
High winds, rain and snowstorms can challenge ordinary windows. Andersen, Marvin and Simonton brands offer coastal grade windows that address these concerns. Impact resistant glass, additional structural reinforcements, enhanced cladding and weather sealing are used to create a window that protects your home in the harshest of conditions and remains beautiful.
Winter weather also brings low temperatures. Double paned windows (now commonplace) and triple pane windows offer even more energy savings. ENERGY STAR® rated windows help reduce heating and cooling costs.
A well-designed window also helps reduce noise too. This can be especially nice during storms or if you have an active waterfront or family.
You’ll also want to consider convenience when selecting windows. How easy can you open and close the window? Is one style easier than another? What about cleaning? Will you want screens? You may wish to consider how a window style may work or appear with an awning.
A unique optional feature from Andersen is their VeriLock® Sensors. Integrated with a home security system, you can detect whether a window is open or closed and if it is locked. This is especially a nice feature for those with summer or part-time homes. You can easily see the status from a smart-phone app either when leaving home or to check up remotely.
Recommended Window Brands
Lakeshore recommends Andersen, Marvin, Simonton, and Windsor windows. Each company offers a wide variety of styles and finishes and have warranties that back up their quality for your peace of mind.
We have experience working with each of these brands and we would welcome an opportunity to discuss your custom home plans with you. Call us today or use the Contact form to start planning your new home!