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Window Trends – Then & Now

When it comes to replacement windows, a few of the most common styles asked about are Double Hung, Casement, and Slider. These window workhorses have been around for ages and can be seen in both commercial and residential installations. And for good reason; today, they’re known to be attractive, long lasting, and when manufactured applying advances in window technology, they are extremely energy efficient.

Historically, homeowners would typically only inquire about replacing their windows with the pre-existing style when the time came – but the 1970’s saw a change in that. Homeowners in houses built during the post-World War II housing demand realized that the inexpensive, quickly manufactured aluminum windows were easily damaged and energy inefficient. Because most developers would build homes that were all the same, people wanted to incorporate a level of individual style when it came time to replace the windows. Large picture windows were being replaced with bow or bay windows. 

While vinyl replacement windows had been around since the late 60s, it wasn’t until the 1980’s when they really took off. At the same time, conservationists were successful in limiting the amount of federal forest land that could be harvested; making wooden windows increasing expensive and hard to get. Additionally, the stigma of vinyl being “plastic” was overcome by its durability, low-maintenance properties, and thermal superiority.

In the 1990’s we began to see bigger homes with larger rooms, vaulted ceilings, and palladium windows in suburban developments. Open floor plans and spacious rooms called for windows to be generously incorporated into the architecture. It is common to see multiple styles windows being used into a home built during this time. When walking though these neighborhoods it’s near impossible to miss seeing quarter round or half round (also called quarter circle or half circle) shapes.

These days, savvy homeowners are also taking window functionality into consideration, and renovators are aware of how styles are best used in spaces. A slider window may be better behind a kitchen sink because they can easily be opened at awkward angles.  If air circulation is an issue, then a casement could be a better choice than a double hung because they project outward and “catch” the wind to direct the breeze. Garden windows, or mini-greenhouses, are increasingly popular with next-level cooks who want fresh herbs within arms each all year round.

When it comes time to replace your windows, don’t be afraid to ask about alternative types of windows that may offer features that you may not be aware of and discuss what your goal is with replacing them.

Need help? Call us at 609-654-1030 x13 to speak to a Product Specialist.

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