Windows were one of the design features of ranch homes. New technology in the 50s and 60s made it possible to use large sheets of glass that opens up these homes to natural light and great views. In general, windows were framed with steel or aluminum since wood window frames were seen as something from the past. If you’re living in an older ranch home and haven’t replaced the windows yet, it’s probably time. If you still have metal frames, they conduct both cold and heat inside your home. The glass may still be single pane or doesn’t have the Low E benefits of today’s glass. So when you decide the time is right to replace, here are 5 things to consider.
- The Windows Themselves. First, you want durability. Depending on where you live, you may choose double or triple pane glass to insulate. Pay attention to the UV rating. Know that your new windows can pay you big dividends in energy savings and buy accordingly.
- Your Need. Every window has a purpose – and many have more than one. Of course, first is ventilation. Consider how often you want your windows open and inviting a breeze inside. Other considerations are privacy. You probably don’t want a clear glass window in the bathroom and you’ll be pleased with the different options available in privacy glass today. They go way beyond frosting! Also, consider the view. If you have a spectacular view you enjoy, plan a window – just as a picture window – to show it off. Realize that some windows – such as bedroom or kitchen windows – must be required to open by law.
- Style. You want to match the style of your home. Here are some styles that work with a Ranch home. Casement windows give you the advantage of closing tightly and adding energy efficiency. They also give you a smooth line that matches the sweeping style of a Ranch home. When you can, consider fixed or picture windows. They have clean lines and can frame a beautiful view. Awning windows are another choice. They open upwards and give good ventilation. Horizontal grilles can enhance the look of a Ranch style. Sliders are another option – a big advantage of sliders is that you can have a large expanse of glass in the middle with sliders to fulfill egress and safety regulations. They may also match the look of the original metal framed windows.
- Frames. Wood windows don’t really have a Ranch look unless they’re painted – and, then, why buy wood? Less expensive options that are also energy efficient are vinyl, composite or fiberglass frames. These come in different baked-in colors.
- Where to Buy. You want a qualified window replacement contractor. Replacing your old windows means taking them out and you want a knowledgeable crew who won’t damage the outside of your home. Using a local company is often wise since they know the homes in your area and the climate. Check references and ratings and look at online reviews. Who puts those replacement windows in is as important as the windows you buy!