The Classic Picture Window

If you are fortunate enough to have a beautiful exterior picture from one of your home’s common living areas – perhaps you should FRAME IT.  THAT is the whole idea of a picture window: just like the name suggests.  A picture window provides an aesthetically pleasing frame to the snapshot of your outside environment.

Picture windows are fixed windows. The sashes do not raise or slide so the window cannot be opened.  These windows are large expanses of glass with a singular use: to frame a beautiful view. They are often chosen for homes with high or vaulted ceilings. Many times they are installed as an arched window over vaulted areas, doors, or even other windows.

Additionally, areas that call for accent lighting are perfect spaces for picture windows. Staircase landings, the ends of hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms are only a few of the areas well suited to the clean lines and beauty of a picture window. In most situations, they can be cut to any customized shape or size; using them above or below other windows or sets of windows can uniquely accent an interior space.

They are not the most common choice of homeowners. However, picture windows have some very distinct PROS and CONS:

The advantages of picture windows include:

•       Costs. Since they are fixed structures, there are no mechanical parts to break. There is no mechanical activity so they cost less than comparable sized windows that have moving parts.

•       Heat gain. During the winter months, the heat from the sun helps warm the room. Utilizing this natural heat-source reduces overall heating costs. 

•       Natural light. Picture windows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but even small picture windows allow lots of natural light in.

The disadvantages of picture windows are:

•       Heat gain. This wintertime PRO becomes and summertime CON. Air conditioning can help solve the problem but not without an associated cooling cost. Always consider the extremes of our seasons.

•       No ventilation. Because they don’t open and close, picture windows don’t offer any natural ventilation.

Because of their limited utility they are not the most popular choice for new construction or remodeling projects. In fact, some manufacturers make combination picture windows that allow both light and air in.  When these styles and functions combine, they can take the form of casement and picture, double-hung and picture, and gliding and picture.

Overall, picture windows are used somewhat sparingly. But, if your home property is adjacent to stunning landscapes, lush countrysides, or inspiring natural vistas – a picture window installed by Tri County Windows and Siding could be the perfect accent to the look, feel, and functionality of your home.

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