A picture window is a large fixed window that either does not have any muntins or only has muntins near the window edge to keep a wide area in the middle clear. The reason it is called a picture window is because with such a wide expanse of clear glass, it provides a great view of your property or the surrounding area. It is as if this window were acting as a picture frame for the great outdoors. Picture windows are wonderful in the back of homes that have extensive gardens or other natural points of interest in the back yard, and for any house where children might be observed playing out back on the swing set or in the sand box.
Reasons for Choosing Picture Windows
There are a number of great advantages and benefits to having picture windows in the home, and quite a few good reasons to choose them. There are a wide number of design choices, such as whether or not to include muntins, available for homeowners looking for windows in a new build or remodeling project, and each type does provide its own advantages. But there is something special about picture windows. They are a great choice for many different types of homes and complement many different styles of architecture.
Obviously, the biggest draw for many people to the picture window is the unimpeded view it provides. Without glazing bars for such a large pane, this view can be quite striking. Parents can keep track of the neighborhood football game and keep tabs on all of their own children from one place. Mornings can be spent in a chair taking in the scenery before the window. In short, the often breathtaking view is one of the biggest selling points of these windows.
Another great benefit that goes right along with the view is the fact that picture windows allow so much natural light into the home. Those of us who really thrive on sunlight and who have trouble coping with being cooped up in doors too long can truly benefit from having these oversized windows handy to sit or stand in front of. They brighten up any room they are in while the sun is out, and also drink in moonlight on clear nights. In many cases, people replace side by side windows such as two or three successive double hung windows with a single picture window, sometimes even adding a window seat for a more intimate experience.
Energy Efficient Windows
One of the best hidden benefits of picture windows probably is their energy efficiency. Since they are fixed in place and cannot be opened, they provide excellent weather and draft resistant performance. Any inoperable window such as this is very energy efficient and also resistant to airborne contaminants, a great benefit for those among us who suffer from severe allergies.
How to Select Picture Windows
The best option when selecting picture window models and features is to use Low E glass for greater energy efficiency. Glazing for solar gain is a good option in the northern climates, and vinyl cladding will ensure that the window is durable and long lasting. These are expensive windows to buy, so it is important to get good value for the money you spend.
As with any window investment, it is important to examine all of your options and choose the ones that work best in your home. Small price differences are relatively inconsequential when spread out over the life of the window. It is better to spend a little more money if it means getting a better product that will perform better and last longer.