Selecting the windows for your new home is a necessary process that will influence so much about how you use each space and the home’s overall liveability. Even when the floorplan is locked down, and you’re just doing final touches, your windows will influence:
- where the light and natural airflow comes in,
- what views you can see,
- how secure and private your home feels, and
- very likely how you arrange furniture in each room to make the most of your windows.
With careful forethought, you can design the windows in your home to enhance both the beauty of the house and your joy in living there. Let’s dive into your primary considerations for selecting windows you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Direction, Natural Light and Ventilation
The primary function of windows in a home is to provide natural light and ventilation. Consider which direction the sun rises and sets. Where do the prevailing breezes come from on your property? How will you take advantage of the passage of light and wind?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you will know which walls should have windows to catch those golden rays. Natural light beaming into the room makes it both comfortable and beautiful. Plan the window location to direct the sunlight into each particular space in a selective manner. Windows on more than one wall make the most of the sun’s seasonal movements. Consider the direction and angle of the sun at various times of the day and throughout the year.
Understanding where the prevailing breezes emanate on your property will also play a part in the consideration for your window selection and placement. There are a variety of window options that can provide a solution to capturing the right amount of ventilation for each zone in your house. From automated louvres to double-hung windows, each window type has advantages when used with consideration from an architectural and design point of view.
Thermal Control in the Australian Sun
In Australia, thermal control is also an essential consideration for placing windows to soak up natural light. If you’re looking to reduce direct warming sunlight, then consider aligning your windows to catch the natural light at an angle instead. Highly energy-efficient windows will help reduce the heat transfer with double-paned glass and expert manufacture. Ensure your windows meet Australian Window and Glass Association performance standards for complete peace of mind.
Beautiful Views and Strategic Occlusion
Your next consideration concerns the views and outlook of the property’s location. What do you want your windows to look out on? If you have a beautiful view (that another home will not obstruct), then you should plan to see that view from your windows. Your back garden is also a fantastic direction to face windows because you can create your own beautiful vista.
At the same time, you can choose how to strategically occlude a window so as not to look at things you don’t want to see. There’s no need to put a big picture window facing the neighbour’s house, for example. So face windows on those sides of the house strategically. Place them higher than usual for light without a view, or consider frosted or textured glass options.
Don’t forget that no matter how beautiful windows are, they are also two-way portals. Huge windows in bedrooms and bathrooms, for example, might challenge your privacy. So what are your options? Consider placing windows higher up or choose windows with frosted or textured glass. Just as with views you don’t want to see, glass selection can preserve your privacy while enjoying the light and design of any window you wish to have.
The Right Windows for Each Room
Finally, think carefully about the types of windows you want in each room.
The living room often features the largest windows looking out onto the verandah and into your own landscaped back garden. Sliding windows are a great choice as they bring the outdoors in – joining the living areas indoors with the outdoors. But you can also select smaller windows for light/heat control or a more consistent style. Options such as louvre windows may provide the benefit of light and allow the direction of natural airflow into the home, to suit the home’s orientation.
Kitchen windows are a valuable source of natural light for daytime cooking, but require a break in the cabinetry. Most people try to focus their cabinetry on inner walls so that outer walls can host a window or two to illuminate the kitchen. Sliding windows often work best for operating while reaching over a counter, particularly if you have an outdoor patio area situated off the kitchen. Louvres can also work nicely in a kitchen environment and are easy to clean from the inside.
Bedrooms used to have smaller windows that were easier to curtain, providing a combination of style, light, and privacy. More modern homes now take advantage of larger, more expansive windows, louvres and awning windows. Modern windows, blended with the right curtains and blinds, provide residents with more options when it comes to privacy.
Bathrooms, naturally, tend to have the smallest windows to provide privacy. Bathroom windows are typically higher than other windows and with glass that cannot be peered through with any detail. The placement at height offers natural light without sacrificing the privacy or comfort of residents. In Australia, many bathroom windows do not open as bathroom exhaust fans are considered more effective at circulating air and clearing shower steam. However, in more modern homes, a combination of window styles can perform both an aesthetic and functional fit for your bathroom needs. We are no longer confined to having bathrooms completely closed off from natural ventilation.
Planning window placement
Choosing the right window for your home can be challenging, but these considerations will help you make the strategic choice for each room in your home. You can enjoy beautiful windows that reveal only pleasing views while optimising the natural light your home basks in every day. For more directed assistance choosing the right windows for your home, contact us today. Our experts would be happy to help you perfect your window plans for optimal enjoyment as the resident owner.