Dynamic designs for your window tips

Aluminum windows predate their vinyl and wood counterparts. They are used liberally in the home market for their versatility and reasonable cost. A hallmark of this casing style is its ability to size: Builders use them to create large-area, picture-window effects, where the entire side of the structure looks as though it were made of glass. Featuring sealed, mechanically joined corners and clean, sharp edges, aluminum casements are known for their strength and stability.

The advantages of this window option include moisture resistance, a positive strength-to-weight ratio and the ability to choose multiple shapes for creative designing. Although they are not known for maintaining heat and cold as well as some other materials do, there are a wide range of low-cost engineering additions that can help to improve their energy-efficiency. Depending on the national region, aluminum fenestrations can cost between $3 and $5 per square inch for materials and installation. Complex designs can increase this estimate anywhere from 4 percent to 12 percent.

Double hung windows may be charming, but those overlapping window sashes are smack dab in the middle of your view. Casement windows, on the other hand, are hinged at the side and let in the maximum amount of light and view whether open or closed. Winds that buffet your home actually push the window tightly against your house, rather than creating little vortexes between the upper and lower sashes as they do with double-hungs. Casements are a natural for ranch, contemporary, Southwestern and other architectural styles.

Casements are great for bedrooms, where they can open wide for emergency exiting and are easy to operate even for those who are wheelchair-bound. From the outside, however, the controls can be difficult to overcome for an intruder.

For wide windows use double casements, or install narrower casements for ventilation on each side of a large, fixed view window. It’s easy to make a good case for casements.