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The Pros & Cons of Picture Windows

31 March 2021

Many homes include the utilization of picture windows which are non-maneuverable windows that contain a single pane of glass.  Before switching to this style of window during your next full frame window replacement project, it’s wise to understand their benefits and drawbacks.

Pros:

Unobstructed Views: The sizable glass pack included in a picture window creates an expanded outdoor view.  An advantage to this is that it can make a room feel larger than it is.

Infinity Bay Window Picture Window and Double Hung Windows-Exterior View

Expanded Natural Light: The size of picture windows allows them to filter in more natural light.  Natural light is a natural mood booster, increases one’s quality of sleep, and promotes the amount of vitamin D your body makes.

Price: Many homeowners wrongfully assume that picture windows are costly because of the amount of glass they contain.  However, when compared with maneuverable windows with mechanical parts, picture windows are most-effective.  However, it’s worth noting when picture windows reach the end of their lifespan, they must be replaced in their entirety.

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Energy Efficiency: In the realm of energy efficiency, picture windows rank towards the top of the list because they do not open or close, minimizing the opportunity for air infiltration.  Instead, they are sealed directly with the frame.

Custom Options: Picture windows are offered in an array of colors and finishes.  In addition, numerous materials are available including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.  For homeowners wanting to add interest, decorative grilles may also be added to picture windows.

Cons:

Ventilation: Because picture windows do not open and close, they do not offer ventilation.  For this reason, many homeowners opt to put a picture window in the center and add operable windows, such as casement, on each side.

Hastings Infinity Windows

Cleaning: Although they are absent of moving parts, cleaning of picture windows can be tedious because of their sizable surface area.  This task becomes more complicated when homeowners attempt to clean the exterior of large picture windows on a home’s upper floors.

Heat Gain: Picture windows can allow a lot of natural light into the home.  The result of this can be copious amounts of solar heat gain.  To circumnavigate this issue, consult with your window contractor to make sure you have a working understanding of the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient of the windows.

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