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Pros and cons of big windows—6 things to know

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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As a home owner, you often face complicated decision-making and uncertainties, particularly during discussions with professional architects about the various issues, specifications and designs that concern the home you want to build or remodel. This can cause an unbelievably unhappy feeling, which is quite contrary to the boundless joy that one imagines will be a part of planning and building a new home. With our ideabooks, we aim to prepare you for making these decisions easily, by understanding nuances of house construction that will bring you on the same level as home planners and architects. This is the reason that today, we have chosen the subject of windows, which we need to weigh carefully, especially the architectural and functional effect of big windows.

1. Glazed facades – a new trend

House of Lines & Courts: modern Houses by studio XS
studio XS

House of Lines & Courts

studio XS

An architect’s job is to merge his technical skills with artistic creations to design a building that promises a lot of functional benefits that are simultaneously aesthetically appealing. Many architects start with free designs based on an idea or a vision. In the creative process, the decision to build a house with fully glazed walls could seem a bit of a visionary, as traditionally, house façades have been built of stone or bricks and mortar. However, glazed facades are a new trend in the field of architecture. It uses large windows that replace brick walls with glass. The glazing extends over several floors and presents the occupants with a sweeping view of the surroundings. Big windows that are fully glazed offer an unobstructed view as well as a seamless connection with the environment. For your own benefit, it is advisable to glaze the facade and the large windows, so that your privacy is protected if your nearest neighbour’s living room  is not too far away.

2. Why big windows?

Windows are far more than mere openings for inviting natural light. In a house, they are the interface between the interior and exterior, helping to bring the private spaces in contact with the outside world and, conversely, to connect the outdoor environment with the private space. From a purely subjective point of view, this connection is regulated by the opening and closing of the windows as fresh air flows into the room when windows are opened. The outdoor sounds get louder or softer with the opening or closing of the windows, the drawing of curtains or by moving roller-shutters. This is truer of big windows. With them, a wider view is possible, and fresh air as well as the sounds of nature can flow unrestrained into the room. If you live in quiet, natural surroundings, large panoramic windows are perfect for awakening the senses.

3. Costs

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to calculating the costs of large windows. In addition to the type of window and its size, nominal thickness of internal and external disks can make significant changes to the costs. Nowadays, buildings have several windows, all of which need to be insulated. The advantages brought about by glazing need to be taken into consideration. This includes the restriction of heat transfer – a factor that plays a significant role in price calculation as it improves the energy-efficiency of the windows. In the industry, window glasses are classified according to their degree of resistance. The more robust the glass, the higher the price. If the house construction is in the decision phase, a window glass can be fitted into the façade, if cost is not an issue. Homeowners on a lower budget can opt for smaller windows to save money. With large windows, however, it is best to leave their fixing or attachment to professionals. Of course, this will add to the cost, but it is worth it.

4. Keeping big windows clean

When it is time to spring clean, don’t forget about the windows. Depending on the size of the house and the number of windows, it can easily take at least half the day, if not longer, especially if you use the wrong cleaning agents or improper techniques that leave behind streaks that need to be repeatedly wiped. You can start by clearing big windows of pollen or dust using a fine broom. Then, with a sponge dipped in a mixture of water, dishwashing liquid and a splash of vinegar, you can dissolve or dislodge the dirt from the glass, and finally, spray the glass thoroughly with clean water, using a hose. While doing this, you should work in horizontal paths along the window glass, before wiping down each track with a rubber tipped window wiper. The rubber tip often wears out, leaving uneven streaks on the window panes. In such cases, to complete the cleaning process, a microfiber cloth or window leather needs to be used to absorb residual moisture and to polish the edges to keep your large windows looking spotless. Newspaper can also be used for this purpose, but it comes with the risk of leaving behind printing ink as a dirt border. The final tip we have for you about cleaning windows is not to use the power of sun to dry the panes after you wash as it will leave behind visible streaks that are hard to wipe away. The best way to ease up the task of cleaning big windows is to hire a professional cleaning company. With ladders or cranes, the professional cleaners can securely reach every corner of your large windows. The advantage of cleaning your own windows, of course, is that it is completely free.

5. Advantages

People who already own houses with large windows can look back on the experience and evaluate the daily advantages and disadvantages of living with them. Each of these owners will agree that the view from big windows is something very special and advantageous. Panoramic windows open the architecture of a building and give it an optical lightness, which reaches into the far corners of the house to improve its aesthetics. Large windows are a suitable stylistic feature for flooding the rooms of an apartment or a house with natural light in addition to providing ventilation within the four walls.

6. Disadvantages

Large windows also have disadvantages, as house owners who have experienced them will tell builders. The cost of such big or panoramic windows is definitely an investment that you should think about beforehand. If you look at the approximate cost of around INR 20,000 per big window and multiply this amount by the number of required windows, the cost of the purchase is quite huge. While large windows allow light to enter the house, they also come with the disadvantage of heat transfer in both directions! This results in higher heating or cooling costs as you will have to run the air-conditioning for a longer time.  Another issue is the floor level window disadvantages that large formats bring as, being near the ground, they are subject to splashes and scratches easily.

It’s always best to weigh the pros and cons before making a large investment in big windows. For inspiration on dressing up your windows, see  Dress your windows in spectacular style.

Will you use big windows in your home? Let us know why or why not.
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