Window replacement is one of the most common and worthwhile home improvements homeowners can invest in, so it is no surprise that so many of our clients are eager to discuss their window replacement plans and get projects underway as the weather begins to improve. One of the most common questions our clients bring to the planning stage is: which window designs and features are best for homes with children? Today, we want to provide you with our best tips for family-friendly window designs.
Family-Friendly Window Designs: Safety
While the best guarantee of safety for families with children is to operate windows according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, there are some important window design options to be aware of when selecting the right windows for your home.
Safety glass, also known as tempered glass, is a wonderful choice for families with children or pets. When broken, tempered glass breaks into small blunt pieces instead of dangerous shards. Your town’s building codes may even require that windows are outfitted with safety glass, especially if they are close to the floor.
Similar to safety glass, laminated glass is a family-friendly option that prevents windows from falling apart if broken due to a three-layer design which holds the glass firmly in place when it cracks. An additional family-friendly feature, especially for families with little ones: the laminated glass muffles outside noises.
Both safety glass and laminated glass make your windows stronger and more resistant to breaking, thereby introducing the added benefit of greater protection against forced entry.
Beyond controlling for glass type, many manufacturers now offer safety add-ons that families can choose from. “Smart windows” are the wave of the future. As the folks over at Angie’s List explain, “Andersen Windows offers a smart window product that lets homeowners know if any window is open or closed, locked or unlocked. Jon Phelps, brand public relations and content manager for Andersen Windows, says Andersen’s VeriLock wireless security sensors are built into the hardware on the doors and windows and are compatible with security monitoring services.” This is an extra that appeals to many homeowners with small children, as families begin to incorporate more smart products and appliances in their homes.
Family-Friendly Window Designs: Comfort and Convenience
While we know that safety is every parent’s number one priority, the ease with which you operate your windows and the benefits they bring to your living space matter, too. We hope you find some inspiration in these family-friendly ideas for window replacement.
For playrooms, consider introducing more light while keeping the indoor temperature well-regulated with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bow window, or a bay window. These options all let the sunshine in and provide greater views of the natural world. Floor-to-ceiling windows are more energy efficient than ever. Bow windows provide many of the same benefits of bay windows, but require a smaller remodel. Bay windows provide space for storing books, small toys, or plants, and can provide just the right space for your child to set up shop for their farmer’s market or doctor’s office while taking in views of your yard and garden.
For other areas of the home, think about what style of window might make life easier for your family. If you are constantly frustrated trying to open the window behind the sink while making dinner, consider casement windows that crank open instead. Smaller double-hung windows can make venting bathroom spaces easier, while single-hung windows might bring more sunshine and warmth to a porch that tends to go under-utilized because it stays on the chilly side.
Most importantly, when considering which family-friendly window designs are right for your family, focus on making the rooms you spend the most time in as comfortable, safe, and energy-efficient as possible.