Few home styles have the commanding presence of a Colonial home. With its pleasing symmetry and timeless elegance, Colonial homes are one of the most popular styles in the U.S. today.
When the time comes to replace the windows in your Colonial home, you will want to choose something that preserves this classic style and works well with the rest of the house. Here are some tips for choosing the right windows for your colonial home.
1. Use Decorative Grids
In the past, Colonial homes featured small-paned windows because the glass size at the time was rather limited. Panes measured 8 to 9 inches wide, and 10 to 12 inches tall, and they were held within the window sash using muntins.
These days, however, decorative grids are used to get the same look on modern windows with bigger pieces of glass. Traditional-style windows with grids placed between the two glass panes can make cleaning far simpler. This is an increasingly popular choice as it lets you get the look of window muntins that set Colonial windows apart while enjoying a smooth glass surface.
2. Choose the Right Color Finishes
For Colonial homes, white window frames with black or white shutters are the colors of choice for a traditional look. However, many homeowners are now using earth tones such as cream and brown. The key is to keep it conservative, so it does not detract from the understated style of Colonial homes.
3. Consider the Home’s Colonial Subtype
Homeowners should also consider the Colonial subtype of their home when making their window selection. Here are some tips for the most common subtypes in the U.S.
Cape Cod Colonials
With their gable-front dormers and minimalist feel, Cape Cod colonials are the style of home that immediately comes to mind when most people think of Colonial homes. Casement windows are a good choice here because they have the appearance of double-hung windows but can provide additional exterior detailing.
Cottage-style windows are also a good choice, with top and lower sashes featuring different heights according to the grill pattern of the windows. Stick to lighter trim on the windows in Cape Cod colonials.
Dutch Colonials have a gambrel roof inspired by barns and a cozy appearance that has made this an enduringly popular style. Opt for double-hung windows, which can open simultaneously from the top down and bottom up for efficient air circulation and utility bill reductions. A picture window can also work well with some types of Dutch colonials.
If your home features a big dormer in the middle flanked by gables and large multi-paned windows across the front, it is an example of the popular Georgian Colonial style.
Double-hung sash windows are the window of choice for homes of this style, and their two opening parts make sliding them up or down convenient; single-hung windows provide a similar look at a better price point as their top section is fixed. If ease of cleaning is a concern, choose windows that tilt inward to make the job easier.
Decorative grids are a must-have on a Georgian Colonial, with 9×9 and 12×12 placements being traditional choices. Casement windows will likely be needed in the upper bedrooms of homes in this style to comply with egress requirements.
Spanish Colonial Revival homes may have once been limited to neighborhoods in Florida and California, but they are being increasingly found throughout the nation, where homeowners are relishing the unique look of their light stucco and tile roofs.
For these homes, narrow, tall French casement windows are the top choice. Choose varieties with horizontal panes instead of vertical ones. When it comes to colors, the frame, trim and sash should be kept the same shade, preferably one that contrasts with the stucco color of the home.
Look for Energy Savings
Upgrading your windows for energy efficiency presents you with the opportunity to improve your home’s overall cost savings. Look for ENERGY STAR-rated windows to save money on your utilities and make your home more comfortable indoors, thanks to their superior temperature regulation capabilities. Moreover, their high insulation can reduce draftiness, condensation and noise intrusion.
Get in Touch With the Northern Virginia Window Contractors
Colonial homes, with their classic beauty and symmetry, will never go out of style. If you wish to update your Colonial home’s windows while keeping its traditional style, be sure to work with window contractors who have experience working on Colonial homes.
Adelphia Exteriors has a team of Northern Virginia window replacement and installation professionals who can help you choose the best colonial window style, glass and color to improve your Colonial home’s energy efficiency and curb appeal. Get in touch today to find out more about our residential window services or to request an estimate.