If you are looking to save energy, let in a little more light and improve your home’s overall appeal – replacing your home’s windows could be the answer. To make sure that the upgrade keeps up with the times, Cobus Lourens from leading window and door manufacturer, Swartland, offers an overview of the latest window trends.Transitional living. A major drive in architectural design today is bringing the indoor and outdoor spaces together. This trend is redefining home design, and many homeowners are looking to fenestration solutions to incorporate transitional living into their homes. Here, the general rule of thumb is that the bigger the window, the better, and in this regard, aluminium windows provide the perfect frame.
Cobus explains: “Arguably, one of the main benefits of aluminium windows and doors, from an aesthetic point of view, is that they boast really slim sightlines. This means that more of the window or door can be made up of glass. Due to the inherent strength of aluminium as a material, you need less of it to securely hold the glass and hardware. For this reason, you can fit a lot less frame and include a higher proportion of glass, which in turn, affords you the best and most unhindered aspect or views to the outdoors.”
Turn your windows into doors. Replacing a pair of boring double pane windows with sliding doors or a pair of French doors for example, will add vitality to any indoor space by letting in lots more natural light and opening up the space. Cobus adds: “We have such lovely weather in South Africa, and most homes have access to beautiful outdoor spaces – by replacing a window with a door, you can really take advantage of these aspects by creating a seamless flow between your home’s indoor and outdoor spaces. If, however, you don’t have space for a door, then you can consider replacing old fashioned windows with large format sliding windows instead.”
A wall of windows. Cobus explains: “In keeping with the move towards transitional living spaces, a major trend is to replace entire walls with a curtain of windows or large window panels.” He says that while this can be a costly renovation, it can completely transform a home from a dated design, into a true architectural marvel. “A wall of windows adds height, light and that ‘Wow!’ factor to any indoor space – letting in impressive views of nature. However, this not only looks good, but the high-end look and feel will also add great resale value to your home.”
Going green. As the cost of electricity rises and the hopes for a cleaner environment gain momentum, so are more and more consumers looking to replace older inefficient windows with high-efficiency designs. However, this is not just a nice-to-have, it is the law. Says Cobus: “By law, the windows you choose must be SANS 10400-XA-compliant, as a new build without compliant windows will not pass the building regulations and will be deemed unfit and hence, illegal. Swartland for example, continuously tests its products to ensure that they are compliant with the National Building Regulations. All Swartland’s windows are SANS 613 certified and compliant. They have all been tested for deflection, structural strength, water-resistance, air-tightness, operating forces, and the best possible energy efficiency.”
Custom is key. We are all familiar with standard windows; however, why not create a unique feature by adding an accent window in an otherwise unexciting space? Cobus says that there are lots of places in the home environment that make for great feature installations. “Picture windows are a great addition to any landing or double volume space. Bay windows are also very popular – they not only let in lots of added light, but they also create a sense of cosiness, making an otherwise uninteresting space very inviting.” See how Swartland windows are installed here:
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