Picture this: You're in your kitchen or your living room, and you have a wide, unobstructed view of the natural world outside. The birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming in spring, the summer sun's shining and the sprinklers are running, the autumn leaves are falling to the ground, and you have a picture-perfect view from inside your home.
To you, a home with picture windows might be the image of a cozy space — just what you want for your abode. But if you don't have picture windows now, you might wonder whether they'll fit into your space: Would you need custom picture windows to fit your unique space? Is there such a thing as a small picture window to fit smaller spaces, or do they all have to be expansive units? What are the standard picture window sizes and prices? What does picture window installation entail? Below, we'll touch on all the basics about this style of windows and cover the pros and cons of installing picture windows in your home.
Picture Windows: The Pros and Cons
First, what are picture windows? They're large, inoperable windows that usually contain only a single visible pane of glass. Homeowners tend to love them because they offer expansive outdoor views. Kitchen picture windows and oversized living room picture windows are particularly popular home additions.
But are there drawbacks to this style of window? Let's look at the pros and cons of picture windows:
- More natural light — Picture windows are often larger than other windows and can let in more natural light during the daytime, filling your rooms with pleasant lighting and reducing the need for artificial light.
- Good insulation — Because picture windows are traditionally inoperable, they're tightly sealed around the edges and offer fewer gaps for air to seep in or out. When well-insulated, they're great for energy efficiency.
- Easy cleaning from the inside — The window components don't move and the units don't contain any difficult-to-access nooks and crannies, so cleaning the windows from the inside is pretty straightforward.
- Cost-effectiveness— As fixed windows, picture windows don't have mechanical parts that are subject to failure and replacement, so they generally cost less than comparably sized casement or sliding windows.
- Lack of ventilation— Some people avoid picture windows when they'd prefer to open their windows for ventilation, especially when they rely on airflow to cool their homes.
- Unwanted heat gain — Picture windows' ability to allow in lots of natural light has another edge to it: That light could also transmit unwanted solar heat. Windows shoppers should check the U-factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient on the windows they consider - regardless of window style - if they're concerned about excess solar heat.
- Potential breakage — Wide panes of glass could mean greater risk of breakage if the windows aren't outfitted with shatterproof glass or films. Depending on the square footage of glass and the location, tempered safety glass may be required.
- Trickier cleaning from the outside — Cleaning the picture window from the outside can be difficult, especially if they're located in an upper story of the house and are hard to reach.
Picture Window Styles
If the aesthetics and advantages of picture windows appeal to you, you might wonder about design and size options. What are the (standard picture window sizes) available? Are small picture windows an option? Are large picture windows cost-prohibitive? What's contained in the range of choices?
Finding any standard size picture window is nearly impossible in this day and time. Custom size options will be dependent on the window material and manufacturer. Example - Infinity fiberglass windows have stronger frames, so larger sizes are available.
If you have a big aperture to fill, you might wonder about large picture window prices. Replacement picture windows can run in cost from $1,000 to $2,500 or more for the window itself including installation. So much goes into the final price, including window size, seals, installation requirements, the type of frame, etc. It's better to invest in a quality window with premium seals and insulation. Although this typically adds to the upfront cost, it pays dividends in energy efficiency and less maintenance in the long run.
Ready to Talk About Your Window Options?
If you're thinking about adding a picture window or more to your home, you can see some of our past picture window work for inspiration. In one Milton, Georgia kitchen, we expanded a group of multiple windows in a smaller window block into one larger opening that lets the sunshine in. We've installed a picture window that was bounded by double-hung windows on each side, and in another project, we've swapped out three double-hung windows to expand the homeowners' views with one fixed picture window. For each, the results were stunning, bringing a touch of nature to the inside.
No matter what your space calls for, we're ready to bring it to life. Want to know more about upgrading your home's windows? Call us at (770) 888-1604 or contact us here to ask a question or schedule an in-home proposal.