Guys, are you ready to dive into the world of windows? This is a whole universe that I had very little knowledge of before I had to pick windows for the Merc and now I have enough knowledge to not sound like an idiot when I’m talking to the contractors…so um, basically an expert.
It was very important for me to match the original style of the windows at the Merc. They are such a huge part of the personality of any house and have so much weight with how the style shakes out. When you’re building or remodeling a house DO NOT forget about the windows or just let your builder order the most budget friendly option that will disappear. A little design elevates the entire space in ways that nothing else can. Here’s a fun challenge, look at your pinterest boards, especially when you’re looking at the images of house exteriors. How many of the homes you have pinned have basic builder grade sliding windows? Probably not many. Windows matter guys. But not only do they need to look good, they need to be incredibly functional.
There are a lot of window companies in the world, for our windows we chose to go with Andersen A-Series. Andersen has an incomparable reputation, you can customize things to an extreme degree (it’s intense and exciting!), they’ve got killer energy efficiency, and they are sold at Home Depot (which means you can get them ANYWHERE!) #homedepotforlife If you know me, or if you’ve ever had a conversation with Court you know that I am very much a form over function person, I want it to look good first. The great thing about Andersen is that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Everything is beautiful, everything is functional, and honestly does it get much better than that? (Maybe if they did my laundry, but other than that, nope!)
There is a lot of info to share about what we chose and why, so hang in there with me as I try to explain it in a way that gives you all the important info without sounding like the teacher on Charlie Brown. The great thing is that depending on the style of your house, the climate you live in, and your budget they have options for all of it.
Alright, lets get started!! First we’re going to talk about the function specifics and then we’ll dive into the design.
Divided light, colonial, industrial, grids, mullions, grills, big windows with smaller ones inside. You know where this is going right? There are a million different names to describe windows that look like this:
The correct way is Divided Light. There are subsections but they all exist under the divided light umbrella.
True Divided light (TDL) which means that the small square or rectangle panes are actually separate windows, all joined together in a bigger window. This is historically very accurate (as this is how the original windows at the Merc are, but its not very energy efficient and not readily available.
Full Divided Light (FDL) This is the option I chose! Full Divided light is the best of both worlds, grilles are applied to the interior and exterior of your window with an aluminum spacer between the glass. An Energy Spacer option is also available to help achieve Energy Star rating. We chose the Energy Spacer because of our extreme summers (we’ll talk about other choices we made to help with energy efficiency too.) The Energy Spacer sort of floats between the pieces of glass so nothing is sectioned off completely. It’s really cool technology and looks great.
Simulated Divided Light (SDL), which is where the glass is one large piece and looks divided because of mullions on the exterior of the glass.
Grills between Glass that is where the grill is placed in-between the 2 sides of the glass instead of the outside. This makes it easier to clean because its just one large surface.
One of the things that was super important for us was the energy efficiency. The Merc is pretty large, and obviously very old so we’re doing everything we can to cut back on our electrical consumption. Andersen has 7 different glass options. SEVEN. They don’t even have that many options of M&M’s guys. We live in Southern Utah and its nice and toasty for most of the year. In this portion of the renovation we have 2 windows that face east and 2 that face south (excluding our OG storefront windows on the north) For our south facing windows we used Low-E glass. Low-E glass reflects heat in the summer and helps keep heat inside in the winter, making this a good choice in climates where both heating and cooling costs are a concern. Its the best standard baseline option with great energy efficiency. For our eastern facing windows I chose to use SmartSun glass. SmartSun glass gives you the benefits of Low-E glass, plus it helps shield your home from the sun’s heat and filters out 95% of harmful UV rays without altering the color of the glass with a tint. Brilliant right?! We’ll definitely be using this on the western side when we start Phase 2.
Another reason I was so excited to have Andersen windows is because of their VeriLock tech. VeriLock security sensors will not only tell you if your window is open, but also if it’s unlocked!! No other sensors can do that, its a big deal. Just think, no more panic 3 hours into your vacation and trying to track someone down that can make sure you locked your windows!!
Ok lets talk design!! Andersen A-Series was designed with specific styles in mind. Check out their Home Style library (you’ll want to click into every style, just a fair warning). There are 14 house styles represented (with more being added all the time) and they tell you the exact recipe for the windows that match that style. Love Farmhouse? Craftsman? Industrial? Modern? They’ve got it all figured out for you. How great is that?!
There are 7 typical window types. In the Merc we used 3 of them. Fixed, Casement, and Double Hung.
Fixed means that the windows don’t open at all. It is purely there for light. We put a fixed window in our laundry/mud room They are usually the most budget friendly option. (I think we’ll do a bunch of fixed in Phase 2. #budget)
Casement windows open the way that a door does. They are hinged on one side and latch on the other. They typically swing outside the building so if you use a screen its on the inside of the window. When they are closed they look like fixed windows. We used this type in the back bedroom because it is next to the fixed window on the back of the building. Casement windows are typically the most expensive style.
Double Hung windows are 2 windows that meet in the center. The bottom one slides up, and the top one can slide down (as opposed to a single hung where only the bottom window can slide up). These are the type we used in the 2 east facing bedrooms.
The grille pattern that we chose was Colonial, with Andersen you can decided exactly how you want it divided up, so we sectioned it off so that the size of each pane was the same as the original (or at least the same scale). Its a small detail that will make everything flow together so perfectly.
There are loads of finish options for the interior and exterior (you can choose the colors seperately!) I chose black for both. We all know how picky I am about my black paint and I’m happy to report that its a seamless color transition between the windows (that came pre-painted) and the trim that we installed and painted ourselves.
The first thing that people comment on when they’re getting a Merc tour are our windows, they are absolutely stunning. If you are in the market for windows I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend heading to andersenwindows.com and designing your windows. Then print off your specs, gather your measurements, and take them to your local Home Depot to order.
Here’s the TLDR specifics on our windows
Fixed, Casement, Double Hung
Full Divided Light with Energy Spacers
Low-E + SunSmart Glass
Colonial Grille Pattern
Black Painted Interior and Exterior
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