With so many window choices out there, it can be hard to pick the one that fits your home's personality as well as its ventilation needs. Awning windows, along with their casement window counterparts, are well known for offering excellent ventilation as well as an unobstructed view of the outdoors. Since these windows open outwards from the bottom and swing upwards, they can also shield your home's interior from the rain while allowing breezes to come through.
Nevertheless, there are several considerations to take note of before you purchase or install awning windows for your home.
Consider the Location
Location is one of the first things you should consider when it comes to installing awning windows. Since these windows open outward, it's important to make sure that there aren't any obstructions that could get in the way of the opening. If you have tall shrubbery or tree branches nearby, you may want to consider pruning or relocating them so that they won't block the opening.
Many homeowners also find it somewhat difficult to clean the outside of the awning window from inside the home. Unless you enjoy breaking out the ladder every time you need to clean an awning window, it's usually best to limit their use to the first story of your home. If your home directly faces a nearby sidewalk or public right-of-way, you may not be able to use awning windows due to the potential obstruction hazard they may pose to passing pedestrians. It's a good idea to check your community's ordinances and building codes for any prohibitions on using awning windows.
Last but not least, there's also the issue of escape. Since most awning windows are small and kept connected to their cranking mechanisms, it may be difficult or even impossible to escape in the event of a fire. You may want to stick with conventional sliding windows if the planned replacement area also happens to be a fire escape route. In fact, the local building codes may prohibit you from using awning windows near fire escapes or other escape routes.
Consider the Size
There's no set size limit for awning windows. In most cases, the maximum size of the window is usually dictated by its location. Since awning windows are commonly used in kitchens, wash rooms, and in other areas where window space is an issue, these windows are usually kept as small as possible.
Awning windows are also ideal for pairing with picture windows and other fixed-frame windows that can't be opened. The addition of an awning window above or below a fixed-frame window will also limit its size to the available space left above the larger, fixed-frame window.
As mentioned previously, the small size of an awning window may also make escape extremely difficult, if not impossible. From a security standpoint, however, the small size of a typical awning window can also make it difficult for burglars to get into your home.
Consider the Material and Cost
The overall cost of an awning window usually depends on the type of material used for its frame. Vinyl is the least expensive of these materials, at the expense of durability and customization. Fiberglass is 30 percent more expensive than vinyl, but it still cost less than a similar wood window. Steel offers excellent strength, durability, and narrow sight lines, but it's also the most expensive material available for awning window frames.
Overall, the average cost of an awning window ranges between $350 and $1,050 per window, not including the cost of installation. Other factors can affect the overall cost of the awning window, including the use of low-emissivity (low-e) coating or energy-efficient window tint.
For more information on windows, contact a company like Beissel Window & Siding.