Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Design, Part 3
After considering the design style of the window and the thickness and color of the window frame as we did in the first two posts in our discussion of the Design Pillar of your Replacement Window Experience, you should consider your options for Window Grilles, Insect Screens and Maintenance features.
Window grilles trace their ancestry to the days when window glass could only be created in small sheets. In the early days, window makers would join small pieces of glass together to create a larger window through which people could see more than a few inches. It also allowed window makers to make them larger to accommodate larger windows back when natural air circulation was the only type of air conditioning around. Today, when we can manufacture much larger sheets of efficient window glass, window grilles are simply an aesthetic consideration to simulate the look of these true divided lite windows. Because of all the dividers, in today’s age of super energy-efficient windows, true divided lite windows are rare today because the dividers generally decrease the efficiency of the window.
In many traditional home styles, windows without window grilles look simply naked. Architectural home styles created when true divided lite windows were the only option, like Colonials, Cape Cods, etc. sometimes don’t “look right” without window grilles to simulate the traditional divided lite window.
If you have one of these traditional architectural style homes, or simply like the look of window grilles, you should take extra care to ensure the replacement window you are considering comes in a selection of different window grille options. There are many different styles and patterns of window grilles to match their historical cousins. Not all homes looks right with a standard six over six Colonial window grille pattern while others require a three over one Farmhouse look or even an elegant Prairie look. The key is, make sure the window you’re considering has a pattern that is historically accurate and looks good on your home.
Before you pick your replacement windows, be sure to inquire about the availability of window grilles for those windows. If so, find out how many different grille patterns are offered. Some Historic Districts may even require you to use a specific style of window grille in your home to ensure the historical accuracy of the homes in the area. Of course, if not required by law or code, you can always look for a different kind of pattern to help you add unique character to your home.
Not all Window Grilles are Created Equal
Now that you’ve decided on the window grille pattern you would like in your windows, you have to decide what “kind” of window grilles you want. As noted earlier, today, most window grilles only simulate the look of true divided lites. Over the years, different window manufacturers have come up with a number of different ways to achieve this simulation. Which one you choose is mostly a matter of personal preference, but you should be aware of the options.
Interior Window Grilles. As you might guess from the name, these window grilles live on the inside of the window. Although they have some visibility from the outside, these grilles are perfect for applications where you are more concerned with how the window looks on the inside of your home. They are applied to the inside of your window and in many cases can be removed and reinstalled to make cleaning the inside of your windows easier.
Between-the-Glass Window Grilles. Permanently installed between the two lites of glass in your insulated glass unit, these window grilles make cleaning your windows a breeze inside and out. Because there is nothing on the interior or exterior of the glass, these window grilles look the same from inside or outside. Permanently installed when the insulated glass units for your window are manufactured, this type of window grill presents you with no obstructions on either side of the glass, making cleaning very simple.
Full Divided Lite Window Grilles. Providing the trues replication of a True Divided Lite Window, without the tradeoff in energy efficiency, this type of grill is essentially a combination of the Interior Window Grille and a Between-the-Glass Window Grille. Featuring a permanently applied low maintenance grille on the outside, a grille between the two sheets of glass of the insulated glass unit and a third grille on the inside, whichl can be either permanently applied or removable for cleaning.
Window Grille Thickness. Pay attention to the thickness of the bars that make up the window grille. Too thick bars will block your view and overwhelm a small window and very thin bars in a window grille will get lost on a large window. Be sure you can get your window grilles in a size appropriate for your window size.
Window Grille Color. Be sure to match your window grille color with your window frame color. You’re trying to simulate the look of classic true divided lite windows and those were usually painted the same color as the window frame. Beware of a window salesperson who only has grilles in white and tells you to paint your grilles to match the frames yourself. It will be difficult to find a paint color that will be an exact match of your window frames. And what will you do when the paint starts to fade and the frame doesn’t (or vice versa). If you have a wood-framed window, can you get grilles to match?
Contact Us for More Information
For more information on Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey’s design features and options, contact us at 1-888-826-2451 or fill out the short form on this page. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions or set up an appointment to meet with you in person to show you.
Up Next: Window Grilles, Screens and Maintenance
In our next post in this series, we’ll discuss additional Design considerations including Insect Screens, Maintenance features and Specialty Windows.