Along with their other accomplishments, the ancient Romans deserve credit for giving us the world’s first glass windows.
These were thick panes of glassy pebbles that allowed light to get in but probably weren’t very transparent. Before the Romans came along – and after their empire collapsed –people made windows from paper, wood, cloth and even animal skins soaked in oil.
Windows have come a long way, and have evolved in ways window-makers of the past may not have anticipated. Let’s take a look at some of the types of windows for Philadelphia and Allentown area customers, as well as some of the more common materials those windows are made from.
The classic window material, wood remains popular because it’s versatile. Hardwood windows cost more, but are also more durable, needing only a coat of oil as protection. (You can choose to paint hardwoods to create a natural finish.) Softwood windows need a coat of paint or a natural wood finish for protection, as well as regular maintenance.
In general, Wood frames look good and are energy efficient, but require a lot of upkeep (sanding, painting, staining, etc.) Wood can also warp and rot, which means you’ll need to replace the windows more often.
This material mixes the elegant appearance of a wooden window with the maintenance freedom of vinyl and the strength of metal. Made from a proprietary blend of specialty polymer and acrylic resins, these windows are durable, weather and fade resistant and energy efficient, while offering the warmth associated with classic wood.
Typically the least expensive type of windows, vinyl offers excellent heat and sound insulation and requires very little maintenance, but lack the strength of wood or aluminum frames. They often replace older windows, and come in white as well as other finishes. Vinyl window frames usually can’t be painted.
True fiberglass windows, can give you the best of all worlds in terms of strength, maintenance and performance. Be sure to differentiate between fiberglass and Fibrex, which is vinyl disguised as fiberglass.
Types of Windows
Casement windows are a popular choice for homeowners because they provide a clear open view to the outdoors. These windows open and close with the turn of a handle, making them a good choice for over a sink or counter.
Available in wood, vinyl, fiberglass and CompositWood, these windows open to the left or right, and are typically designed to be taller than they are wide, with the entire sash opening to give top-to-bottom ventilation. They are the most energy-efficient and ventilating windows in our collection.
Another popular choice among homeowners, double hung windows are designed so that both the top and bottom sashes tilt open, making the outer glass accessible and easy to clean. These windows come in half-screen and full-screen varieties, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air while also keeping insects from getting in to your home. They are easy to operate, easy to clean, and energy efficient, available in wood, fiberglass, CompositWood and vinyl.
These windows aren’t designed to open, but do allow maximum light into a room. They are a great way to show off a large fixed window opening, but they can also be combined with other window types to accent an opening or create a dramatic window wall. These picture windows also come in non-rectangular shapes that can add another level of design to your home. Picture windows are available in fiberglass, wood and vinyl.
Available in wood, vinyl and fiberglass, bay windows combine picture, casement and double hung windows and project outward from the home, adding space, volume and light to a room. They are designed to be energy efficient, and give you an array of performance and decorative options.
Bow windows, like bay windows, combine picture, casement and double hung windows and project outward from the home, and also come in fiberglass, vinyl and wood. Where bay windows are typically a set of three windows, bow windows are usually four or five. They are structured to be curved, creating a rounded appearance outside the house.
When they want windows Philadelphia and Allentown area customers have been coming to Tom Adams Windows and Carpets for over 60 years. Windows have changed a lot over the years, but our commitment to quality has never wavered.