Choosing the right windows for Craftsman type homes requires you to consider a few different factors carefully. The shape, style, and material used to make your windows are all crucial in creating a strong visual impression. At Paramount Siding and Windows, we can help you choose the right windows to complement any style of home.
While the housing market is saturated with neatly designed developments of similarly-styled homes, many Americans still prefer older, more traditional Craftsman homes. Unique houses with handcrafted details and understated architecture will always be a favorite. Craftsman type homes embrace the use of wood with stone or brick accents to create solid and aesthetically pleasing houses.
What Material Should I Use?
Traditionally speaking, Craftsman type homes use solid wood windows. The Craftsman style incorporates natural materials and earthy tones. You will often find exposed rafters and beams in these kinds of homes. Using all wood windows ensures a consistent look within the home, and creates a warm atmosphere. Wood windows can be expensive, but with the right maintenance they will last the longest of any window material and prove well worth the investment.
Wood windows also offer the advantage of being easily personalized. Depending on your style and budget, you can request your wood windows to be made with decorative detailing and hand carved ornamentation. This gives your home the one-of-a-kind appearance that is especially valued in Craftsman homes.
It is also possible to use vinyl or fiberglass windows in your Craftsman style home, once you ensure the shape and style match the existing architecture. This material is energy efficient, low maintenance, and is a great option for homeowners on a budget. Remember that the Craftsman style sticks to natural colors and often incorporates a wide trim around the window frame. This helps balance out the stocky architecture of wide pillars and overhanging roofs.
Does Shape Matter?
The shape of your windows is crucial in accenting the traditional, Craftsman style. Vertical rectangular windows are the most common shape featured in Craftsman type homes. However, smaller square windows are often used in upper story rooms. The low-pitched gabled roof of a Craftsman style house lends itself well to wide dormer windows. Dormer windows and others are sometimes accentuated with an eyebrow window. This is a window with a flat bottom and rounded top forming an arch.
The size of your windows can depend on the climate you live in and the amount of natural light you want to allow to enter your home. Often, Craftsman homes feature large porches, sometimes wrapping all the way around the house. The porch combined with overhanging roofs means that less light can naturally enter the ground floor rooms through the windows. For this reason, homeowners often try to maximize the size of their windows on the ground level to counteract the reduction in natural light.
Which Style of Windows Adhere to the Craftsman Type Home?
There is some degree of flexibility in style when recreating the Craftsman look in your home. Most historic homes use traditional double hung windows. This style of window incorporates two moveable sashes, whereas a single hung window has a fixed top sash and only the bottom sash can be slid upwards to open the window. Double sash windows give a classic look and are characteristic of the Craftsman style. In addition to creating the right aesthetic, double hung windows are very practical. Both sashes are moveable, meaning they are easy to clean and give excellent ventilation when required.
To adhere completely to the right windows for Craftsman type homes, you should choose double hung windows with muntins separating multiple panes in the upper sash. Usually, the top sash will have four to six individual window panes divided by wood or metal muntins. The way to describe this window configuration would be 4-over-1 or 6-over-1. The first number indicates the number of individual panes in the upper sash and the second number indicates the number of panes in the lower sash. Typically, in Craftsman style homes, the lower sash has just one unbroken pane, offering a clear view from eye level.
Some homeowners may prefer a casement window, hinged at the side in order to fully swing open. These can be useful for hard to reach locations and for providing maximum ventilation. If casement windows are chosen, it is best to keep in line with the Craftsman style by opting for multipaned windows divided by muntins on the top half of the window. This gives the illusion of a classic double hung window with Craftsman style finishing. Read more about the history and development of different window styles on the Craftsman blog.
Transom windows are frequently incorporated into Craftsman type homes. The transom window is a thin, horizontal rectangular window found over another window or a door. These usually do not open and are purely decorative. You can find transom windows as one solid pane or divided into sections by muntins.
Stained glass or beveling may be used as additional ornamentation on a transom window. Transom windows are not just featured on the exteriors of Craftsman homes. They can also be installed over interior doors throughout the house to create a uniform design look.
What Else Do I Need to Create a Craftsman Type Home?
Fortunately, there is plenty of help available for homeowners interested in creating an aesthetic style with their windows. It is important, however, not to rely entirely on the windows to carry the full burden of the Craftsman look. For best results, you need to integrate the architecture of your home with your choice of doors, windows, and siding in addition to the final decorative touches. The Craftsman type home relies heavily on the presence of a few key features.
Square external pillars, wraparound porches and exposed wooden beams and supports are typical of Craftsman type homes. Characteristic wooden clapboard siding in natural earthy tones accented by stone or brick detailing are just as important as the window style when designing your ideal Craftsman style home. These homes are recognized for their artistic elegance and hand-crafted charm, so once you have the basic architecture covered, don’t forget to pay attention to the finer details.
Designing and building your home to a distinct style takes time, effort and probably the assistance of a professional architect. The results are well worth it, however! If you need help finding the right windows for Craftsman type homes, do not hesitate to contact Paramount Siding and Windows. We offer a wide range of made-to-order windows with the option of unique finishes and detailing.