Why Window Material Finishes Makes all the Difference in the World

Have you ever wondered how window material finishes can make all the difference in the world on a house? Or perhaps you haven’t noticed the windows specifically but you know that you like a house when you see it all put together. It’s exactly all those material selection details put together that create a beautiful home that you notice when walking by as stunning.

In my business, we spend a LONG time determining these details so that they gracefully work together for balance and intrigue. We start during the design phase in CAD (computer aided design) with changing out materials in perspective. Then we move to shopping and holding up the samples compared and contrasted to each other. Lastly, when on the jobsite it is confirmed during installation. There might still be time to change things out but it’s best to know the direction that you are headed in prior to installation.

Windows are a key element to the design. So key, that you will spend about 30% of your design and construction budget on windows. Therefore, it’s important to get it right!

Here are things to consider:

  • If it is a renovation, what are the windows existing and do you want to match those existing windows or make a change.
  • If this is new construction, what is your preference? The best way to determine this is by walking or driving by home and making note of what you like. Searching the web is also a key way to be able to nail down your preferences.

Note: Specifically what I am referring to here is the combination of hues – light siding with light windows or dark siding with dark windows or light siding with dark windows or dark siding with light siding. There are really just those choices that you need to settle on.

Different window manufacturers will offer different options for finishes so it’s important to select your manufacturer before you fall in love with a finish that might not be offered by your manufacturer or the specific line within the manufacturer.

Your options will include:

EXTERIOR: casing color, mullions or lites (how would you like this installed?) and how those details relate to the trim color.

INTERIOR: casing color (often this is a choice between white or natural wood but Marvin Windows offers many more options including custom), mullions or lites (this will correlate with the exterior), hardware color / finish and finally trim color (typically, this matches the casing color).

This project featured here is an addition / renovation project and the homeowners replaced the original windows about 7 years ago on the small cape with white casing and trim during phase 1 of the project. But during phase 2 they decided that they actually like the black casing and trim with dark siding. This is a great example of showing how you can blend old with new and make the switch in color on the back of the house.

It’s also important to note the relationship of the siding to the window trim and casing. Here you are seeing light with light and dark with dark. It balances and works beautifully. Before the final selection of siding was made they explored the different manufacturers options to make sure they could get the look that they wanted. The final decision was made to go with Lepage windows.

If you are just starting a project and want to work with a designer who pays attention to these kinds of details, I’m your girl!


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