Making Windows Work for You

Windows are the connection between the interior and exterior of every home. I figure I spend about 30% of my time on a project just focusing on windows and likewise it’s about 30% of the construction budget. Windows are the eyes of the soul of your home.


And we all understand how windows work… you open them, you close them and that’s it… right? But actually, each window functions differently between double-hung, casement, awning, or glider each functioning for their specific design. For example, we always put casement windows over the kitchen sink so that it’s easy to open. If we need for the casements to look like a double-hung window, we can add a check rail or a thicker rail in the middle.

Moving beyond the window itself, the application of screens should be considered before the final window installation. In this project, there is an electric screen that is already installed on this large, awning window. It’s a great way to have the window open and yet not always have the screen obstructing the view. These come down from a soffit above the window and are motorized and controlled at the wall to come down a track so that the window screen is sealed to keep bugs out.

Window Treatments are also installing a sheer for solar mediation and blackout curtains for guests and tv watching. The challenge: This is post-construction and there is not a lot of room to work with for the homeowners’ requirements. We ordered Ripple-Fold Shades from the Shade Store through Kravet at the Boston Design Center. But… the track was extremely ugly and the stack of fabric covered the window. So, back to the drawing board with three options:

  1. Install shades on a rod above on the soffit (this could not be motorized).
  2. Rework all the trim in the room to cover the ugly hardware (3 days of labor = very expensive for little return)
  3. Build a cornice out of wood above to cover the track and keep it blackout then edit the curtains so that they don’t cover the windows so much.
  4. Start all over.

The resolution:

We settled our order using The Shade Store with a full refund and started over with our own resources and workrooms. While the time spent on this was extraordinary, the end result is perfection. The solar sheers close at the press of a button with the black-out shades close over the sheers to an almost flat panel and do not block the windows!

The end result is spectacular and completely custom. Make your windows work for you as you welcome the outside into your home.


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