As the proud new owner of a Cape Cod-style house, you probably feel that it's an honor to preserve and enjoy the classic beauty of a piece of history. The architecture of your home is based on design lines of houses built in the country's Colonial era. The features you love now for their aesthetics had a very practical purposes back then. The pitched roof allowed the heavy snow of New England winters to slide right off. The central fireplace provided warmth. The simple, symmetrical rectangle shape and evenly spaced windows allowed ample natural light in during the day and gave the house a cozy, balanced visual appeal. Those windows, however, can be a big energy drain, especially if your Cape Cod hasn't been updated. Many of these homes were built between the 1920s and the 1960s. The energy efficiency of windows has vastly improved since that time. Take advantage of these improvements by having new windows installed in your Cape Cod-style house to save money on utilities and maintain your home's balanced beauty at the same time.
Windows to Match the Architectural Style
Windows in the earliest Cape Cod homes were made up of multiple small panes fit into a wood frame. This was largely due to glass-making limitations in early American settlements. The multipane look became a hallmark of the architectural style. When Cape Cods became popular again in the first half of the 20th century, the window style remained a notable characteristic. To maintain the design integrity of your new home, choose windows that have the historic multipane design even though they are made with modern materials and techniques. Look for the following features:
- Six-over-six design. The top sash and the bottom sash should each have six window panes. The panes are mounted in a grid framework. Less common, but equally acceptable, a six-over-one design works well if you're looking for the slightly more modern appearance of a single pane for the bottom sash.
- Double-hung style. Both the top and bottom sashes can be raised and lowered independently. Unlike the earliest Cape Cod homes with the windows firmly caulked in place, you'll be able to adjust the window openings for optimal fresh air ventilation. Modern double-hung windows can also have a tilt-out feature. The movable sashes can be tilted forward and back for an easy reach when you're cleaning inside and out.
- Wood or vinyl frames. Wood window frames have the appeal of authenticity. You can order them with a white exterior finish to match the traditional design look and a wood-stained finish for the interior to match your furnishings. Vinyl frames can be less expensive, depending on the style and manufacturer you select. And with modern finishes, their appearance is remarkably similar to the classic wooden frames.
Energy Efficiency and Savings
With modern heating and cooling, you won't have the same battle with the elements that the earliest Cape Cod home owners fought. But as the utility bills arrive each month, you can still feel the big challenge of keeping your home comfortable through all the seasons. When you upgrade the windows, you can make a major dent in those bills. By choosing Energy Star certified windows, you could see a significant reduction in your home operating costs. Combined with other Energy Star products throughout the house, the savings could be as much as the nationwide average of 12 percent.
Installation is the final step in refreshing your Cape Cod home's symmetry with carefully chosen windows. Your remodeling contractor may have to make adjustments to the window casings on an older home to ensure a tight fit. And you'll likely want to put fresh paint on the shutters that accent the windows' exterior appearance. The end result of the entire upgrade is lower energy costs and well-balanced beauty.
For further information about window replacement, visit a website like http://www.newmanroof.com.