Once you’ve made the decision to replace the windows in your Long Island home, you’ll want to do some research; exploring aesthetics and various styles before you make a decision you’ll literally live with for many years to come. You’ll certainly want to consider “popular” window styles recommended by your friends and family who have upgraded their windows. However, while we all want an energy efficient replacement window, what makes one window appeal to you and your home may be very different than what appeals to someone else.
The right window for your home depends on when the home was built, the look and style you want to create and how important performance and durability are to you. If you take a driving tour through Long Island, you’ll notice that architectural styles vary widely throughout most communities on Long Island. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular styles you might see on your tour.
Ranch and Modified Ranch Homes
Although many people think of ranch style homes as single story dwellings with an elongated profile, here on Long Island, in addition to these “standard ranches” we also have some modified ranch styles. These include High-Ranch, Split-Level and Contemporary Ranch designs.
High Ranch and Split-level ranch homes are long and narrow, with several levels. Perfect for “hugging the hills”, these homes meld with the local terrain. There could be more than three levels, but generally, you’ll find at least one portion of the house at ground level with the main entrance and both a raised and a lowered section. Unlike two story homes with full-length staircases between upper and lower floors, split-level ranch sections are separated by only five or six stairs, similar to a half-story flight of stairs.
In a Split Level, the front entrance often opens into a large living area and it is common to see short stairways nest to each other on one wall – one stair leads to an upper level and the other leading to the “dropped” spaces. Large plate windows flanked with either casement or double-hung windows are common in the Split Level living room. You can dress up your windows with grilles or leave them bare for a larger viewing area.
You may even find a few contemporary ranch homes with hipped or gabled roofs and dormers as you tour Long Island neighborhoods.
Cape Code: Double Dormer
While the traditional Cape Cod has sharply sloped rooflines (probably as a response to shedding New England’s heavy snow), gabled dormers are more often seen as Cape Cod architectural elements. Grilles in the windows add a unifying element to this style. So whether you choose sliding windows or conventional crank-type casements, opt for window grilles for authenticity. A double casement dormer window design, where the two sides open from the center out, would typically have 6 to 8 panes on each side.
Typical Cape Cod homes built during the Colonial era that lasted from the early 1600’s until the mid 1830s, feature the same eight-panes-per-sash design on double-hung windows with fixed or operable shutters attached.
Colonial Homes and Historical Influence
Throughout the early years in America, settlers built homes influenced by their native lands. You’ll still see Dutch colonial houses with paired chimneys and batten doors scattered throughout New York City, the Hudson River Valley and Long Island. Like the salt box and Cape Cod styles, Colonial homes have historically had double-hung windows with many small, equally-sized, panes.
Another feature that typifies the classic Colonial styling is symmetry. The main entrance typically opens into a central foyer and all windows are aligned vertically and horizontally. One decorative option for dormers is installing arched windows or mulling a specialty window to casements. This allows you to add unique features without abandoning the original design. If your Colonial has a sliding patio door, grilles will add a more authentic touch to your colonial style home.
You could also add transom windows– horizontal rectangular fixed or operable windows with vertical grilles or wood trim to add decorative elements – or fanlights above the entrance door. Custom-built transoms come in a variety of shapes including oval, fan- or squared-shaped options. Glass types also vary from clear, unadorned panes to etched or patterned panels. Transom windows give you more control over lighting and ventilation, while adding intriguing decorative touches.
Modified Southern Styles
Although you won’t find an abundance of plantation style homes on Long Island, you can see some historical connections to old southern-style houses. Stacked porches and ample verandas with lots of room for relaxing with a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day typify southern-style homes.
You’ll also notice this nostalgic style has tall windows with a lower sill and high head to balance the grand proportions. The design reflects a time when cross-ventilation was perhaps the only way to manage blistering summer heat.
Casement windows and double-hung windows are both popular in southern-style homes. Adding shutters to front facing windows and dormers continues the theme. Another stylistic and functional element is installing a transom detail above the windows or doors for added ventilation or decorative enhancement.
Although many people think of transom windows in a traditional sense – horizontal rectangular shaped fixed or operable windows with vertical grilles or wood trim to add decorative elements – these windows come in a variety of shapes including fans, squares, and even round or oval. Glass types also vary from clear, unadorned panes to etched or patterned panels. Transom windows give you more control over lighting and ventilation as well as intriguing decorative touches.
Clean, Crisp Contemporary
Contemporary styles have an eclectic assortment of interior textures, shapes and colors – and you’ll often find a diverse array of exterior materials as well. With all the diversity in design, simplicity is still the key feature of this home style. This architectural style boasts unusual angles and varied rooflines, pronounced windows and minimal embellishments.
Replacement windows that would fit well in this type home include plate glass or fixed windows with complimentary crank-out casements or awning designs. The asymmetrical nature of contemporary homes means you have flexibility to choose your window style – as long as you focus on simplicity.
Although “going green” is more of a lifestyle than an architectural style, green home designs have been around for more than 40 years. Different environmental goals demand different glazing selection. Talk to your replacement window consultant about the best options for your home’s lot orientation and exterior landscaping. Discussing glass types and styles in-depth gives you are clearer understanding of what should work best in your home for the long haul. Updating your home with energy-efficient replacement windows like Renewal by Andersen ENERGY STAR® certified windows and doors is a great start toward transforming your home into a green home.
Meeting with Your Renewal by Andersen of Long Island Replacement Window Designer
When designing replacement windows for your Long Island home, you’ll naturally want to look beyond the appearance to focus on glass options because your choices affect how well your windows block the heat in our sweltering summers and retain it in during icy winters. High-performance glass choices banish frigid air from coming in during the winter and allow an abundance of natural light to fill your interior spaces, too.
To help you make wise purchasing decisions, we’ll educate you about comparing U-value ratings that measures the amount of heat that “passes through” your window unit and R-values that measure resistance. If you want to learn more about Renewal by Andersen of Long Island replacement window insulation features, read our post called Check the U-Value Before Buying Long Island Replacement Windows.
Need More Help Choosing the Right Replacement Windows for Your Long Island Home?
We know that the style and aesthetics of their replacement windows are as important to most Long Island homeowners as their energy efficiency. If you want more information about how to choose the right windows for your home, just give us a call at 1-877-313-9052. You can also reach us by filling in the box on this page. When we talk to you, we’ll answer all your questions about style, energy-efficiency and performance of replacement windows.