Today, in the era of technological revolution, we are experiencing a wave of industrial nostalgia. The warehouses and factories in the early 20th century were built largely with steel framed walls of windows.
The resulting trend incorporates industrial style elements into the home. No longer just for downtown lofts and converted warehouses, this look has spread to high-end home new construction and can work just as well in window replacement projects on traditional homes.
Simplicity and straight lines are also guiding window trends, favoring squares and rectangles over curved window shapes. Current designs are finding ways to bring the outdoors inside. Large sliding glass patio doors, walls made of windows, and oversized picture windows are a few ways to blend indoor and outdoor spaces and maximize your view.
Last but not least, energy efficiency has become such a huge trend that many homeowners expect new windows to be insulated and have energy certifications such as Energy Star.
Black on Black
The most up-to-date window design is black on black frames. Paired with a white interior and exterior, this look works for modern farmhouse style, straight up modern minimalist, and more traditional design, such as Cape Cod, Tudor, or Colonial.
Clean and bold, black on black inside a white background truly stands out and draws the eye to your view. The black framed look also works with a range of colors when black and white is too stark.
What is so great about steel window frames?
- Superior strength means the frame can be thin while still safely holding the glass
- Sleek, elegant sightlines, due to the minimal framework
- Versatile with many styles of architecture
- Durable- does not expand and contract with the weather, giving it a higher durability than wood frames
- Low maintenance- galvanized and powder-coated to prevent corrosion
So we see that steel window frames carry definite advantages, yet they aren’t right for every project. A few cons are:
- Steel is heavy
- Requires extra coating and treatment or it can corrode in climates near saltwater
- Expensive, often prohibitively so
Alternatives to Steel
How to get the look of black on black for less:
You can get close to the look of steel with an aluminum framed window. Aluminum is a very strong material and boasts a resulting thinner frame as well. Fleetwood Windows and Doors makes a nice aluminum window with thermal breaks to stop heat transfer.
An aluminum clad exterior and wood finished interior is another option. Many of our window brand’s energy efficient vinyl windows are available in custom painted black, such as the Artisan Series from Amsco.
Which design is right for my home?
Contemporary window replacement offers clean lines, energy efficiency, and more glass surface. Some questions to consider when choosing your replacement windows and doors are:
1) Are there any style requirements from your HOA, or is your home in a historical district? Historical neighborhoods may have restrictions about what and how much you can change on a historical home.
2) What are the existing colors of the interior and exterior of your house? Is the siding color of your home very dark brown, for example? If so, black window frames will not stand out and make a crisp statement.
3) Are you replacing all of the windows or just a few of them? If replacing only a few, make sure the look matches up on each floor and side of the house. With or without grids? Also known as a grille or muntin, grids are strips of material that separate glass surface into smaller rectangles, or lites. They can be manufactured to go between the panes of glass to achieve the look of a divided lite window or actually split the panes of glass into smaller sections.
4) How much natural light do you want coming in? If you want lots of light and big views, large panes or a wall of glass doors could be your answer.
For more help figuring it all out and talking through design options, give a call to the Houston Window Experts today to set up a free consultation.