It’s summer! Are you dreaming about building a summertime retreat or planning a renovation of your current “home away from home”? A summer hideaway, nestled on the lakefront or near the ocean’s shore, is the ultimate vacation destination — a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and become one with nature.
When planning a cottage, it is important to consider the placement of the windows and doors, as well as their design. You want your summer home to blend in with your surroundings and take advantage of natural light both for ambience and energy efficiency. Below we have compiled some fundamental ideas and principles of window design to help you plan your vacation retreat.
Thinking about building orientation is important for boosting energy efficiency. Ideally, your cottage should be angled east/west* with its longest side facing south. Locating your most frequently used rooms and largest windows on the southern side will maximize the available light and heat energy from the sun, helping to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Using landscaping or an overhang that provides shade will help keep your interior cool during the heat of the day.
Consider the performance needs of your cottage windows. Likely, your vacation home is located in an area where it is exposed to harsh weather conditions. High quality, energy-efficient vinyl windows with high performance glazing are made to keep your cottage (or home) cool during the day and warm at night.
Your windows need to be strong and durable — able to withstand elements such as wind, rain, and heat. Since it will be vacant for much of the year, you need your doors and windows to keep out would-be intruders. Look for high performance window systems that are steel-reinforced with multi-point locking hardware.
Choosing a vinyl window system makes sense for your cottage. Not only are high quality vinyl windows and doors extremely energy efficient, they are low maintenance as well. Vinyl windows never need painting and require only basic maintenance and a little soap and water to keep them operating at peak performance and looking their best.
Design and Style Choice
The style of the windows that you choose is virtually unlimited, but following some basic guidelines may make the choice a little easier. Opting for windows that fit the style and look of your cottage both inside and out is important for a unified look.
For an open feel, choose large windows and/or doors for your living space. French patio door/window combinations work well to provide an open, airy atmosphere, lovely views and maximum daylight.
In your bedrooms and bathrooms, you may want to incorporate textured glass on smaller fixed or awning windows to allow for privacy while still admitting in natural light.
For maximum ventilation, ease of cleaning and quick, safe egress — tilt and turn windows make a great choice for any room.
Call a Professional
Designing a new vacation home or planning a renovation is exciting. You know what you want. Let us help you make your ideas come to life. Come visit our showroom and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales consultants. We can provide you with information on all your options from choosing the best window system, to picking the right style of window and door for every room in your unique cottage, to professional installation and final adjustments.
*in North America