The weather is now cooler and I can work in my home office with the windows open and take advantage of the nice breezes and lower humidity. I over look a small part of the back lawn and on in to the back 10 acres or so of woods. Recently a clutch of turkey have been make their morning and evening tour of the back yard foraging for food as have the doe and her four fawns. Just this morning as I was making some phone calls someone commented that they could hear the crows calling in the background. I'm very blessed to have this to listen to and watch rather than the noise of the city or suburbs. My wife is known to comment on our drive way as the "entrance to a beautiful State Park".
Soon enough the windows will need to be closed in order to retain the heat inside the office as the winter months approach. Although it's nice to have windows to look through, I really like the fresh air. A lot of folks building log cabin homes will design with lots of windows in order to "bring the out of doors, inside". I know exactly what they mean!
Windows not only allow us to see what is going on outside, they also protect us and our belonging from weather and the sun outside. When considering what type of windows you will use in your custom log home be sure to think not only how you will use them, but where you want to place them.
Most every window manufacturer has a broad range of offerings not only in the quality of the window but also in the operation of the window sashes. For instance, one of the most popular windows is a double-hung window where BOTH the sashes are operable up/down. Also popular are the casement windows that crank open and close and the sliding windows where the sashes slide back/forth. The awning windows also crank open/close but are hinged at the top of the window where the sash will swing open from the bottom of the sash.
In addition to the types of windows offered, the quality that is available also needs to be considered. Most log home manufacturers will offer just the basic window, usually a wood window unless you ask for a better window or are offered an "up-grade" If you don't mind painting/staining wood windows frequently this type windows is suitable for you. However, if you want to lower the amount of time and money you'll spend maintaining a wood window you probably should consider investing in a clad window. At Appalachian Log Structures our Premier and Pioneer packages come with a Premium window that is all wood constructed but the exterior is clad with aluminum.
The type of glass that is included with windows is also important. If you've ever had your carpet or an area rug fade along with your curtains it probably because you have just plain glass in your windows. The use of Low-E glass is more popular today than in years past. This Low-E glass virtually eliminates the harsh UV sun rays and protects from fading. The better window manufacturers also offer optional glazing to further reduce UV for those homes built in the south and are interested in reducing the heat transferred into the home through windows. For more northern climates, triple pane glass may be an option to consider as well - keeping the heat inside the home during those long cold winters.
If you are planning to live in a high wind area (coastal areas where hurricanes need to be considered or mountain tops) you should consider a high DP-Rated window. In most cases if you are building in an area like this the local building codes will require a higher DP-rated window anyway. These windows are built to withstand the higher wind loads against the glass and sash that will occur in the area you are building.
One last item to put on your window check list - how easy are they to clean? If you want to look through the windows, they'll need to be cleaned occasionally. Do the double-hung windows offer the "tilt-sash" action where the windows are easily tilted in to allow easy cleaning of the exterior glass? Nobody really wants to scale a ladder to clean windows anymore. In some cases you can ask for a special glazing to the exterior glass where rain water or water from your garden hose will wash these special windows clean. Its new technology but one that I would be happy to try out - especially on my fixed glass in the hard to reach gable ends!
As you can see there are lots of things to consider when choosing a window for your dream log home. Be sure to take the time to do some research and decide for yourself what is going to be best for you.
When you are ready to start designing your log home be sure to visit or give your Local Log Home Building Consultant a call. We're happy to share our insights and those of our more than 5000+ satisfied homeowners.