Window for the New Year

January 4, 2017

Now that the New Year is upon us and your starting to take down the Christmas decorations, do you find yourself contemplating whether or not you want to risk your life again next year to hang Christmas decorations on the roof?


Sure, you could pay $200+ and call that professional Christmas light installer that left you a flyer in your front door but then blew away so you end up chasing it down the street hoping no one sees you doing this. OR you could play it smart and plan your Christmas decorations ahead within your comfort level.


My husband is slightly scared of heights-when I say slightly…. I mean he will not get on a ladder if it’s extended enough where it has to lean against the house (in fairness he WILL go on the ladder if it is in normal ladder position folded in half with both ends on the ground). I on the other hand have no problem with heights or being on a ladder but being a smidge over 5’ tall, my height and lack of wingspan does not make me a very good Christmas light installer.  For the first two years of owning our house, we have been fortunate enough to have had our neighbor volunteer to jump up on that ladder risking his life to hang our Christmas lights and make my light dreams come true. However, this year…he is a new Dad to a beautiful baby girl, and I just could not ask him to risk his life for our silly Christmas lights.


Having a design mind and constantly thinking of the alternative options when the first plan proves unsuccessful, I had the seemingly great idea to replicate what my husband and I are accustom to back east for Christmas decorations; wreaths and candles in the window. The thought was that there was no ladder needed for the candles that we would put on the inside resting on the window sill and we would only put wreaths in the windows which we could safely get to. Great idea, right? Wrong! As I was quickly reminded, we did not choose to upgrade our windows when building our house, which means we have single hung windows that only open half way from the bottom and the top half of the window is inoperable/fixed. Here's a photo taken of the inspiration at my family's house in Virginia which shows the wreaths in the window-these windows are double-hung (where both the top and bottom halves are operable):





I wanted to use this opportunity to talk about window options so that when the time comes for you to remodel your home or if you are getting ready to embark on a new construction build-you will have the knowledge to make the best window choices for your family, lifestyle, and maybe even considering your Christmas decorations! Here are some of the most common window types:


Single Hung Windows: For new construction, the single hung windows are typically included as your “standard” due to the low cost. Single hung windows come in the same sizes as double hung windows, but the main difference is that only the bottom half of the window is functional where you can move it up and down vertically. Since the top half of the window is fixed/in-operable it makes cleaning extremely difficult and does not allow for the same type of ventilation as do the double hung windows. Some may argue that a benefit of the single hung windows is that since there is only one lock, it could be perceived as more secure + more air tight.


Double Hung Windows: Research shows that double hung windows will be anywhere from 10%-20% more than the standard single hung windows. On a double hung window, you are able to open both the bottom half and top half, which will provide ideal ventilation throughout your home.


Slider Windows: Slider or “Sliding” windows open horizontally. These types of windows are great in walk-out basements or if vertical space is an issue. Just like the single and double hung windows, slider windows also come in all sizes and colors. A distinct benefit of these windows is the ease of use. Ergonomically, these windows make a lot of sense. They are also considered to be energy efficient because they are able to get a secure air-tight close and are commonly available in Low-E glass.


Picture Windows: Picture windows also called “Fixed” windows are not operable. They are typically used in areas where one could not stand to open and close but where light is needed, like a staircase. Picture windows can work as an advantage to warming the house in the winter months by allowing maximum natural light in. However, if not covered properly in the summer months, these windows will make it hard for you to regulate your air conditioning bill!


Casement Windows: Casement windows provide an easy and large opening for egress. Unlike the single hung, double hung, or slider windows; casement windows are designed to open out. Besides from the fixed windows, the casement windows are the second most efficient for air seal. Since these windows open out; having a storm window or air-conditioned unit is not an option.


As I mentioned-I was determined to find a solution for installing Christmas wreaths in my single hung windows. Here’s a photo of the final product!


Since I had the single hung windows where I could not use a wreath hanger in the window; I had to get creative and did a DIY of adding no sew curtain grommets to a ribbon creating my own wreath hanger, then I hung it above the window after placing a nail in the wood trimmed window. Brick surrounds my first floor windows, so I took an Allen wrench/hex key and placed it in the hole above the window, which acted as a nail for me to hang my wreath with the grommet hole ribbon.  Fun fact-this hole is intentional; masons leave this hole to allow for drainage and air circulation, the hole is called a weep hole.





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