Sharing our window and door selections in our house!
When you’re building, a huge chunk of your house budget will go to windows and doors. There’s so much to consider when making these selections! I’m going to be honest, I go by “looks” when making house selections and Nick goes by quality, so we make a great team when it comes to picking stuff out for the house! We’re so glad we went with Marvin for our windows and exterior doors (excluding the front door and garage entry door). Marvin is a family-owned business and has been around since 1912. They offer a wide variety of products and customizations with exceptional quality! We ordered all of our Marvin products locally from Moehl Millwork.
Consider these items when selecting your windows and doors:
At Marvin, they have options of wood, extruded aluminum, High-Density Fiberglass, and Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass for window and door materials. Our first choice was wood, but it wasn’t in our budget. Therefore, we went with the Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass which is part of the Marvin Elevate® collection. We get the best of both worlds having a wooden interior and fiberglass-clad exterior!
In our previous two houses, we had casement windows, so we knew we were going to go with the Marvin Elevate® Casement windows. When you live out in the country and have those country views, you want a clearer view of the outdoors. Therefore, we prefer casement windows over single or double-hung windows because the sash is hinged on the side with no center rail. Also, when it’s nice outside, you can easily crank open the windows fully letting the nice breeze in.
When we went to Moehl Millwork to finalize our window selections, we went through all the windows in our house and decided if we should have certain windows operable or un-operable (picture windows). If the selected window was operable, then we had to decide which direction it would open. Some areas in our house have picture windows meaning it’s not designed to open, and those are in the kitchen sink area, foyer, four season’s bench, breakfast nook, and pantry.
When there’s a row of windows like in my office, dining room, and breezeway, we selected some of those windows as un-operable. For example, in my office which is the row of three windows to the left of the front door, only two of those can open. The reason why we didn’t do all of those windows as operable is that it’s cheaper to have it as a picture window since it doesn’t contain all the moving parts like a casement window.
Pool House Windows
As mentioned before on the blog, we originally planned for a one-stall garage in the basement to store stuff, but then decided to convert that area to a pool house. If you look at the original rendering of the house below, you can see that the bottom right corner of the house is just siding. We had to update the floor plan to add windows along the back wall to bring in natural light and add a door so people can access the room from the outside.
I wanted the pool house windows to open up all the way similar to this image below. I love the indoor/outdoor feel and how you can easily hand something over to the person inside or outside. We considered the Marvin Signature® Ultimate Bi-Fold Door made to fit this opening. As much as I loved the look of this, it was more than what we wanted to spend, so we went with the Marvin Signature® Ultimate Glider window instead. With this type of window, the sash can be removed and have that area completely open. You can see how this works in this video.
For the living room, I originally wanted to do french doors, but when we saw the Marvin Signature® Ultimate Multi-Slide Door at Moehl Millwork, we instantly fell in love! I like how the multi-sliding doors give it that indoor-outdoor living feel when you slide the doors open and pull a retractable screen across. That screen is concealed and out of view when it’s not in use. If you live in Iowa, having a screen is necessary with the mosquitos and bugs we have here!
Here’s the mood board I created when we were in the building process. You can see that I was going for a classic, timeless, and coastal exterior house design. I’ve always been a fan of windows and doors that have multiple, individual panes of glass (divided lites/grilles). In this link, you can see more of the different divided lite styles Marvin offers. We went with grilles between the glass because it’s low maintenance and easy to clean. For a more modern look maybe you prefer to have no grilles and have all glass. The look of the grilles give it that traditional look.
Most importantly, it’s a great idea to make a collage or mood board! With all the inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest, you might get influenced to steer away from your “true” style. Don’t let that happen! When I needed to pick out items for the new house, I always looked back at my mood boards. Doing this always helped me make my selections.
I joke that I’m boring because I always pick white, but I definitely picked white for my exterior and interior windows. 😉 Again, I have that classic coastal style, so white just made sense! I love the look of black windows in other people’s homes, but I never envisioned it for my own house. Some people ask me if black windows are trendy, and I do think it’s trendy but it’s a good trendy! In my opinion, black windows will never go out of style! Black and white finishes aren’t your only options at Marvin. They can do a variety of colors and can even do a custom color matching. For ours we went with Stone White for our windows and doors.
If you go with a certain finish on the exterior, but want a different finish on the interior window/door, below here are the different colors and stains you can choose from depending on the type of window you get.
Selecting windows and doors can be stressful (and expensive), and I hope this blog post helps you make your selections! The first thing I did was go on Pinterest and Instagram and saved exterior house images that caught my eye. Eventually, you’ll figure out what color, style, and look you gravitate towards. After that, I grabbed all my favorite images and created a mood board. Lastly, I talked to my husband to get his opinion of material and window/door functions we should go with.
Keep in mind when building and designing your house, the direction the house is facing. Will you have a lot of natural light coming in? If the back of your house is facing south, then you’re going to have a lot of natural light coming in from that direction. If the front of your house is facing north then you won’t have as much light coming in. It’s a good idea to place your windows in the right area so that you have as much light coming in. The last thing you want is a room that’s dark.
For example, while we were in the middle of building, we ended up doing a change order in my daughter’s bathroom. Originally, she wasn’t supposed to have a window in her bathroom. That room would have been dark, so during the framing phase, we decided to add a window there to bring light to that room. I’m so glad we did that!
Here are some images of our house!
Good luck with your window/door selections! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!