Five new designs that will give you window envy

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Large window areas let a lot of light into the house, but it also means you’ll need better protection from the sun, as well as better insulation. Photos: dpa

A window is no longer just a window – they aren’t just see-through squares these days. If you’re picking designs for a new home, you can choose between models that turn, tilt or slide, and between integral, composite and box windows.

When it comes to materials, too, the sky’s the limit – with choices spanning wood, metal, plastic and countless combinations. Here’s an overview of what people can get in new window designs.

1. Bigger than ever

“What’s popular right now are windows that stretch to the floor, and big panorama windows, ” says Juergen Benitz-Wildenburg from Germany’s Institute for Window Technology.

That does not only apply to the ground floor but upper storeys too, as these windows allow lots of daylight in and provide views of the garden. However, “such windows are hard to fit and need effective sun protection, ” he says.Floor-to-ceiling windows are a popular choice in many new upscale apartment blocks.Floor-to-ceiling windows are a popular choice in many new upscale apartment blocks.

2. Smaller frames

“Overall, there’s a real trend towards much smaller, finer window frames, ” according to Frank Lange, who runs a window and facade trade association in Germany. As many owners seek elegance in their building designs, increasingly, they’re having the window’s frame hidden in the facade’s structures so bulky frames can’t even be seen.

3. Easier to use

There’s also high demand for windows with handles that are easy to operate, or with automatic open and closing systems.

“That’s an important factor particularly for windows that are large and heavy, ” says Benitz-Wildenburg.That also applies to sun shade systems which are essential for panorama windows in particular as otherwise, rooms can overheat quickly on hot days.

“People use electrically-operated exterior blinds or timed systems to regulate the temperature at home even when they’re away.”Wide sliding windows make access to the balcony easy.Wide sliding windows make access to the balcony easy.

4. Harder to break open

Windows and French doors play an important role in how safe people feel and nowadays many builders are providing burglar-proof windows and having them fitted professionally. The pane needs to be fixed properly into the sash, and high-quality fittings and safety locking devices are also key.

At home, windows and French doors with RC2 resistance class are recommended to reduce weak points in the structure.

5. Energy-efficient

Focus is also growing on the environment and climate, and modern windows will help you save energy with better insulation.

“Sunlight means heat gain and that solar input reduces your need for other sources of heat in winter, ” says Lange, pointing to windows becoming the main source of warmth, not where you lose it. – dpa

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