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Picture Windows

Windows need to offer the right balance between light and ventilation, and no windows offer more light than picture windows. The downside is that they're fixed, so you can't open them. For this reason, many are often installed in combination with opening windows flanking them on each side.

What's more, there are different types of picture windows. The traditional type, using one large pane of glass, is becoming less popular because it offers less insulation than other types--and because they're fragile. On the other hand, these windows offer terrific views, without structural interference.

Three Glass Choices

Before making any important decision about purchasing your picture windows, you'll want to consider the various glass options:

  1. Double-pane and triple-pane windows are better insulators than single-panes, and are also more expensive.
  2. The insulating quality of a window is measured in terms of its U-Value. A low number for this measurement indicates high insulation and energy absorbtion; therefore, less expense for cooling and heating. A double-pane window with good insulating properties typically has a U-Value of about .30. These windows are relatively expensive compared to other options, but in the long run the expense can be more than offset by savings on your energy bills.
  3. To make things more complicated, there are different qualities of glass. Impact-resistant glass is recommended, but is typically pricier than ordinary glass.

Price Range for Windows

With all the variables outlined above, the price of this type of window can vary enormously. Picture windows are sold in panes, and each pane of a replacement window can cost anywhere between $150 and $500, depending on size and thickness.

Best Applications

If your home is surrounded by lovely landscape, you'll want to take advantage of the view. So consider a big, beautiful picture window in your dining area, family room, or master bedroom.