What You Need to Know About Window Walls
Window walls are a modern, trendy new approach to designing homes in the 21st century. It seemed like in the past, there was always a quest to have as big of windows as possible for your home yet within certain restrictions.
Window walls have thrown that all out the door. They are breaking some of the home design rules and making no apologies.
If you are considering a new home or remodeling an existing one to make it more contemporary, here is what you need to know about window walls.
About Window Walls
Window walls sound a lot like the title. They are essentially an entire wall transformed into a collage of windows. Of course, there are a lot of advantages to having a window wall including vastly improved natural light and a closer connection to nature.
Yet seemingly placing so much glass in your home is going to hijack the cost of the home. Of course, there is also the maintenance of keeping the glass clean and reaching higher places in the room that may require a long ladder.
Window walls are produced by placing a glazing between the concrete slabs of the building. The slabs are utilized for structural support. Window walls are installed with a break between the glass, as well as slab covers to conceal the concrete.
Though what was once reserved as a commercial-only project (or for the uber wealthy), has become much more common in the general residential market. Costs have been slightly reduced for installation as new technology has emerged. In addition, builders have found a way to install the window wall from the inside of the building which is safer, more efficient, and cost effective.
Window Walls vs Individual Window Units
Windows are used in two different ways for residential construction. In the past, 99 percent of homeowners have become used to living in a place with individual window units. Let’s examine the difference:
- Individual Window Units: The name says it all. Individual units can take up varying dimensions of the wall yet are just that, only a portion of the wall. These window units are also referred to as “punched openings” by architects. They are commonly sold in home improvement stores and are featured in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Window Walls: Larger openings that often go from floor to ceiling. The wall ultimately becomes the primary (or only) feature of the entire wall. They can also represent a series of individual window units stacked together. Since there is so much more glaze used to construct a window wall they are generally far more expensive.
The beauty of window walls is the diverse creativity in the design. There’s an endless list of options in the design process. For example, you can make the window unit a floor-to-ceiling single unit. Alternatively, you can make the window wall with a combination of fixed windows, operable windows, and/or glass doors.
Window walls are sometimes cut in the factory for a custom design. Also, they can get purchased in a series of individual window units, then molded together at the job site. It all depends on the size of the window wall and the configuration of the room.
Benefits of Window Walls
You may ask yourself, “Are there really any benefits to window walls?” At face value, they look like a way to show off your wealth and make your house look flashier than the rest of the neighborhood. However, window walls actually have a variety of practical benefits:
Create the Feeling of a Larger Living Space
Large windows help make any room feel bigger and not nearly as confined or trapped. So imagine what an entire wall of windows would do for the living quarters? Window walls make rooms feel bigger which is clearly a great advantage if you are looking to sell the property.
Improved Natural Light
There is a big push in recent years to make homes more sustainable and eco-friendly. Natural light is a great ally to the movement as it reduces the need for electricity and can even help with energy costs. There are also several proven health benefits to incorporating more natural light into your home. People that live or work in buildings near natural light report being happier and more satisfied.
Connection to the Outdoors
There is little doubt that a home facing the beach would really benefit from a window wall. The same is true of a house in the mountains facing a gorgeous range. Regardless of your surroundings, you could likely benefit from drawing a closer connection to nature. Window walls are the best way to reduce the bridge between your interior walls and the outdoors.
Versatility in Design
There are nearly endless options for designing a window wall. As previously mentioned, you can custom-make an entire window wall or bridge together several single window units to create a greater window wall.
You don’t need every unit on a window wall to operate, yet even half or a quarter of the units will provide ample airflow and ventilation for your home. If you like having a lot of fresh air in the house, the more windows the better!
Improved curb appeal
Window walls are becoming a trendy new residential feature, especially in more upscale or contemporary neighborhoods. As a result, you can expect to improve your curb appeal by installing one whether you plan to sell or just want to impress friends, family, and neighbors.
Window walls actually require less engineering based on how they are installed into the concrete slab. It limits some of the safety hazards associated with windows and actually makes them much better at built-in fire stopping. It also limits outside noise and energy loss because of the sealed space between each window wall unit.
Disadvantages of Window Walls
Of course, it’s not all gravy. There are a few disadvantages to investing in a window wall:
- Cost: The obvious red flag is cost. Window walls are extremely expensive as you might expect because it covers the wall in so much glaze. Unfortunately, your typical homeowner cannot usually afford a massive window wall simply because of budget. However, modern technology and installation practices are starting to slowly reduce the costs of window walls so they could become more common in the future.
- Not practical for all floor plans: For example, open floor plans stand to benefit the most from window walls. Meanwhile, other plans that are more closed in or lack surrounding scenery may decide it isn’t the most appropriate design.
Windows for a Modern Home
Modern homes are known for emphasizing openness and transparency. There is not a single better way to emphasize that approach than with a window wall. There are several advantages to installing a new window wall if you can afford the costs.
At Feldco, we have helped over 400,000 happy customers. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today. We are proud to serve many homeowners in the Midwest by delivering on high-quality windows, professional installation, and trustworthy support.