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    How to Choose the Right Living Room Windows: Pro Tips in 2024

    Feb 15, 2017

    May 7, 2024

    8 min read

    1599

    In many ways the living room is like the centrepiece of your home. It is the face of your house on the outside, and a hub of family activity inside. That’s why new windows for living room have to look good, be efficient to keep your home comfortable, let in lots of light, and be operable to allow for ventilation.

    Factoring that these are probably the biggest window openings in your home and they don’t necessarily fit standard sized windows, you may have a conundrum when it comes to deciding which window style to get. Let’s discuss some common options for living room windows in Canada, so you are well-informed before signing the replacement contract in 2024.

    Living Room Window Sizes

    As we mentioned above, living room windows often tend to be the biggest windows in the house. Because standard windows have their limitations in terms of size, you may be looking into a combination of several windows put together into one unit for your living room replacement.

    Check out the chart below for minimum and maximum size dimensions for different windows in Canada.

    Keep in mind that both maximum dimensions can’t be used at the same time. What is more important is that the maximum square footage is maintained within the parameter.

    Difference in window frame profiles for living rooms

    Because you will likely have to get a combination window for your living room opening or elsewhere in the house, it is important to understand which operable windows have a high frame profile and which ones have a low profile.

    • Slider, hung, and end-vent windows generally have a low profile frame.
    • Casement and awning windows have a high, or wider, frame profile. These windows are more efficient but at the expense of less glass surface area.
    • Fixed (inoperable) windows can be manufactured in both high and low profile options, and match the profile of the operable window beside it.

    But because windows with high profiles have less glass surface area, and therefore let in less visible light, some homeowners choose to mix up the window profiles.

    casement window combination A high-profile casement window is combined with a high-profile picture window.
    casement_window_hardware In this combination, a high-profile casement window is combined with a low-profile picture window (right). You can see the difference between the two widths.
    casement_picture_picture_combination A high-profile casement window with two low-profile fixed windows.

    The Best Window Styles For Living Rooms

    Now that you have some ideas about maximum window sizes, and how different window combinations work, you can start thinking about which setup is best for your living room replacement.

    Casement windows combination – balance of energy efficiency and functionality

    The most efficient and functionally effective combination for living rooms is the casement-fix option. This combination features both operable and one inoperable (fixed) windows. The fixed window provides great energy efficiency and an unobstructed view.

    • Like we mentioned above, it can be made with a high or low profile. Casement windows, which are the most efficient window style, can be used on one, or both sides of the fixed window. The picture below demonstrates a casement-fix-casement combination.

    Depending on size, configuration, and additional upgrades, combination casement windows can range in price between $1600-2000.

    combination_window_front2
    A casement-fix-casement window is great for creating a central view of your front yard while allowing for adequate ventilation when needed. Calgary windows replacement project.
    • A fixed-casement-fixed window combination is great if you are considering living room window treatments for privacy. This way you can open the middle window without rustling the curtains or getting them blown around by incoming wind.
    casement_picture_combination
    A fix-casement-fix combination is ideal for use with curtains. Calgary windows replacement project.

    End-Vent windows – maximum ventilation and comfort

    An end-vent operates like an oversized slider. Because slider windows can only be manufactured up to a certain dimension (24 sq. ft), homeowners who want the functionality of a sliding window in their living room often resort to getting end-vent windows. Like slider windows, end-vents have a low profile, so they let in lots of light.

    Factoring in the size, and any additional upgrades end-vent windows can range in cost between $1200-$1600 with installation.

    End-vent windows have a sliding sash on either side of a picture window and can be made in bigger sizes than regular sliders. Edmonton windows replacement project.

    Shopping for New Living Room Windows?

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    Picture windows – best living room windows for natural light

    Picture windows are an excellent way to combine a great view and energy efficiency inside your home. Windows that don’t open are the most energy efficient and let in the most light. We often recommend this option if a living room has multiple windows, like in the picture below. 

    This way you can still get an energy efficient casement window to ventilate your living room while ensuring maximum efficiency in the biggest window opening.

    Depending on the size, number of panes, and any additional upgrades, picture windows range in cost between $1000-1800 with installation. Picture windows are the most efficient and offer great unobstructed views.

    Bay window vs bow window for living room

    Bay windows can be one of the more expensive solutions for a living room window replacement, but they definitely make your home stand out and add an extra space around the windows that you can utilise. It is possible to replace and reinforce an existing bay structure or expand an opening and build up a new bay.

    • Keep in mind, with existing bay windows you may come across additional costs during your replacement. Because the bay structure is more prone to allowing water leaks than the wall it is in, especially in older homes, it is often difficult to assess the extent of the damage until the old window is removed.
    • Often water-damaged or rotting wood doesn’t show on the wall, but is inside all along, only to be exposed during the replacement. To ensure the new bay window is sealed properly, installers may have to replace wood components in the bay structure adding to the labour costs of the project.

    Bow windows are another great option for living rooms. The windows make a slight arc in the opening and can come in four or five-panel options.

    Because of the extra labour required to manufacture and install bay windows, these projects usually range between $2800 – $4500.

    Keeping your living room windows up-to-date with the latest 2024 trends means considering custom features that enhance their appearance and boost energy performance. Here are some of the top custom solutions to look up to before replacement:

    • Trend Colours: Black is now the biggest window replacement trend. Embrace the bold and sophisticated look of black windows to make a modern statement and frame your views beautifully.
    • Grills: Incorporate grills into your window design for an added layer of style and character, whether aiming for a classic or contemporary vibe.
    • Unique Shapes: Step outside the traditional with windows in unique shapes, adding architectural interest and a custom feel to your living space.
    • Energy-Efficient Features: While aesthetics are important, thermal performance is key. Choose triple-pane windows with Low-E glass for maximum energy savings and comfortable temperatures inside your house all year round.
    Casement windows in Saskatoon black windows
    windows with grills
    Shaped window Ottawa(1) custom shape windows
    Double vs Triple Pane Windows triple-pane windows

    F.A.Q

    What are the most common living room window design mistakes to avoid?

    A frequent mistake most homeowners make when installing new living room windows is neglecting the home’s architectural style, leading to windows that clash with the overall design. Overlooking energy efficiency for aesthetics is another error; always balance looks with functionality.

    What modern living room window ideas do you recommend?

    Consider floor-to-ceiling windows that maximise natural light and views for a modern touch. To keep up with the trends, try installing black-frame windows with or use differently shaped windows for a sleek, contemporary edge.