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Specialty windows help create enhanced living experiences: They open up collaborative areas, add touches of character to homes and businesses and help facilitate indoor-outdoor living environments. As such, it is important for architects, builders and remodelers to thoroughly understand the value of specialty windows, what customers are looking for and how manufacturers can customize windows that provide enhanced living experiences.

Specialty window manufacturers strive to create the desired designs and experiences that align with whatever customers are seeking. The abundance of design and functionality options specialty windows offer helps manufacturers and customers form design partnerships to achieve the principles of form, style and function.

Kolbe Specialty Windows
Kolbe Specialty Windows
Kolbe Specialty Windows
Kolbe Specialty Windows
Kolbe Specialty Windows
Kolbe Specialty Windows

A Range of Options

Specialty windows come in many shapes and sizes, and manufacturers can custom-create windows to fulfill customers’ needs and visions. Some of the most popular categories include:

  • Corner windows: Two direct window sets that join together in a corner configuration to maximize a view.
  • Exterior casings and brickmoulds: Accessories for specialty windows that help maintain the character of an existing structure.
  • Pass-through windows: Folding or sliding windows that enable pass-through service between indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Tilt-turn windows: European-style windows that swing in and tilt in at the top like a hopper window. These are well sealed and highly energy efficient.

With so many window types and enhancement options available, specialty windows provide opportunities to add unique touches to homes and buildings. The pass-through application, for example, allows you to open up an indoor-outdoor living experience. Corner windows, meanwhile, help open up space for daylighting. Daylighting is a very important factor in health and wellness, and these products allow the light to come in.

Vision and Function

Specialty windows allow architects, builders and remodelers to design to their clients’ desired visions. When specifying a specialty window, it is important to understand the goal of the project and the purpose a window will serve. Some key considerations include:

 

  • Is the customer looking for a corner window to maximize views without structural limitations?
  • Is the customer seeking to maintain the historic aesthetic and authenticity of an older building with an exterior casing or brickmould?
  • Is there a need for pass-through windows in residential or commercial spaces, to allow the ability to pass something from the kitchen to an adjacent room?
  • Is the customer looking for a certain style, or perhaps to capture a memory? A customer who has traveled in Europe, for example, may want a tilt-turn window that re-creates a style they saw abroad.

Fulfilling Unique Needs

Once the goals of a project are defined, manufacturers then work directly with clients to design made-to-order windows that match their customers’ specific requirements. That might mean addressing a unique application or applying a specific design that gives customers exactly what they’re envisioning for a project.

Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) members advise architects, builders and homeowners on products that will bring their visions to life, and as custom solutions providers, they give customers options for window shape, size, paint and stain color, finish, hardware and species of wood. When architects, builders or homeowners see these types of products, it allows them to be creative and realize manufacturers can do a lot of different designs.

Specialty windows give architects, builders and homeowners the option to create unique living experiences and open up spaces for collaboration and style. With an emphasis on functionality and design, manufacturers strive to provide custom design experiences to fulfill their customers’ visions — and let the light in.

Nick Pesl

Product and market specialist for Kolbe Windows and Doors, has 19 years of experience tracking trends and innovation in the industry.

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