What Are Standard And Custom Windows?
Standard (or stock) windows are when manufacturing companies produce a large number of windows in a small variety of sizes. By making everything the same and producing their product in large quantities, they can discount the final price.
Custom measured windows allow you to choose the materials, performance options, and daily functions while crafting the style, shape, and design of your dreams. The only downsides are cost and time, with a custom window cut taking some shops about a month to prepare. On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons to prefer custom windows.
Just like standard size windows, custom windows can be made with a variety of materials, including wood, fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum, or a composite. Custom windows should also have the same or better performance options and warranty contract. Mass-produced windows can lack choices for unique glazing or screens, lock style, or especially vibrant design and color.
When trying to choose between standard and custom windows, always have a professional contractor or architect review the necessary changes to fit a stock window, then tally up your options and the true cost before deciding against custom windows.
Can Anyone Measure Custom Windows?
For simple jobs or for those who know what they’re doing, anyone can measure a custom window and order from their local glass-cutting shop. Just keep in mind that if a professional installer doesn’t measure your window, you might end up wasting any money you saved due to air or water leaks. This is particularly important if you want the best performing and energy-efficient windows, because a custom measured shape will give you a perfect fit, and windows that fit closer to the existing wall require the least filling and insulation which can degrade over time.
If you order a standard size window that doesn’t quite fit, or your measurements for a custom window aren’t accurate, the opening may need to be altered. This additional labor could require getting the area around the window patched and filled, with a final cost that may potentially negate the savings from avoiding a custom cut. And making an opening larger can be dangerous if that wall was designed and constructed to bear part of the house’s roof weight.
Reasons To Prefer Custom Windows
Buying a standard size window can often be cheaper, but not always. Installing a custom window takes far less time and labor because the window was designed for the opening.
Sometimes all your home needs is a single pane of glass replaced to fix a break or hole. In that case, and if the existing frame and other structure are still good, you can probably save money by ordering just one custom pane or window segment, which can then be professionally installed.
When a business needs to replace a large number of irregular windows – or wants spares in case of future breaks – ordering from a shop that makes every window custom may allow you to negotiate for a lower price because they won’t need to change their setup for the entire batch.
If other parts of the house’s design and style have been changed, or you want to upgrade the look of your house and you’re starting with the windows, ordering custom windows may be the only way to get the exact look you want. Custom windows can also increase a home’s curb appeal while also being longer-lasting and stronger, which will increase your home’s value and resell price.
Part of the cost savings from standard batch windows may come from being a lower quality product, due to either the materials or the construction; custom windows often have fewer minor imperfections and better inspection standards. And custom windows don’t spend a long time sitting in a warehouse before getting shipped to a distributor; they are made when needed and shipped immediately, often over much smaller distances.
Reasons To Need Custom Windows
You will almost always need custom measured windows for very large, very small, or just oddly shaped openings. If you need to replace a custom window, you probably won’t find a match without getting a custom measurement and cut. Even when a window used to be a standard size, the company that mass-produced that window may no longer offer that size. So-called “standard” window dimensions can change greatly over time, or vary completely from one company to the next.
For older homes, their windows probably won’t match modern size standards, not to mention energy efficiency and quality. And over time, a home and its window frames can warp and shift, making custom windows a necessity without a lot of other work.
For newer green construction to best suit a local climate, the designers may want special features such as allowing some airflow into the home or building or making a window easier to clean by installing custom opening mechanisms. To do so, or for anyone looking to upgrade their windows in that way, custom measurements and design will be necessary.