What You Need to Know About Air Infiltration

You chose the right glass package, but did you choose the right window?

In climates where temperatures dip in the winter, air infiltration can be a major cause of heat loss and a contributor to high energy bills. Complaints of drafty windows can diminish your customer’s overall satisfaction with their new home or remodel project. As a professional, you may be familiar with glass options to increase energy efficiency, but do you know that the type of window and the way it’s made might be an even bigger contributor? Different types of windows, even windows made by the same manufacturer, offer differing results when it comes to preventing air infiltration.

It’s not just about the glass

Glass coatings on modern windows do a tremendous job at managing heat loss and heat gain. Jeff Siverhus, Product Manager at Marvin, states, “Depending on the type of window, the center of the pane of glass can be the most energy efficient area on the entire window assembly.” While U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient ratings are important, neither have any impact on how well a window will prevent air movement. When it comes to air infiltration, the real difference between one window and another isn’t the glass, but rather the window components and how well the window is assembled.

Which types of windows perform best?

Fixed windows have no moving parts and are the tightest, most energy efficient windows available. When an operable window is needed for ventilation, you might be wondering how three of the most popular operable windows perform when it comes to energy efficiency.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are better at stopping air infiltration than any other type of operating window because of the tight seal that can be achieved around the entire sash. Jeff Siverhus, Product Manager at Marvin, explains, “The locking mechanism on Marvin casement windows are designed to pull the sash in tight, which creates a consistent compression of the weather stripping around the entire perimeter of the sash.”

What if your customer demands the energy efficiency of a casement window but wants the look of a double hung? Add a simulated check rail (a thick single horizontal grille or divided lite) to a casement window, which will give it the appearance of a double hung from the street.

Double Hung Windows

A popular choice for traditional or modern farmhouse-style homes, the double hung is a close second in term of air infiltration. “Though they can still be very energy efficient, double hung windows are less airtight because they do not have the same locking mechanism that sucks the entire sash in tight like a casement window does.” says Siverhus. “Also, compared to casements, there are simply more seams and linear feet of weather-stripping that are susceptible to air infiltration.”

If ventilation from the top sash isn’t needed, consider a single hung window to reduce the opportunity for air to infiltrate the perimeter.





Slider/Glider Windows

Sliding windows, often referred to as gliders, are also considered “hung” windows with similar air infiltration properties as double hung windows (in the case of Marvin, careful engineering means glider windows can perform as well as double hung windows).

It’s important to note, however, that because they aren’t equipped with a check rail engagement or sill interlock, they can be more susceptible to air infiltration. Since gliders can be among the least expensive type of window, they will continue to be a popular choice for projects on a tight budget.





According to Siverhus, one way to improve the air infiltration performance of a slider or glider window is to choose a configuration with one fixed sash.

What to Know About Air Infiltration Ratings

Air infiltration is rated by the industry standard ASTM E283 air infiltration test, which measures how many cubic feet of air passes through the window per minute in relation to the size of the window. Looking to meet ENERGY STAR minimum requirements? Look for numbers lower than .30 cfm/ft2. The difference in ratings between various operable windows will vary by manufacturer, but to add context, Siverhus notes that for Marvin, all three of the window styles mentioned above are well below minimum requirements for air infiltration, with the Ultimate Casement Window coming in at less than 0.01 cfm/ft2.

If you want to make an apples-to-apples comparison, ask your window dealer for the air infiltration ratings on the windows you’re considering buying for your next project.

Prevent Unnecessary Air Infiltration

Windows are tested using the exact manufacturer’s installation guidelines. If installed incorrectly, even the highest performing window can be doomed to underperform. Follow installation instructions to the letter, and be aware of other factors that could affect the performance of the windows you’ve so carefully installed. Have a conversation with your painting contractor. Let them know that oil-based stains and finishes will cause weather stripping to harden prematurely, which will reduce their capacity to prevent air infiltration.

Keep in Mind – Windows are only part of the solution

Managing customer expectations is key to every successful project. Well-built windows can reduce a home’s energy bills and increase comfort levels, but energy efficient windows are only one component in creating a tight and energy efficient building envelope. A homeowner is bound to be disappointed if they pay for the highest quality windows that end up having very little positive impact on comfort levels because the house has no water resistant barrier, poorly insulated walls, and is riddled with attic air bypasses.

Take what you know about the energy-saving qualities of various windows and glass packages, and ensure they are one component of a host of efforts and improvements to the overall energy efficiency of a home.

Island Surroundings Inspire This Southern Home’s Light-Filled Architecture

Inspired by the region, the 2019 Southern Living Showhouse is a perfect example of traditional Florida architecture that creates an easy flow between the indoors and out.

Perched on an ideal spot along Florida’s intracoastal waterway, this year’s showhouse on Amelia Island has all the classic touches of a Southern Lowcountry home with island influences: high ceilings, expansive porches, and plenty of wide hallways to welcome gentle breezes. The layout encourages indoor/outdoor living and lets natural light fill the home throughout the day.

Large windows and patio door leading to porch.

This light-filled home was exactly what architects Jim Strickland and Clay Rokicki of Historical Concepts had planned. “Many of the old houses in Amelia Island have a very Victorian feel with wooden porches with highly-styled railings,” Rokicki explains. “We wanted to blend that with a simpler and more classic Lowcountry archetype of houses with big porches and big bright rooms.”

With that plan in mind, the architects prioritized doors and windows as they developed the home. Because of the array of sizes and styles available, Marvin products were their first choice. They needed wide doorways that allowed for an easy flow between the interiors and the oversized porches—like the enormous Marvin Signature Ultimate Bi-Fold Door in the living room that opens up to make the back porch feel like an extension of the room.

“From the initial conception, we really wanted to blow out that back wall for a spectacular look and make the porch feel like part of the living space,” Rokicki explains. “And since Marvin doors can go up to that 10-foot height unit—you can dream big, and it is very achievable.”

They also sought to maximize the natural light throughout the house. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the main stairwell. “The amount of windows we were able to put in this stairwell was really amazing since Marvin had such a variety of sizes,” Matt Birdwell, Director of Building Operations for Riverside Homes, says. “The nice result was that a utility room—that’s often dark or drab—actually got light from two sides.” The architects installed interior transom windows to flood light into these hard-to-reach spaces.

The design also called for large windows that could frame the views of the waterways, the big oak trees and charming, local Spanish moss.

The large windows really shine in the main dining room where the 9’ Ultimate Double Hung G2 windows from Marvin’s Signature Collection offer unparalleled views of the water and easily open so the homeowners can enjoy all the beauty of island living.

“In Victorian and Lowcountry architecture, you see a lot of these large double hung windows,” he adds. “The balance between having a traditional design and maximizing the view adds a special feeling.”

Article originally appeared in Southern Living. Photos by Laurey W. Glenn.

6 Ways to Design for Multigenerational Households

A veteran architect offers thoughtful tips on how to plan for generational needs.

32 inches.

That’s the clear width of a typical household doorway. What happens if you add 4 inches to that clear width? For starters, you gain more light. More accessibility. More convenience. More of everything that may be important to a multigenerational family.

That’s just one of the residential design ideas of architect Scott Rappe, AIA, principal of Kuklinski + Rappe Architects, in Chicago.

Rappe and his team of three architects have earned an award-winning reputation for creative, practical residential design solutions. Call his aesthetic “inspired constraint.” His team excels at transforming often overlooked space into something warm, fresh, and unexpected.

To better understand his team’s universal design approach, consider a few of his ideas:

1. First-Floor Bedroom. “On almost every project we end up planning for a future master bedroom and bath on the ground floor,” reports Rappe. The architect explains the space may be initially disguised as the family room or some other use near-term. Even if age isn’t currently an issue, knee, hip, and ankle injuries can often make a first-floor bedroom a welcome convenience.

2. Wide Hallways. Rappe says there’s a belief by some that hallways should be short and narrow as possible. He takes a contrarian view. “Hallways are spaces that we live in. We try to size hallways so they’re pleasant—so art can be displayed and children can play in them. The side benefit, of course, is they easily accommodate a wheelchair or walker,” Rappe says.

Downers Grove Hallway

3. Clerestory Windows. One way to enliven a space with light and shadow is with clerestory windows. “What is neat about them versus a skylight is you don’t get the direct vertical sun. It changes all day long,” Rappe says. “We recently installed clerestory windows using a Marvin direct glaze window unit. They were perfect for the application.”

Downers Grove Living Room

4. Bedroom Alternatives. To avoid children “fleeing to the bedroom to escape,” Rappe encourages more family interaction by creating spaces for them, like a hallway with an alcove or built-in desk. This also means you can monitor the children’s computer use, more easily help with homework, or call them for dinner.

5. Basement-Free. Eliminating basements to build homes at-grade creates a huge accessibility advantage, especially for aging residents. “That allows us to specify low profile thresholds. You can roll right in the front or the back. You can even put in an inner courtyard,” suggests Rappe.

6. Big Doors. Rappe likes alternatives to building walls and partitioning the house. He may specify pocket doors, for example, as a space divider or privacy-maker. For dividing adjoining interior spaces, consider a Marvin Wood Bi-Fold Door that spans up to 55 feet. The door sill is level with the floor, so it’s a family-friendly solution for walkers, wheelchairs, and even potential fall hazards for little ones.

Marvin Wood Bi Fold Accordion Door Open

For Rappe and growing ranks of architects, the residential design horizon is decidedly long-term. “The secret is to have enough margin for the family to adapt as needed without overbuilding,” says Rappe.

How Do Companies Evaluate Windows, Siding and Doors?

It can be difficult to know what to expect out of contractors and home improvement companies, like what they’re looking for when they evaluate windows, siding and doors.

windows, siding and doors

Good contractors and reputable companies are there with sharp eyes, backed by training and education to determine what aspect of your home is suffering, why that’s the case, and how they can efficiently and effectively replace it.

Evaluating Windows

evaluating double hung windows

Contractors and window companies will look to visual signs to evaluate windows.  They may ask you questions like if you notice condensation, fogginess, or water formation between the windowpanes while checking the seals for deterioration. Knowing this information can help them in determining what level of energy efficiency your windows are functioning at.

A window with no seals, poor weather stripping, drafty, and one that accumulates a lot of condensation between its panes is inefficient in energy efficiency.  Some contractors and companies can conduct energy audits, where windows play an integral role.  Thermal analysis of windows is apart of their evaluation to determine how much heat loss is occurring from the existing windows.

Contractors and companies will base their evaluations either on existing windows or for new windows that have yet to be installed.  On your evaluation, you’ll see the style of window, its energy-efficient features, cost of materials, installation labor, trimming and sealing, and things like the start and finish date.  If you’re replacing windows, the evaluation will include the removal and disposal process.

Evaluating Doors

heritage entry door

A door evaluation will cover attributes like the door type (interior, sliding glass, entry doors, storm doors, and so on), the material, its architectural style, and the craftsmanship.  Your contractor will inform you about the differences between metal, wood, steel, and fiberglass for a new door as well as the quality spectrum of a low-cost door or one that boasts high-quality craftsmanship.  Your evaluation will also include the style of the door itself—Dutch, contemporary, modern, or colonial.

Doors require precise measurements for an equally precise fit and part of the evaluation will include the measurements to ensure that the right size can be ordered.  Contractors will account for frame damage to any sliding doors during the evaluation, if the doorframe needs to be resized, or if the doorjamb must be widened to fit the new door.

In-home door evaluations are critical for door replacements because of varying door sizes and the way the door swings. The evaluation will also include the other working parts necessary for a new door like its collection of hardware: screws, hinges, and doorknobs.

Evaluating Siding

shake vinyl siding

Companies and independent contractors can make the job of replacing siding much easier than taking it on yourself. A task that requires skills and a lot of patience.  The material of the siding is a large part of their evaluation, as this will determine the bulk of the cost, and in some cases, the ease of the installation.

Vinyl siding is among the most popular choices of siding materials. In addition, there’s brick, natural stone, fiber cement, artificial stone, engineered wood, and natural wood to consider, all ranging in their complexities of installation.

It’s a little different when a company or contractor must evaluate a section of siding that needs to be replaced.  For insurance purposes, this evaluation can get a little tricky.  They’ll make an effort to attempt to match the existing siding to the rest of the house, but for many homes with older siding, this is a near-impossible task.

The evaluation will look at the material, the width of the siding panels, and the features like impact-resistance and insulation levels.  When replacing a section of siding, it’s important for the new piece to match the siding already there for resale purpose, the home’s value, and its overall aesthetics.  For new buildings, the evaluation must adhere to all current building codes and requirements that touch on how the siding is fastened and installed.

The Process Can Vary but the Quality Shouldn’t

Now you know what to expect when contractors are taking notes, measurements, and asking questions about your siding, doors, and windows. Evaluating your windows, siding, and doors take precision, meticulous analysis, and a good amount of evaluation. All three facets involve preparation to make way for what comes next: upgrades, repairs, or full-on replacements.

Every independent contractor and home improvement company will vary in how they conduct their evaluations. However, the rules and regulations that surround building codes remain the same.  A reputable contractor and company will strive to meet these codes and building regulations in their evaluations, in their products, and in their installations.

Contact Quality Window & Door for an Expert Evaluation!

A Window and Door Guide: Preparing for Winter and What You Should Check

With another cold, Midwest winter approaching, you must ask yourself, “are my doors and windows ready?” Drafts, leaks and poor insulation could cause the season to become a nightmare, but there is still time to have them replaced! We’re going to tell you how new doors and windows will prepare your home for the winter.

Check Your Windows Closely

Your windows could be the main cause of your home being ill-prepared for the winter. Older windows won’t protect you from the frigid temperatures and will force your heating systems to work harder. Newer windows prevent your home from feeling like the arctic.

Upgrade Old Single Pane Windows

If you still have single pane windows in your home, it is time to upgrade. Single pane windows offer little to no insulation against wind or cold temperatures. Double and triple pane windows have Argon, Krypton or a mix of both gases between each pane. This adds a layer of insulation, preventing heat from escaping your home.

When heat escapes, your heating system has to work harder to reach the temperature you set for your home. So the extra insulation of double and triple pane windows will allow your heating system to work with less effort saving you money. During the winter the added insulation is most beneficial. You won’t have to break the bank in order to keep your home from freezing.

Is It Getting a Bit Drafty in Your Home?

When your windows have a draft, there is a major problem that needs to be addressed. Cold air is getting into your home while heat is escaping. Like we mentioned above, this could take a toll on your wallet trying to keep your home warm. Many people try to band-aid the problem with window film, but the only way to truly fix the issues is replacing the window.

Most drafts are caused by the window not being flush against the frame or cracks along the edges. When you get a new window, it will fit snugly against the window frame and prevent drafts from entering.

Eliminate Noisy Wind

Can you hear wind through your window? If so, that’s not good and it’s only going to get worse as winter nears. This means your windows aren’t properly insulated or there are cracks around the window. A new, better insulated window will prevent the noise.

Like we mentioned earlier, double or triple pane gas windows are the best choice for window insulation. Loud noises won’t be able to pass through easily preventing you from hearing howling winds.

Prevent Damage from Leaking Water

It wouldn’t be winter without snow. Will your windows be able to handle the first storm? If your windows are leaking during the first snow, it could cause damage to the frame, walls and floor near the window.

Before winter starts, it’s best to check your windows for leaks. If there is any reason to believe leaking will occur, get new windows immediately. It’s best to replace the windows and avoid the costly damage of fixing your walls and floors down the road.

Close the Window, If You Can!

This is the biggest problem come winter time. If your window doesn’t close properly, you’re in for a few freezing cold months. There is no way around replacing your windows unless you want to bundle up in your jacket before going to bed.

A new window would completely eliminate this problem. Being able to properly shut your windows is crucial. Your new windows will close tightly allowing significantly less heat out of your home.

And Lock it!

With double hung windows, it is important that your inner lock also works properly. This prevents drafts from sneaking between the two sashes. It doesn’t seem like much but the draft will cause your heating system to work harder. You’ll see that reflected on your bills. If your inner lock isn’t working and the sashes aren’t meeting, it is time to replace the window.

Keep Winter Outside: The Value of New Entry Doors

Your entry door is often the most used in the house. With the amount of traffic passing through it each day, it is to be expected that it will face normal wear and tear. It’s important to keep an eye on your entry door because as it deteriorates over time, it will cause issues throughout the home. Replacing your entry door with a new one will prepare your home for the winter and its harsh weather.

There’s a Draft Coming From the Door

Similar to windows, you shouldn’t be able to feel a draft coming from your door. This could be due to gaps around the edges or the door not fitting properly within the frame. Either way, you’ll need a new entry door. Many people try to prevent the inevitable by using film around the edges or draft stoppers along the bottom of the door, but that isn’t enough. Your door needs to fit snugly within the frame. A new door will fit properly, prevent drafts and cause your heating system to work more efficiently.

Close the Door or It’s Going to Get Cold

If your door isn’t closing properly, you’ll need to replace it immediately. With winter around the corner, it could turn your home into a frozen tundra. This could mean there was damage done to the door or the frame. Typically it happens over time with wear and tear.

The older the door, the more likely you’ll have this issue. It’ll stick or jamb causing the door to be slightly ajar. Through that small opening, a tremendous amount of heat will be able to escape. A new door will fit snugger into the frame and open or close with ease. Once closed, it will reduce the amount of heat leaving the home.

Entry Doors could Use Some Help: Storm Doors

Storm doors have many great benefits: they improve your curb appeal, allow light to enter your home and complement your entry door. They can also prepare your home for the winter. Working with your entry door, storm doors are a great addition to keeping your home warm this winter.

Protect Exterior Door

As mentioned above, your entry doors face wear and tear from the amount of traffic passing through. Weather also can take a toll on them. It is important to protect your entry doors so they can do their job. Storm doors are the perfect protector. They shield them from rain, ice, snow and debris from high winds. This is important during the winter because you could expect a great deal of precipitation and wind.

Another Layer of Insulation

Storm doors do more than protect your entry doors. They add another layer between your home and the outside world. Storm doors fit snugly within the frame and create an extra barricade. If heat sneaks past your entry doors it will be stopped by your storm doors.

Nothing Gets Past the Bottom Sweep

Storm doors have another layer of protection for your home: the bottom sweep. This is added to the bottom of the storm door and prevents drafts from getting in underneath.

Don’t Forget the Garage Door

Many people forget that their garage door is another way to defend their home from the elements. A new garage door will not only affect the garage, but the entire home’s heat.

More Insulation, More Money

New garage doors now come better insulated and protect your garage from the elements. This is extremely important for your home, especially rooms sharing a wall with the garage. It will keep the rest of your home warmer and the heating system will work more efficiently. With an opening as large as your garage, that’s a whole lot of money you can be saving with a new garage door.

It Gets Noisy During the Winter: Prevent Wind Noise

The extra insulated garage doors also affects the amount of wind heard throughout the home. You can also add an interior wind load reinforcement system. These more wind-resistant garage doors prevent noise from easily passing through, creating a more quiet winter.

Now You’re Ready for Anything

Winter is unpredictable but new doors and windows will have you prepared for whatever it throws at you. Better insulation and preventing heat from escaping will allow your home to be comfortable during the harshest of storms and save you money on your heating bills. Make sure you check your windows and doors each year so you are aware of any issues that need to be immediately addressed.

East Coast Modern Farmhouse Style

A light-filled residence is packed with modern farmhouse charm. 

Just a 40 minute train ride from Manhattan in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Avenue Terrace residences welcome commuters seeking a farmhouse aesthetic that effortlessly incorporates modern touches. Designer Kate Gelfand hails from California, and brought her West Coast focus on clean, bright, open spaces to these Northeast properties.

Swinging patio doors provide easy access to the outdoors while inviting in loads of natural light in the dining room.

Gelfand joined the team early on to advise on the development of Avenue Terrace’s six residences, starting with a focus on the duality of modern and farmhouse–but without the extremes. Being involved in Avenue Terrace’s design from the start allowed Gelfand to draw early inspiration from the historic location.

“How the land was used so many years ago drove my desire to utilize the space in intentional ways,” Gelfand recalls. “Paying homage to the history that’s here, and ensuring the choices made could withstand the test of time and be useful for many years to come.”

Gelfand also found inspiration in the modestly sized footprint of the Avenue Terrace homes. It put her focus on leveraging the great ceiling heights and incorporating sizable windows and doors to flood the space with natural light.

A strategically placed casement window ensures light and ventilation, an important combination in the kitchen.

“Windows increase the feeling of size in a space,” says Gelfand. “In this instance, they were a critical aspect of the design, so I was really pleased to discover Marvin windows with the right mix of options, especially minimal muntins that utilize modern square sticking for the cleanest possible sightlines.”

A double hung window in the master bath provides a calming view to nature.

While planning window selections, Gelfand also considered how interior doors would complement the overall design. The interior doors from TruStile continue the modern farmhouse theme, with transitional details that enhance the carefully selected trim throughout. For example, Gelfand was careful to echo the interior door designs in the cabinetry for a consistent symmetry that unites each space – not unlike the touches of white oak that can be found in most rooms.

Touches of white oak help pull the design together from room to room.

“White oak is a really popular wood species with a soft, open grain that allows you to do a lot with it,” says Gelfand. “Mixed with white walls and pops of black, it’s a natural choice for a farmhouse aesthetic that still reads modern.”

Gelfand also expertly incorporated interior doors that subtly carry the modern farmhouse aesthetic throughout the home. The made-to-order doors from TruStile are easily customized with glass panels or as sliding barn doors to suit the ideal design application while ensuring design consistency.

Custom TruStile doors enhance the farmhouse aesthetic and the modern feel of the home.

“For a designer, it’s ideal to work with manufacturers like Marvin and TruStile because it’s incredibly helpful to have so many options and unique ways to both customize and ensure design consistency in a project,” Gelfand notes.

As modern farmhouse aesthetics continue to grow in popularity, Gelfand credits the design’s appeal to its comforting and inviting, yet unadorned and restrained feel.

A white palette with wood accents keeps the kitchen feeling fresh and clean.

“In this day and age, where we are over-stimulated by technology, modern farmhouse begs you to relax and unwind, all while engaging your senses through nature-inspired materials,” she shares. “Involving Marvin was crucial for setting that tone throughout our architecture.”

The Anatomy of a Window

The Anatomy of a Window

Learn about window parts, from sashes to muntins.

Marvin Windows and Doors By: Peter Walsh

Windows are made up of many parts. Familiarize yourself with the correct terminology before you go shopping for new windows so you’ll know the individual parts of the window and can easily communicate what you want.

Stiles These are the major vertical supports of the frame of the window sash. They are positioned on the sides of the window.

Sash The sash is the frame that consists of the rails running along the top and bottom and the stiles on the sides. The sash holds the glass in place.

Muntins These are the grids of the window. They can be decorative and just snap into place over the glass, or they can help hold the glass in place, dividing the glass into sections often referred to as lights. Muntins are installed on the outside or inside of the glass or both. Sometimes, they are mounted between two panes of glass, especially on thermal-insulated windows. Windows of this type with the inside-mounted muntins are easier to clean than windows with muntins on the outside of the glass.

Glazing Glazing refers to the glass in the window frame. It can be single, double or triple thicknesses with air spaces in between. Double and triple glazing is the most energy efficient. Glazing compound is the putty that helps hold the glass in place.

Apron This refers to the horizontal board attached to the wall under the windowsill or stool.

Stool Also known as the sill, this part of the window protrudes out like a shelf on the bottom of the window into the interior of the house.

Side Casing and Head Casing Casing is the horizontal and vertical molding that surrounds the entire window. It covers the space between the window and the wall. It can be installed inside or outside the house and provides a finished look.

Jambs These are the side pieces that form the window frame and hold the sash that holds the glass. They run vertically from the top of the window to the bottom.

Rails Rails are the horizontal pieces that connect the stiles or vertical pieces of the window. They help hold the glass in place.

Operator The operator is the crank mechanism that allows you to open and close casement and awning windows.

Latch A latch is the locking device usually attached where two rails meet (meeting rails) on a double-hung window, on the bottom rail of an awning window or on the stile of a casement window. The latch not only locks the window, but it also helps seal the window closed, allowing the weather stripping to effectively block out cold in winter and keep in cool air conditioned air during summer or heated air in for the winter.

Scissor Arm or Extension Arm Attached to the window frame either at the rails or the stiles, the scissor arm or extension arm is extended or contracted by cranking the operator handle to open or close the window.


The Science Behind Natural Light

Natural light has long been one of the most desirable aspects of a home. It turns out, there are scientific reasons behind the urge to live in a sunshine-filled space.

Marvin Windows

Before moving to Daniel’s Island in Charleston, South Carolina, the owners of the Max Crosby House were living in the Northeast and wanted to create a happier and healthier home for their family. They wanted their three children to experience a lifestyle where they could soak up the sun year-round. They found what they were looking for in a special spot overlooking a private dock in an expansive marsh—and worked with the Max Crosby Construction company to build their dream home.
They wanted a house that was full of sunlight, with plenty of outdoor space and unobstructed access to the marsh. In order to maximize the light and views, the builders utilized large, unobstructed windows and reflective interior design touches.
Now, the newly transplanted family is flourishing and enjoying all the benefits of natural light in their new home. Designing their home with light in mind resulted in unexpected benefits, like their well-being.

Marvin Windows

1. Natural light improves sleep.

The amount of sunlight you receive during the day—especially in the morning—affects your amount of sleep per night. The light helps to regulate your biological clock—telling your body to stay alert during the daytime, and rest up at night. The master bedroom in the Max Crosby House allows for a lot of early-morning light due to its 18-foot-high vaulted ceilings, and its three large Ultimate Double Hung G2 windows from the Marvin Signature Collection. In order to let in even more light, Max Crosby Construction Company Interior Designer Widney Pierson chose light woven shades—and she didn’t cover the transom, which is the extra panel of glass above nearly every window in the house. Pierson used bright white and teal paint in the master bedroom to further reflect the light. “It’s a happy, bright space,” she says.

Marvin Windows

2. Natural light boosts vitamin D.

When exposed to sunlight, the skin absorbs vitamin D, which reduces the risk of heart disease, weight gain and depression while preventing bone loss, among many other benefits. Yet most people are deficient in the nutrient due to lack of exposure to sunlight. The good news is that Vitamin D doesn’t discriminate based on whether you get your sunlight indoors or out. From the outset, Max Crosby Construction Company President Jamison Howard thought about light when designing the house. He situated the master bathroom at the front of the house, for example, so it fills with bright sunlight in the morning, when the owners are getting ready for their day. And he installed the same windows from the bedroom in the hallways—a space that’s generally dark—so that the family members are exposed to healthy vitamin D from nearly every corner.

Marvin Windows

3. Natural light lifts our mood.

You might notice that you’re in better spirits after a day spent in the sun. Turns out, there’s a scientific reason: People have higher serotonin levels on sunny days, regardless of the season, according to an Australian study. The owners of the Max Crosby House decamped from the Northeast because they were attracted to the outdoor lifestyle they found in Charleston—where they could ride bikes and golf carts around their community year-round. So when it came to building their house, it was important for “the connection between indoors and outdoors to blend seamlessly,” explains Howard, who left most windows uncovered for extra light and unfettered views of the marsh in the back.

Marvin Windows

4. Natural light leads to higher productivity.

Studies have shown that employees exposed to natural light have higher levels of energy and productivity. The light-filled office in the Max Crosby house, then, is a model workspace—with four uncovered Ultimate Double Hung G2 windows with maple interior, plus transoms. While the office is incredibly bright, it’s also warm and inviting due to the natural wormhole cypress wood-paneled walls—a look that was inspired by the community’s clubhouse.
When installing windows throughout the house—which would remain uncovered by shades or curtains—Howard chose Marvin windows for the clean lines of the window’s profile, including the concealed jamb liner. “You can’t find anything that looks as finished with any other brand,” says Howard, who also prefers Marvin for their superior impact glass—crucial for this hurricane-prone coastal area. “As a builder, the window choice is an important one because they will be there for the lifetime of the house,” Howard points out.
The windows, then, not only provide wellness benefits, but thoughtful details that will be appreciated for generations to come. Indeed, the connection to the light and the outdoors has truly changed how the family lives and spends time together—much of it in the sunshine.

There’s No Place like Home…Offices

For those with the shortest commute of all, these dedicated home office spaces make the daily grind a little less grim.

Increasingly, homes are becoming flexible spaces that can accommodate work time, exercise time and meditation time with equal ease. Though sometimes a lap and a couch might be the most convenient desk, having a dedicated workspace that provides respite from distraction can help perk up productivity. When they’re designed without disrupting the aesthetics of a space, a well-planned home office can become an extension of a home’s personality.

From tropic coastal to industrial chic, these five unique home office spaces truly embody “outside of the cubicle” thinking.

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Photo by Lincoln Barber

Industrial Chic meets Vintage Farmhouse
Tucked away in a unique home by Emerick Architects and Right Angle Construction, this home office set-up blends vintage decor with industrial-style black windows. Custom wood built-in filing and storage cabinets provide plenty of storage, and white wood floors reflect the natural light to keep this space bright and airy.

Bold Wallpaper Home Office

Tropic Coastal Energy
Whether the views outside of these double hung windows are green or snowy, this tropical home office brings coastal vibes to any work session. A bold wallpaper print creates an immersive getaway, and a comfortable couch offers the perfect reading nook.

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Tranquil and Transitional
This light-filled home office is French countryside with a transitional twist. Dark and moody gray is balanced with bright outdoor views and an open, vaulted ceiling. And when it’s time for a coffee break, a swinging French door offers easy access to a sunny patio.

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Lodge-Style Luxury
Anything but your typical home office, this rustic space evokes the feeling of a remote outdoorsy getaway without having to leave home. The double hung windows blend into the hand-hewn wood walls, and an antler chandelier and rich leather chair bring a touch of luxury. The reward for a day of hard work? Getting outside to enjoy those lush views.

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High Contrast Color
Flanked by bold red walls, this double work station helps beat those dull Monday blues. Crisp white built-ins add an element of contrast and help keep clutter out of sight while also anchoring the space. Up high, awning windows allow for breeze and remind that the sun awaits.

Whether you gravitate towards a more traditional or more eclectic workspace, offices are an easy way to flex the square footage of your home. Let these spaces inspire you to rethink how much you could accomplish.

Is it Really Time for Window Replacement?

Is it Really Time for Window Replacement?


Learn to recognize the difference between normal cosmetic wear and more serious signs that are telling you it’s time to replace your windows.

If your windows could speak, they would probably have a lot of stories to tell. Original windows may have lived through multiple generations or families, and many windows have seen harsh storms and hot, relentless summers. As time passes, paint might chip, hardware can become tarnished and you may see dirt that accumulates in areas like weatherstripping or in and around your window screens. Some wear and tear is normal and usually won’t affect the performance of your windows, but other signs indicate that window replacement might be on the horizon.

Here, we take you from “in the clear” to “seek immediate attention” by breaking down symptoms and what they might mean for your home’s window health. If you find it’s time to investigate replacement, check out what replacement scenario might be best for you.

In the Clear
Condensation and aesthetic flaws

You might be seeing condensation on your windows, especially when temps outside have dropped. This is perfectly normal, and simply means the temperature inside your home is warmer than outside. Condensation can even be a sign of effectively sealed windows and doors, because it means the warm air is staying inside your home. Minor cosmetic damage like chipped paint, tarnished hardware and dirty weather stripping simply need proper care and maintenance, and do not indicate a need for replacement.

Faulty operation and climate control

Difficulty opening or closing your windows or doors, sashes that stick or other pesky operational issues can sometimes be solved with a thorough cleaning or small repair. You should keep in mind, however, that these problems can also tell you that there are components in your windows that may be nearing the end of their lifespan. It might be a good time to have someone out to take a look. Drafts or inconsistent temperatures throughout your home can be unpleasant—and they also are a sign that replacement windows might help with efficiency and overall comfort. If the time isn’t right to make the investment, earmark replacement for the near future.

Immediate Attention
Safety and water damage

Windows and doors are entry points for your home, and broken windows and doors should be addressed immediately. As you’re making your choices for window replacement, you can consider whether additional steps toward a safe and secure home, such as the Marvin Lock Status Sensor, would help provide peace of mind in connecting your windows and doors to your automated security system or app. Moisture between your glass panes, excessive frosting, leaking, water stains or evidence of wood rot can be serious signs that excess moisture is accumulating where you cannot see it. This can lead to mold,  mildew, warping or structural damage and is a common reason why homeowners opt to replace their windows.

Though window replacement may not always seem like a priority, making the choice to do it right can bring benefits beyond energy efficiency and home security alone. When selling your home, new windows and doors provide an average 73 percent return on the investment you’ve made, which ranks higher than most other interior renovations. Replacement windows and doors might also offer you the opportunity to make impactful changes in your home—bring in more light, expand a window or door to frame a view, or add a new architectural style or finish color.

Not sure what types of windows and doors would fit best in your home? Check out the various types of windows and doors you can choose if it’s time for replacement.