Guide to Choosing the Right New Windows for Your Home’s Style

Exterior view of house depicting how to choose the right new windows.

When it comes to choosing the right news windows style your home, you might be at a loss.

You may realize that you don’t pay much attention to window styles.

Do you suddenly wonder if you know the architectural style of your house?

Do you want to preserve the original lines and value of your home when you replace your windows?

What if you think it doesn’t matter very much?

It does matter, more than you might realize!

Architectural Styles

There are many different architectural styles, in many different variations; most of which you can find right here in Michigan.

These homes come from all different eras, and most of them were designed intentionally, windows included.

Most of them wouldn’t look the same with the “wrong” style of window.

In addition, some of them will be de-valued if you don’t stay true to their style. Think your mass-produced ranch-style house has no design? Think again.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular architectural styles around the country:

  • Country/ Farmhouse/ Victorian
  • Traditional/Colonial/Georgian
  • Bungalow/ Cottage
  • Arts & Crafts/Craftsman/Foursquare
  • Ranch
  • Modern
  • Coastal/Southern
  • Mission/Mediterranean
  • Tudor
  • European
  • Contemporary
  • Rustic

Typically, these homes can be grouped into a few categories, according to window style.

The Right New Windows for Your Home’s Style

Traditional Style

The oldest homes you will find in this area of the country are all a variation on the same shape: a square box with two stories.

Whether a plain farmhouse, a Colonial style with pillars, or a Victorian with ornate millwork, they all need double hung windows with or without muntins.

Muntins are dividers made to look like the old style when glass didn’t come in large sheets.

The same form applies to most bungalows and cottages which were built slightly later – in the early 1900s. Window style and materials are a significant consideration for these homes.

If you choose to replace the old wooden windows with vinyl, you may bring down your home’s value.


Another older-style home is the Craftsman or American Foursquare.

These homes are coveted for their built-in wood details and clean lines. They often feature a single-pane picture window with a three-panel detail at the top.

This style is the forerunner for what would become an American staple, the ranch / prairie style.

Ranch / Prairie Style

Ranch style homes may have been mass-produced in the 1950s, but they were not designed without style.

Frank Lloyd Wright began designing his unique homes and buildings to mimic the long, horizontal lines of the prairie and many western dwellings were built in this style before it came to be everywhere.

If you own a ranch-style home built mid-century, you may have the original aluminum windows. You should replace them.

However, don’t let a window salesman talk you into double hung windows. Casement windows (the kind that cranks outward), fixed windows (like a big picture window), and awning windows (which open outward from the bottom) are the style original to this architecture.

Modern & Contemporary

After prairie style came modern architecture and then contemporary style.

Both of these styles feature flat roofs, stark lines, and many windows. Modern style often has floor to ceiling glass in many places, with fixed windows (that don’t open and close).

Tudor & European 

Many of the luxury homes being built in the last ten years are in these medieval European styles.

They call for specific style windows with muntins to mimic the glassless windows of a 16th-century building.

Tudor style homes can be found dating back to the early 1900s and late 1800s in America. Those homes may feature some fixed windows with stained glass muntin. However, they will also have double paned windows.

Coastal / Rustic 

Coastal / rustic homes are all about the views. If you are lucky enough to have a house that overlooks a lake or wooded area – which is common in Michigan – your home may have been built with a whole wall of windows to maximize the view and the natural light.

Bringing it Home

Although some expensive homes are built with particular styles, many of them have standard-sized window openings, and their style may seem up for grabs.

Hopefully, this guide helps you pinpoint your own house’s style so you can move forward with the right new windows design.

If your home is located in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We would be honored to help you with your new windows.

Call today


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