A Beginner’s Guide to Picture Windows

Picture windows can make your home beautiful inside and out. They let in sunlight and provide a great view of the outdoors. Many homes have picture windows somewhere, but few people stop to consider how their picture windows can be used strategically to provide maximum value, indoors and out. If you’re thinking about installing picture windows, here’s what you need to know.

Benefits of Picture Windows

Why are picture windows so popular in residential structures?

  • Natural light. Picture windows provide an avenue for natural light to enter the home and thereby reduce the need to use artificial light.
  • View. You’ll never paint a picture so pretty as the view just outside your house. Picture windows provide a view of a changing landscape you’ll enjoy for years.
  • Make spaces feel larger. Picture windows can make spaces feel more open, airy and larger than they really are.
  • Energy Efficient. Picture windows are the most energy efficient window style, simply because there are no potential gaps where window sash meet.

Disadvantages of Picture Windows

Picture windows aren’t appropriate in every part of the house. Knowing where to use picture windows and when not to use picture windows can help you build a house that meets all your needs.

  • No ability to open. Picture windows are so named because they provide a picture of the outside, but they do not provide ventilation.
  • Glare. West-facing picture windows and windows that look over the water can sometimes allow bright glare into the room. Consider your window treatments carefully to maximize your view while controlling glare.
  • Cleaning. Picture windows cannot be opened or tilted inward for cleaning purposes. This means you’ll have to go outside to clean the exterior of your window glass.

What to Consider When Choosing Picture Windows

Picture windows make a great addition to any home, if they’re used appropriately. When choosing your picture windows, work with a professional who can help you consider these options and make the best choice for you.

Picture Window Energy Efficiency

On the one hand, picture windows are highly efficient. Because they offer no ventilation, there’s no air exchange between a picture window and the outside world, and there’s no potential for drafts. You’ll never have to weatherstrip your picture windows.

On the other hand, picture windows can allow UV rays into the home, which can cause fabric damage and fading. Large picture windows that are not energy-efficient can also allow in a good deal of infrared heat which can heat your space to an uncomfortable degree. Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey and New York Metro’s window frames are made from durable Fibrex and low-E4 glass, which helps make them some of the most energy-efficient windows available. That’s why we received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award for Sustained Excellence for several years running. Whatever windows you decide to install, make sure they’re energy-efficient enough to keep your home comfortable.

Picture Window Grille Patterns

Grille patterns are decorative, but they make a lasting impact on the way your home looks both inside and out. Work with your window installer to choose a grille pattern that matches the other windows being installed in your home.

Picture Window Pairings

Many people pair their picture windows with other window types – like double-hung or casement windows – to allow for a beautiful view and ventilation. Talk to your window dealer and installer to decide whether you’ll install one big picture window, or one smaller picture window combined with two ventilated windows.

Install the Best Picture Windows Available with Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey and New York Metro

Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey and New York Metro’s picture windows are protected by a 20-year warranty, and they’re installed by experts. Find out more about how you can make the most of your picture window installation. To call New Jersey and New York Metro, use the toll-free number (866) 609-5033 or fill in the short form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.


Download our Free Guide to New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows

New Jersey New York Replacement Windows eBook

Learn Everything You Need to Know BEFORE Buying Replacement WindowsClick Here to Download Now!


  • The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
  • The Different Kinds of Frame Materials and What That Means to Your Windows’ Performance and Longevity!
  • How the Right Glass Can Save You Money on Your Heating & Cooling Bills!
  • The Critical Role Proper Installation Plays in the Performance, Durability and Warranty of Your New Replacement Windows!
  • What Features and Options are Important to You and What Role They Play in Your Ultimate Satisfaction Today, and for as Long As You Live in Your Home!
Previous ArticleWindow and Door Replacements in Aging-in-Place Designs Next Article4 Ways to Prepare Your Windows for Spring