Common Replacement Window Mistakes When Updating a Ranch

Updating the windows in a ranch style home on Long Island starts with clearly defining your goals. Do you want replacement windows that maintain legacy features? Are you going to redecorate your interior to a mid-century modern tone? What about energy-efficiency? Do you really want wood, or metal frames, and the unique problems that can be avoided with modern composite materials? These are a few of the questions our Renewal by Andersen of Long Island replacement window specialists ask customers every day when they come to discuss modernizing their ranch style home. Here are a few tips to help you avoid common mistakes.

Understand the Ranch-Style Tenets

There are some basic “rules” that apply to ranch-style architecture. Although rules are made to be broken, we often have the opportunity to update a Long Island ranch with a bay window that adds a remarkable focal point, follow these simply guidelines.

Keep it clean and simple. While we would never recommend replacing every operable window with a stationary – or fixed – windows, picture windows deliver a crisp, clean appearance that is pure mid-century modern at its best. A second option, and one that is almost as smooth and uncomplicated as fixed solutions, is the casement window. When closed, this style looks very similar to a fixed window, and can be used with or without grilles to create a symmetrical appearance.

Choose Horizontal Over Vertical

Although you will find multi-story ranch-style homes, like the high ranch, a traditional ranch is low to the ground, extending horizontally, often with a sunken den and with split level interiors.

Mimic the Style Without the Maintenance

Mid-century modern ranch homes built in the 1950s and 1960s usually came with wood- or metal- framed windows. Both have their own set of unique problems. Metal frames are notorious for conducting cold and heat – not great attributes if you are trying to conserve energy. There are often reports of homeowners having to deal with paint failure associated with metal frames, too. If a frame is nicked, paint may start flaking off. Even worse, some manufacturers don’t recommend repainting and sealing metal frames. Wood frames, require regular scraping and painting maintenance and are susceptible to rot, mildew and moisture damage.

With the introduction of Fibrex composite frames, homeowners have a manufactured factory finish guaranteed not to flake or fail like aluminum or succumb to moisture damage often seen in wood windows that could lead to mold and mildew growing inside your home – potentially causing health challenges for your family.

Bring in Natural Light

Ranch-style homes tend to have larger glass panels that usher in an abundance of natural light. Utilize fixed transoms over doors, unless you need or want additional ventilation. It is okay to use grilles for added visual texture. You may want to consider patterns that accentuate the borders of your glass rather than choose an intricate custom pattern that covers the entire surface area.

Tweak the Traditional Ranch Model

While traditional ranch homes are known for straight lines and horizontal spread, there are some notable exceptions. Consider the cookie-cutter homes that line Levittown streets. Most are modest, simple ranch or Cap Code homes built for affordability and function. But, Andrew Levitt, one of the builders responsible for constructing all those small ranch homes, didn’t always follow tradition. Levitt’s personal home in Nissequogue is reportedly more than 6 times the size of many of the 21,000+ houses built for residents of Long Island and features what one real estate agent called a “relaxed boomerang style” more than the traditional in-line ranch design. Still, the foundations of mid-century modern ranch-style designs are incorporated throughout the massive residence built around a dream of creating a beautiful, relaxing environment for family and guests.

Customize With a Focus on Your Vision & Your Unique Residence

Whether you have a small ranch home in Levittown, a massive modified ranch dwelling or a Colonial ranch in the suburbs, your replacement windows should reflect your home’s character and personality. Customizing your new windows with wood interiors allows you to precisely match existing wood paneling, or color-coordinate trim work and walls. Choosing hardware that complements your interior decorating scheme ties everything together to create a modern, but peaceful, tone.

The choices are yours. Add grilles, or leave them off. Match or contrast architectural color schemes. Go bold, or keep it simple. Remember the rules, but don’t be afraid to tweak replacement window designs to give your home a unique, very personal look and feel.

Consult Your Renewal by Andersen of Long Island Replacement Window Experts for Help Updating Your Ranch-Style Home

Want to learn more about replacement window styles suitable for updating your ranch home on Long Island? It’s easy. Just fill in the short form on this page or give us a call at 866-609-5033 to schedule a personal consultation.

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