With alternative housing solutions getting more popular, barndominiums stand out for many reasons. For most folks, it is because they are more open to customization while staying at a reasonable cost. They have been most appealing to people looking to build their dream homes.
When building your barndominium, you must decide where to put your windows, how many you should get, which windows to use, and what size you should get. You’re probably thinking why we need a whole article about barndominium windows.
You will be amazed at how much thought needs to go into choosing the right windows for your barndo home. In this article, we will go over everything there is to know about barndominium windows and suggestions on window ideas that you should consider. There is so much to learn about barndominiums; if you want to get into the nitty-gritty details of these types of houses outside the windows (pun intended), make sure to check out our barndominium guide.
Table of Contents
- 1 Which Window Types are Great for a Barndominium?
- 2 5 Things To Consider Before Getting Windows for Your Barndominium
- 3 Window Ideas That You Should Consider for Your Barndominium
- 4 How to Install Your Barndominium Windows
- 5 Final Thoughts
Which Window Types are Great for a Barndominium?
There are several window types you can choose from out there. Each of them has its own purpose, strengths, and weaknesses. The best window type is the one that is appropriate for the room and the climate and complements the house’s aesthetics. In short, the window type to go for is the one that can deliver in both form and function. Let’s review several window types and see what they’re best for.
Double-hung windows are one of the most popular window types because they have a traditional look. These windows typically have two panels that slide up and down and can tilt to open on either the bottom or top part. They have such a simple design that they can be easily cleaned and repaired. This type of window is a great option if there is a walkway on the exterior side because they don’t take up much space when cracked open.
Awning windows are a great choice if you want a simple design that offers great ventilation when open and great insulation when closed. Typically, these windows crack open at the bottom with the hinge on top, which keeps water out if you crack the window open while it’s raining. This is also known to keep insects out, which is a plus.
The wide opening of casement windows is perfect for spring and summer when you want to let in some cool breeze. These types of windows offer great ventilation, and they let in plenty of natural light. Also, casement windows have tight seals to prevent drafts and ensure your home stays warm in the winter.
These types of windows usually consist of 3 or more panels where the side panels are angled outside the house, pushing the center panel further out. If you want to show off an amazing view, bay windows are an excellent choice for maximum viewing angles. They let in a lot of natural light, making them perfect for living rooms and bedrooms. Do you want to add interest to a boring, flat wall? Do you want that soft natural light to flood the room? Bay windows are the answer.
If you want to let in lots of light without taking up space like bay windows, a picture window might be what you need. This type of window consists of a single piece of glass without any frame obstructing the view. Picture windows are also known as fixed windows because they do not open. If you want a view without any obstruction, an abundance of natural light, without the need for ventilation, picture windows are your best bet.
Your choices are not limited to the window types mentioned here. There are a couple of other creative ways of incorporating glass into your barndominium. You can take a look at our Pinterest or Facebook page to see which window types are popular among barndo owners.
You can also look into our barndominium interior ideas for inspiration on how to design interiors that go along your window of choice.
5 Things To Consider Before Getting Windows for Your Barndominium
Now, let us go over the things to consider when choosing a window for your barndominium. This part can get technical because our goal here is to make sure you make informed decisions rather than going with what “feels” right.
R-Value and U-Value
R-Value and U-Value are units of measurement to look into if you want to know how well a house stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A simplified explanation is this; R-Value is a measure of thermal resistance or the ability of a material to resist the flow of heat. The greater the R-Value of an object, the better insulation it offers.
On the other hand, U-Value is a measure of heat loss through an object. That means the smaller the U-Value of an object, the better insulation it provides. They are technically different, but they are used in the same context. You will often see R-Value used in insulation on walls and floors. U-Value is often used on windows and doors. Differences in climate mean that houses in different locations will have different insulation needs.
Below are home insulation guidelines in Texas:
- Attics and ceilings: R-30
- Basement Walls: R-10
- Floors: R-25
- Walls: R-13
- Windows: U ≤ 0.40
To make sure your barndominium is as energy efficient as possible, consider the climate where you are planning to build and make sure you follow the R-Value and U-Value standards.
Now, let’s talk about aesthetics. Depending on which type of window you are going for, there are a couple of options available in terms of what trim color to pick, grid styles and patterns, and glass. You can check out our barndominium exterior ideas to see how other barndo owners choose their window styles along with the exterior design of their homes. Here are a few examples: modern Charlie’s barndominium with huge front windows and Chirs’ & Brandi’s barndo with regular windows.
Ideally, the exterior color of the window trim should match the trim of your building. However, you are free to choose what you think looks best. Your availability of choices may dictate this, so be sure to consult with your supplier or contractor.
On another note, you can go for added flare with grid styles and patterns, or you can go with something as simple as a double-hung window. Common grid patterns are colonial, prairie, perimeter, diamond, and victorian. Colonial-style grid patterns are a popular choice as they are a great way to separate a plain glass panel.
Next, tinted glass is great for energy efficiency or limiting the light that comes in. Frosted or obscure glass is a great way to maintain privacy while still letting in light. If your barndo has a workshop, you might consider getting tempered glass for safety. There are more glass options, so be sure to pick one that is best for your needs.
These types of decisions can boil down to personal preference, but you can consult others’ suggestions when deciding which style to go with. The good news is that you can directly ask barndo owners on our Facebook Group and see what they think!
Window construction is a different challenge when talking about the process of building a barndominium as it involves its own engineering processes and materials. You would want quality windows that last for a long time. With that said, we recommend the types of windows that are used in traditional stick-built houses. And here’s an article if you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with the main differences between a barndominium and a regular house.
Choose windows from suppliers who are experienced in manufacturing traditional windows. Modern windows have multiple layers of glass separated by a space filled with a gas such as Argon for added insulation. These types of windows offer the lowest U-Value and could prevent a frost buildup in cold weather. Gas-filled windows can get expensive, so this depends on your budget.
This is arguably the most important thing to consider when planning what windows to choose and where to place them around your barndo. We have discussed style and function when choosing your windows, but safety should never be overlooked. You may need to consult your local authority for building codes in your area because complete safety guidelines for windows are specified in the code. For example, the International Residential Code states that any room used for sleeping should have at least one window large enough for escape and rescue.
Another thing to look at is the structural integrity of the building. In a barndominium, you cannot place a window where there is an x-brace. Consulting with a professional like an architect would be ideal for helping you with window placements. They are also well-versed in optimum ventilation and aesthetics, which is a great help. This leads us to the next thing that you should consider.
After safety is taken into account, the next thing to look at is placement. Windows contribute a great deal to overall interior aesthetics. They are responsible for a room’s natural lighting and ventilation. As a general guideline on window orientation, refer to the information below:
- Windows facing East are great for rooms where you want the morning sunlight. Avoid this in your bedroom if you don’t want your sleep interrupted by a beam of sunlight from your window.
- Windows facing West are ideal for rooms you want to glow in the golden hour. The warm tones would make for the perfect romantic setting.
- Windows facing North and South are perfect for rooms where you want to have light all day.
Window Ideas That You Should Consider for Your Barndominium
Now that you have a good idea of the types of windows and key things to consider, here are some window ideas that we think you should consider for your home. We hope this will be a source of inspiration and help you develop ideas for your own barndo.
Colonial-Style Grid with White Trims
Something has to be said about the elegance and simplicity of the colonial-style grid patterns. These types of windows feature a traditional feel and clean look that is just perfect for those going for minimal designs.
Garage Door Windows
This is a completely unconventional idea that people seem to have grown fond of. Garage doors as windows are great for huge windows because they don’t take up much space when opened. Pretty convenient, but others may have mixed feelings about how the rails look on the ceiling.
Windows for Walls
Do you want maximum views and natural light? Here’s an idea; just get rid of the entire wall and turn it into a window. These windows are best for indoor porches or living rooms. The biggest downside, I imagine, is that cleaning them is a huge task.
How to Install Your Barndominium Windows
After considering everything mentioned earlier in this article, the only thing left to do is to install your windows. There are two ways you can get your windows installed on your barndominium. You can go the DIY route and save on labor expenses or hire a professional to do the work for you. Even if you framed your barndominium by your own hands, you may still want to outsource this task. Let’s look into these options to see which one works for you.
Going DIY with your window installation would require a level of skill and knowledge in the technicalities of installing a window. Not only, but your barndominium frame should allow you to place them where you planned to. To give you a general idea of what this entails, read on.
First, make sure you have all the tools needed for this project. This includes a measuring tape, a laser level, a pencil, a long level, a caulking gun, an angle grinder, a band saw, a screwdriver, and screws.
- Outline the window.
- Install the J-trim of your window.
- Install the window.
- Reinforce the window.
Letting a professional install your window might mean additional costs, but there are a lot of benefits to hiring someone who is an expert at installing windows. You can ask your contractor or check out local suppliers experienced in window installation.
We have put together an article that takes you through the step-by-step process of building a barndominium. This will give you an overview of the entire process, including the installation of windows.
While barndominium windows sound like a pretty simple topic, we have found out that it is anything but simple. Choosing the right windows for your barndo requires some serious decision-making. We hope that you find this guide helpful, and we wish you the best of luck in your barndominium build. Here’re a few helpful articles you might want to check out: barndominium financing, barndominium cost guide, 100s of floor plans.
Additionally, here are more resources to go to:
- Barndominium Living Group – The best & most helpful community of Barndominium Living lovers on this planet! Over 125,000 active members, who share photos of their homes, ideas for decor and inspirational stories. And most importantly – answer questions!
- Our Facebook page – fill your FB feed with high-quality information and inspiration. Serving posts daily since 2015 to all +500,000 barndominium/metal building home lovers.
- Our Pinterest boards – Click, click, browse 😉 Our Pinterest boards are neatly organized: from the best-looking metal homes to the most affordable. It’s all there.
- Our Instagram page – Scrolling IG on a daily? 1) Discover Barndos 2) Click the link in bio 3) Browse a full gallery of the home you like!