2019 Home Design Trends in Review

Award-winning custom home we built on the Eastern Shore.

Taking stock of research from home building and design industry experts, we’ve cherry picked articles from the past year to deliver you an overview of the hottest trends and most valuable features you can build into your new custom home, remodel or renovation. 

Most Popular Home Styles in 2019

Better Homes & Gardens reports that Cape Cod, Country French, Colonial, Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, Cottage, Mediterranean, Traditional Ranch and Contemporary are the 10 Most Popular House Styles in architecture. 

Outdoor Living Gains Momentum

We receive a lot of requests for deck and porch additions from homeowners who want to enjoy more of the outdoors year-round.

The outdoor living trend is evolving with how we live. “Improved indoor-outdoor connections” top the Best in American Living’s Trends That Impress for 2019 and Beyond.

Screened porches off the kitchen and living rooms in this custom built home are designed with lift- and-slide glass doors that in an instant connect indoor kitchen and dining area with the outdoors for maximum enjoyment of the river views and breezes.

The article also lists “quiet but purposeful architecture” at the top of their trends in architecture list. Homeowners favor cleaner lines on both the interior and exterior and form with purpose, such as floor-to-ceiling windows.

White, Stone and Open Design Reign in the Kitchen

In a report entitled, What Home Buyers Really Want, 2019 Edition, the  National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) surveyed 4,000 home buyers who ranked 175 home features on which they based their home purchasing choice.  According to the survey, 86% of home buyers prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open. Top finishes include stainless steel appliances (67%), granite or natural stone kitchen countertops (57%) and white kitchen cabinetry (32%).

2019 Most Popular Bathroom Feature: The Linen Closet 

Beautiful bathroom we built in Baltimore. This renovation project was featured in Home & Design Magazine!

Survey respondents chose a linen closet as their top desired bathroom feature! While it may not be the most obvious feature, it’s certainly speaks to homebuyers’ desire for ample storage. Contractor magazine covered the study, reporting also higher-end fixture installations in the bathroom, such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets and toilets.

2019 Top Renovations that Pay Off 

Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost Vs. Value Report compares average costs for 22 remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in that region. Kitchen and bathroom remodels dominate, but upscale master suite additions, patios, metal roof upgrades and Age-in-Place accessibility features also prove a high return on investment.  Click here to reveal the Top 10 projects for highest resale value in the South Atlantic 2019 (that includes Maryland).

This year and every year, Lundberg Builders has worked closely with our clients to help them design and build the home, remodel, or renovation that honors the way they live. And while reviewing trends is fun and helps us to discover new ideas, ultimately, we know our job as custom builders is to help you realize your unique vision. We look forward to working with you on your next project!

Fall for Outdoor Living!

October is truly one of the most glorious months of the year. Heat and humidity have finally dissipated, replaced  by cool, crisp autumn air. It’s prime outdoor weather season, especially for enjoying your porch or patio to its fullest and taking in the beauty of the leaves turning orange, red and gold. The cool weather also signals a time to gather friends together and enjoy food, friendship and fall sports.  Here are three design innovations that will further enhance your enjoyment of fall outdoor living!

Lundberg Builders custom built this beautiful porch for clients who live on Kent Island, featuring a fireplace and outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor Fireplaces

The desire for more outdoor living options is driving innovations in outdoor fireplaces. Today, a homeowner can choose from single-sided, multi-sided or see-through;  contemporary, traditional and linear styles; gas or wood fuel types, and surrounds featuring stone, brick or concrete. Create a cozy living room feeling with an outdoor fireplace that provides warmth, glowing light and camping but better ambiance. The fireplace featured in the photo above is a Heat & Glo Courtyard Gas Fireplace.

The Courtyard has multiple configurations. It’s all about options for homeowners, and with 54 different combinations of accessories and two different sizes to choose from (36-inch or 42-inch widths), there is sure to be a fit for everyone. 

  • Multiple interior options: Stainless steel to magnify the flames, traditional brick for a classic look, or premium stacked or herringbone brick for a unique look in neutral tones.
  • Multiple looks: From logs to contemporary glass media and three different brick options or stainless steel, every home’s unique style can be captured.

Outdoor Kitchens

Celebrate Oktoberfest! Get outside and grill some brats! Whether you want to grill meat or seafood,  smoke a turkey, boil crabs, fry chicken, boil some pasta, bake cookies or even make banana pancakes on a griddle, the sky’s the limit. How about an al fresco gourmet pizza party in your pizza oven?You’ve got the options to do it.

You have the power and products to configure your outdoor kitchen to work just as hard as your indoor one. Perfect for entertaining any dining theme you can dream.  Wolf has an extensive line of built in outdoor grills and accessories to choose from.

Wolf Outdoor Gas Grill – Outdoor Party in progress

How about hosting Fantasy Football each weekend, replete with an outdoor keg refrigerator! Check out the U-Line Outdoor Collection to keep beverages and food cold and at your fingertips.

U-Line Outdoor Keg Refrigerator

Outdoor Heaters

Like being enveloped in a warm hug, outdoor heaters are the perfect solution for extra chilly fall days.  And today, there’s no more clutter or clunky freestanding heaters. InfratechheatersUSA offers toasty flush mount ceiling heaters, perfect for warming up after a dip in your outdoor jacuzzi! We installed this beauty below on the Kent Island outdoor deck remodel we did last spring.

Dual Element 5,000 Watt Electric Patio Heater with Infratech Accessory – Flush Mount Frame

We at Lundberg Builders look forward to assisting you in creating your ultimate dream outdoor living space.  Call 410-643-3334 to set up your consultation with us today, or stop by 314 Main Street anytime. We promise to have a cold beer, or at least some hot chocolate waiting for you!

Away on Vacay? The Best in Protect-Your-Nest Options

If you’re getting ready for that cherished family vacation, you no doubt have much to do to get ready and much on your mind. Fortunately, you need not worry about your home when you are away.

Here are four great options, including the latest in technology, that will keep your most prized investment—and perhaps even your second home—safe and sound when you can’t be there.

The In-Home Hide Away

If you have ever seen an old movie where someone pulls a book from the bookcase and a secret panel opens to another hidden room, you already have an idea about what a safe room within your home looks like. While this may seem like an old or perhaps “out-there” option, it does have many practical applications for the way we live today.

A hidden security room affords discreet storage for important items like personal files, valuable jewelry and artwork, electronics and other items that are precious and irreplaceable to you. These rooms can be added on or provided for in your home’s floorplan if you are in the home-building process. Talk to your builder about what you would like to store in your safe room and a custom design can be created just for you.

Ring-a-Ling!

Some of the best benefits of the digital age are the ones that combine real-time video surveillance that can be accessed anywhere through your smartphone. If anyone comes creeping around your front door, you can be the first to know because you will have 24/7 access via mobile phone application. Google’s Nest Hello is an example of this type of capability, offering high-definition video that provides sharp images even in low-light or nighttime scenarios. It also offers a three-hour “look back” feature that allows you to see three hours-worth of surveillance footage from wherever you may be.

The Connected Home

To take security and accessibility to the next level you can opt for a system like Abode Gateway which provides total integration of surveillance, in-home monitoring and real-time alerts by communicating with all the wireless devices in your home. You will receive an automatic notification as soon as any sign of trouble is detected. (Should it be required a 93-decibel siren will be employed to ward off and would-be intruder.)  In addition to motion detection and its smart home features that allow you to control lights, locks and garage doors, etc., it also provides optional 24-hour security monitoring without the hassle of a third-party service contract.

Clever Indoor Cams

With models starting at just $29.99 per unit, the Wyze Cam Pan offers amazing real-time in-home views via app that you can access through your phone or tablet device. Designed to work with Google Assistant, you can ask the Wyze Cam to show you what’s going on in any room you have the device installed. 360-degree live views are available using the camera’s pan, zoom and tilt options. The device can also detect motion and alert you to it when the feature is turned on via app. Along with its smart sound recognition and push notifications, the Cam Pan offers 14-day cloud storage so you can access what has been going on in your home over the last 14 days. This is an especially nice option for families with second homes that are empty for long periods for monitoring of service personnel or even weather events.

So no stress; you can leave the nest and be worry-free this summer, or whenever you just want to get away from it all. Just research to see which option fits your family best and go for it!

Want to find out the most innovative ways to build security into your home? Contact Lundberg Builders at 410-643-3334, Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD. Visit us online at www.lundbergbuilders.com.

Reasons Why Architectural Details Matter

If you have ever driven through a great neighborhood and remarked about the quality of it, most likely it’s because you recognized the beauty and the appeal of the homes built there. We are fortunate to have many such neighborhoods here on the Eastern Shore and in neighboring Annapolis. Was it an awesome front door and window package, the presentation of a front porch, or the proper use of decorative corbels that caught your eye?

Like separating the men from the boys, homes that possess architectural details-are usually the best homes on the block—or at least they have the potential to be the best. Here are three reasons why and four examples of homes that hit the mark. (All photos courtesy of Lundberg Builders)

  1. When building or remodeling, careful consideration of the level of detail is essential to create a template for consistency throughout your home.
  2. Well-conceived architectural details ensure that your completed home project is authentic.
  3. Value. One little word that says it all. Detail helps build value into your property from Day One—and working with a custom builder will not only help ensure your home is built to last; your builder can work with you to maximize its value over time.
In size, in scope, and in limitless detail, this custom Lundberg-built home delivers appealing visual impact. This architecturally well-detailed home exterior fits well in its surroundings and uses specific materials to create details that meld the interior and exterior beautifully. Note how the exterior stone plays off the natural outdoor elements and then appears again inside the home.
This classic 18th century townhouse remodel by Lundberg Builders provides a perfect example of authenticity in architectural detail. While it has been updated to provide modern convenience, it remains true to its historic roots inside and out.
This amazing home on the Wye River (top) and the Bay traditional home (below) proves that no matter the style, period, or type of home, its specific architectural detail will stand the test of time and no-doubt continue to grab the eye of passers-by for many years to come

In summary, by choosing the right materials and methods, keeping an eye on aesthetics, quality, and livability over the long-term, then balancing that with your home’s long-term life cycle cost, you will gain not just pride of place, but peace of mind.

Come and share your love of architectural details with us. Contact Lundberg Builders at 410-643-3334, Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD. Visit us online at www.lundbergbuilders.com.

 

Inside, Outside & All Around the House…Paint Colors Popping Off the Trend Palette this Year

 

If you’re considering a color re-work for your home’s interiors this spring, you will have plenty of intriguing options on a spectrum from subtle to sublime shades. The two main themes in color can best be described as Muted and Deep.

The spectrum of color can best be seen in this palette prepared specifically for 2019 courtesy of The Creativity Exchange.

Muted

There’s something very romantic and relaxing about the muted approach to color for bed, bath and main living areas. Another plus about employing a muted color is the way it enables you to embrace what’s trending without having to go too bold if that just isn’t your style.

This contemporary living room design pulls from the Ash and Soltice colors in the palette above. While the room exudes a sleek and sophisticated vibe, it does not lack warmth and is clearly very inventive, and inviting.

A soothing bedroom and bath is the ultimate retreat from the real world. A slight hint of mint on a bedroom wall, which pulls Misty from the palette above, is like aromatherapy for the eyes.

The most subtle of aqua tones creates an easy, even breezy feel in the bathroom, and gray transcends boring when it is combined with a bolder vanity and backsplash option, yet it maintains the subdued vibe of a place of refuge.

Deep

Trending down this year’s palette are richer, thicker color statements for those who easily embrace and must have change.

A deeper green for main living areas and kitchens is about the most popular color out there right now. With the proper balance of lighter elements like this sleek white table and chairs, a color like Nightwatch from the palette exudes the confidence of your design style.

Personal spaces like home offices can become havens for creativity when a darker hue is infused into the design. While Charcoal Blue may never have been top of mind when choosing a paint office color, it clearly can provide inspiration and inviting sight lines.

And don’t forget your home’s smaller spaces like hallways and entryways. When added as an accent wall color, these deep hues help convey your home’s color story.

Of course, when it comes to curb appeal, that’s a whole other story. We’ll leave you with a tease of a home we just love and we’ll explore more with an exterior home color “primer” in our upcoming newsletter—so be sure to check your inbox for that!

Are you in love with a certain paint color right now? Contact Lundberg Builders at 410-643-3334 and come and talk paint with our pros! Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD. Visit us online at www.lundbergbuilders.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focal Point Fix: Your Fireplace

So when Santa comes for his annual visit, will he shimmy down your chimney in style this year, or is your fireplace surround in need of a focal point fix?

Thanks to an abundance and versatility of materials, you can use your fireplace surround to help set the mood and style of an entire room or living space. If you’re building new or have a redux in mind, we found 5 fab looks that are on-trend and transcend traditional brick and stone options.

Trends in Tile

There are few limits to the façade looks you can create with today’s tile options. If you enjoy a bit of bling in your room, metallic porcelain provides a glow that complements those burning embers. The look is achieved by mimicking the appearance of antiqued metals. While this option is said to provide the strength and endurance of ceramic tile, experts caution it is more maintenance-prone. If you crave style, however, this option is often applied without the grout associated with tile to create a seamless and sophisticated vibe.

Wood-look porcelain tiles are a great workaround if you LOVE the look of wood and want it to embrace your fireplace. With real wood being a fireplace surround hazard, the ability to mimic this natural resource with a more durable and much safer option can speak volumes of not only your good sense, but your great taste.

Patterned tile really allows your creativity to flourish. Think about a pattern you’ve always loved and odds are you can duplicate that look with your fireplace surround. Options in this area are incredibly versatile, but be thoughtful of just how much space you have and how long you want to live with the pattern you choose. Choosing a too-trendy look here can have your whole room looking dated before its time.

Creating with Concrete

The beauty of a concrete façade is that it is highly customizable, durable, easy to keep clean and requires very little maintenance. This is also an especially desirable option if you prize the look of a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. For the safety-conscious and the practical, concrete can be the wise choice that affords the benefits of a stylish statement piece.

The Other White Marble

If you’re a fan of Carrara marble, experts say you might also want to consider a fireplace surround made or Naxian or Naxos marble, named for the area in Greece where it is sourced. This ultra-white and creamy looking marble is the ultimate option for the homeowner striving for a classy, upscale look. Described as lightly dappled and accented with shimmering crystal deposits, this marble is often seen in striated form for fireplaces delivering textured appeal and visual impact. Since marble is a form of limestone, it is a softer material and will require a regular, but simple maintenance routine to keep it looking beautiful.

Ready to build a better fireplace? Contact the home building pros at Lundberg Builders today at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

All Fall In! How Customization, Architectural Detail and 17 Kinds of Wood Created the House That Brad Built

If you’re a lover of the full, four-season experience that living in the mid-Atlantic provides, you probably embrace a wide-range of autumnal delights: apple-picking, cider sipping and fall getaways, where you can experience the warmth and ambiance of rustic living.

Fortunately, the owner of Lundberg Builders, Brad Lundberg, has the ultimate inspiration for autumn adventures; his own rustic retreat that blends inspired architecture with creature comforts. Let’s take a tour of his wooded West Virginia hideaway and perhaps even get inspired to build your own!


Brad Lundberg’s father originally chose this location on Alpine Lake in Terra Alta, West Virginia, decades ago. Building on the rustic retreat began in 2005.

Custom is the keyword of this cozy dwelling. The one-of kind live-edge front door was carved from one of the property’s black walnut trees.

The kitchen island was crafted from a four-inch thick slice of a spalted maple tree.

A soaring beamed ceiling in the living room is highlighted with a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace.

The home boasts two traditional bedrooms, an additional loft, lower level and screened porch sleeping areas; accommodating up to a dozen people in one visit.

The cabin is also a no-drywall zone featuring 17 different species of wood, including cherry, maple, wormy chestnut, pine, oak and hickory.

The screened porch is a favorite place for wildlife viewing. “The deer are plentiful and just about walk up to you if you have an apple or deer corn,” says Lundberg, who adds this family also spots and occasional black bear looking for bird feeders or garbage cans left out. “Turkeys, ground hogs, chipmunks and fox – all make it very interesting.”

Lundberg credits wife, Gail, and architect Bob Moreland with the execution of their rustic escape which he says is not just used for fall retreats. “All times of the year are great and very different. Gail and I can go for a quiet weekend – read and hike, or it can get wild with a bunch of grandkids running everywhere,” Lundberg says. With lots of snow in the winter, we have a variety of sizes of show shoes, toboggans, sleds, etc.”

The summer months, he adds, are perfect for canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and checking out the surrounding areas. Along with impromptu family gatherings, the cabin has also been the sight of numerous Fourth of July celebrations, and even a couple of weddings.

“Gail and I spent a lot of time working on the details together and we couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Ready to start building some family memories of your own with a custom-built, architecturally exciting home that reflects your personality and your lifestyle? Contact Lundberg Builders at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

 

 

 

 

 

Curb Appeal Series: Adore The Door!

If windows are said to be the eyes of the home, your front door could very well be considered entry to the soul of your home. Your approach to and choice of a front door surely sets the tone for your home…and here, where the salt air and Bay breezes abound, you will also want that door to be as functional as it is beautiful.How can you make sure that happens? Consider the three primary aspects you will need to address: Safety, Durability and Curb Appeal. (Photo by Lisa J. Gotto)

Safety –the Number One thing your door needs to do is keep your family secure within the walls of your home and keep the criminal element out.

Durability –no matter the material you choose for the door, as a homeowner you need to make peace with the fact that it will require some amount of periodic maintenance to ensure long-term reliability.

Curb Appeal –Finally, the fun stuff! What’s great about today’s doors, is that you need not sacrifice form for function. So, go ahead-think about what the door on your dream home looks like and then talk to your builder and home design pro. They can help you choose the right material and craft the look you desire.

Answering the Wood, Steel or Fiberglass Question

 Like the door above, for many homeowners only the look of wood will do. It’s a warm, earthy material…and truly some of the most inviting entryways are those that are showcased in wood. Wood choices include oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, and fir.(Photo courtesy of Shabby & Charme)

Solid wood doors make an awesome canvas for color, especially softwood varieties, such western hemlock or pine. So if you are going for the wood look, keep in mind that these doors are best installed in areas that have a degree of protection like an overhang or a portico so they are somewhat shielded for the elements. If you are concerned about wood’s natural tendency to shrink or warp, you may wish to compromise and choose a stock wood door that offers a veneer skin over an engineered wood core.

There are ways to keep warping at bay. This includes purchasing a door that was stored properly prior to installation and treating the door with a minimum of two coats of a good quality exterior solvent-borne or water-borne clear finish. Adding a polyurethane sealant and polishing your door twice annually should be part of a regular maintenance plan.

Choosing a steel door is wise if maintenance is something you would prefer not to have to do as often. While just the word “steel” may sound cold, your front door and entryway does not have to look that way.

With a variety of colors, glass insets and detail work available, your steel door can say “welcome” just as well—and as warm—as any wood door. Steel also provides a step up in safety aspect department. Steel is the strongest of the three materials and the inner frames of these doors are generally constructed of wood or steel—again the strongest option. This is also a cozier option than you may think, as the interior cavities of steel doors are filled with high-density foam insulation, so they are energy-efficient, as well. (Photo courtesy of wanhaptoori.com)

While dings and dents can occur over time, they can be addressed with basic sand paper, a putty fill and a paint-over. Expect some paint touch-ups as part of regular maintenance with this option.

Fiberglass doors can also be warm and versatile.

The image above proves you can still make a statement and create tons of curb appeal with a dream door that also prizes practicality. A fiberglass door can do a great job of mimicking the look and feel of a solid wood door. Even in the harshest climates fiberglass does well requiring just periodic resealing. Most of these doors are made with a core of polyurethane-foam insulation over a framework of wooden stiles and rails, and then covered with a molded fiberglass skin. fiberglass door. This option is highly durable and virtually maintenance-free. So, if wood was your dream but that option is not a practical one for your home, fiberglass could be the answer. (Photo courtesy of Codel Entry Systems)

Remember, when choosing your door, the standard about making that all-important first impression, because curb appeal is still king! Look for more door tips in our upcoming newsletter and for the next blog in our Curb Appeal series coming in September!

If you’re ready to start your front door project, call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

The Romance & Rustic Ambiance of She Sheds and Sleeping Porches

A secret space. A quiet place. A restful repose for a hectic day. Don’t you want that? We do!

Whether you are fortunate enough to have an existing structure on your property or opt to buy a basic shed and “she” —or even “he” it up for a reflective outdoor space for male repose, this alternative outdoor concept seems to complement the inherent charm of living on the Eastern Shore perfectly. (Photos courtesy of Janis Nicolay and Living Vintage)

Go For Cozy!

Probably the greatest advantage of this luxe shed trend is the fun you can have with the creative process. This could be the perfect opportunity to pull some great heirlooms or yard sale finds from the attic and put them to good use. It could also be the chance you’ve been waiting  for to address a worn out building on your property that needs some love.

Even if you have a ruin of an old farmhouse, cabin or greenhouse on your property, you can consult with your builder and design professional to see how it can be salvaged and turned into additional “pride of place” space.

The pros can make sure your shed design provides ample natural light, any custom touches you desire and addresses the way you wish to use the space.

Once you have a basic, sound structure (some shed dwellers opt to run electricity for small lamps or even space heating) then the fun really begins as you take the space and make it “all about you.” The key is to surround yourself with everything that you love and items that inspire you! (Photos courtesy of Finding Silver Pennies, Janis Nicolay and The Painted Home.)

Getting Some Zzz’s

And there’s another unique outdoor retreat…the sleeping porch, that might work well for some Eastern Shore dwellers with limited space on their existing property, the sleeping porch. In fact, if you have a screened-in porch, you could be well on your way to some serene and starry nights, or perhaps just naps, with this reminiscent summer camp-like option, that first became popular during the Victorian Era—the days before air conditioning.

Back then it was a matter of necessity, as it was too hot to sleep in the house at night, especially in the South.  It was also a matter of health, as doctors regularly prescribed sleeping outside as a means of enhancing one’s immune system. (Photo courtesy of Coastal Living.)

Today sleeping porches are coming back into fashion as homeowners seek to get more use out of their hard-earned square footage and there are so many more materials suitable for outdoor living.

What you’ll need for a restful night’s sleep on your porch:

  • Invest in good, tightly woven screening material to keep bugs at bay. Privacy screening is also available but it can look darker and take away from the ambience you wish to create for your space. A great compromise would be to invest in polyester screening with an 18 x 14 mesh screen and then hang blinds or simple indoor/outdoor cabana-style curtains for extra privacy in the evening.
  • Make sure your roof structure is sound. While rain is likely to lull you to sleep, a soggy bedsheet is far from comfortable.
  • Install a ceiling fan to keep air circulating on muggy days.
  • For security, a low railing along the perimeter is recommended.
  • Consider furnishing with versatile pieces like a wicker day bed to provide a large enough place to sleep at night that can double as a comfortable seating area during the day. (Photo courtesy of Portage and Slain)

With proper planning, the right materials and sound professional advice you could be enjoying the benefits of a sleeping porch three seasons each year. If this sounds like a plan you wish to pursue, contact Lundberg Builders today at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

 

 

 

The Essential “S’s” of Home Window Selection

We are fortunate to live in an area of the U.S. that offers some of the best views on the Eastern Seaboard. Indeed, life along the Chesapeake comes complete with many visual amenities from our tiny town inlets, to our bucolic farmlands, to our more expansive Bay views. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

This is one of the reasons why if you are building or buying a residence here, you will want to be certain that the windows you choose meet the criteria for the three essential “S’s” of window selection: Safety, Savings and Style.

Window Primer

Before we get into our three “S’s,” perhaps a brief overview of window basics would be helpful.

First of all, window frames are generally made of wood, aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl. Each coming with their own sets of pros and cons. The most common windows today are made of wood or vinyl. Wood is found especially in older homes and remains a highly desirable choice because most homeowners feel they just look better. With proper installation, they also help insulate the home and perform reasonably well in the long-term, if they are maintained regularly. Vinyl has become the more popular standard for modern homes because it is less expensive than wood. While they are low-to-no maintenance and energy efficient, vinyl does not get high marks in the longevity department, so over the lifetime of a home, you can expect to replace them. Meanwhile, fiberglass windows are super-insulators and have been steadily gaining in popularity in the new-build market over the last decade. Fiberglass is also known for its low thermal expansion rating and its versatility—which allows for more design options. High-performance aluminum is also a contender in the efficiency category as it is said to exceed environmental standards for thermal performance. Like fiberglass it is also, low maintenance, more economical than wood and is highly versatile from a design standpoint offering a wide array of finishes to complement any décor. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

You will also have options when it comes to glass. Single-pane windows are basically obsolete and should only be used in the most temperate of climates. Double-pane windows are considered standard and feature two sealed panes to reduce heat loss. Variations are available to increase the level of insulation, including a “low-E” glass option that has an invisible metal coating on one surface. Windows that contain inert gases like argon are available in double- and triple-paned styles providing maximum insulation for homes in colder climates.

Safety

While those million-dollar views are highly desirable, they are not worth the price tag if your windows are not structurally sound and built in a manner that has your safety in mind for years to come. We all know the impact an imposing Nor’ Easter can have on properties in vulnerable bayside communities, so safety and protection from the elements is key.

It is wise to provide for any scenario Mother Nature throws out there by investing in impact resistant windows and reinforced storm windows. These types of windows offer reinforced framing and thicker, heavy-duty double-pane glass. Other features of impact-resistant windows include larger window locks for increased strength and durability, interlocking sash and meeting rails and fully extruded lift rails. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

 

When we think of safety, of course, we are also talking about protection from home invasions and break-ins. Certain window styles, for example, casement windows, have an edge when it comes to security over single and double-hung window styles. Certain window glazes also provide a greater level of security. These important aspects should always be a central part of any window selection discussion with your builder.

Savings

Fortunately, many of the features that make windows safe also make them highly energy efficient, so over the life of your home you are likely to recoup the money spent in investing in the most efficient windows. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

So how do you know what you are getting when it comes to energy savings? There is a rating system associated with window types; this is called the window’s “R-Value.” This rating runs from an R-1 rating for a clear, single-paned window, to triple-paned windows with an R-Value range of 5 to 7. The higher the rating the better the efficiency factor.

Another variable in the rating system, is the “U-Rating” associated with the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. In this case, the lower the U-Factor, the more energy efficient the window is. So look for these ratings when shopping or ask when consulting with your builder about your window selections.

When in doubt, always look for or ask whether the product is Energy Star-rated. Tax credits for consumers who purchase Energy Star-rated materials and products remain in effect at least through 2021 under the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018.

Style

Okay, so now we come to what many consider the fun part of selecting their home’s windows—style!

While basic single and double-hung windows will always have a place in home building, adding in some other options, can help turn an ordinary façade into a home with depth and character. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

Bay, bow, casement, sliding and arched styles are just a few of the ways that homeowners are injecting personality into their abodes with window options. With today’s flexibility in materials, letting the sun shine in can be an opportunity to personalize and customize just the look you’re going for.

Have you traveled abroad and gained inspiration from the Palladian architecture of Italy? This window option helps put the word “great” in great room every time!

Are you fortunate enough to have a Bay view? Well, then a floor-to-ceiling option may be just the way to show it off. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

Speaking of the Bay, how about a bay window? This charming option that offers a series of three connected panes and sometimes an added inset, helps a smaller room look bigger, lighter and brighter and turns an ordinary eating area or breakfast nook into your own “pride of place” viewing spot. Bow windows offer similar advantages but offer a curved window line. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

What about making a simple statement using a series of small arched windows for a wonderfully romantic bedroom effect? How dreamy! (Photo copyright Lisa J. Gotto)

Contact Lundberg Builders today and talk to our experts about what the windows of your dream home look like! Call 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.