|Garden Replacement Windows, Mini Greenhouse Windows|
|Window which projects out from the house with an interior shelf for herbs and plants.|
A garden window juts out slightly from an exterior wall of a home. These replacement windows are often used as places where the homeowner can place plants.
 Garden Windows
Garden Windows present an opportunity to create a unique window which accessorizes your home with small gardens, herb displays or potted plants. Garden windows are enclosed with glass on the top and the sides and a water-proof tray on the bottom. They extend out from the room and capture more sunlight to create a mini-greenhouse effect. A replacement garden window is similar in style to a bay window but it is smaller and generally does not contain operable window panels.
Many homeowners install a replacement garden window over a kitchen sink or near a breakfast nook, though they can also be included in the renovation of any room including a family room, master bedroom or living room. Garden windows have shelves which are generally used for the placement of plants and flowers. Many homeowners try to place the garden window near a sink to make watering the plants easier.
There are a wide range of replacement garden window styles from which to choose. Homeowners can select a garden window with curved frame and corners, modern styles or designs that blend in with a traditional home design. Garden windows are constructed with angled, awning-style glazing on the window's top to increase the plants' exposure to the sun.
Garden windows add space and let more light into the room, combining an attractive window design with a practical, functional window. A garden window provides the opportunity to grow plants or a herb garden year-round without worrying about winter weather. The garden window's insulated bottom shelf further protects the plants from the weather's elements. A garden window adds space to a room and creates a feeling of bringing the outdoors into the house.
Replacement garden windows are designed so that the homeowner can grow plants in a convenient space. The 3-D design of a replacement garden window consists of a front glass pane, two vents or windows on each side, and a fixed glass top. The side-operable single hung vents or windows increase ventilation, both to the plants in the garden window and into the entire room.
The garden windows have removable beds on the bottom to enable easy clean-up and extra shelving to allow maximum gardening potential. In addition, the base of a replacement garden window consists of a moisture-resistant material which protects the bottom shelf and the ground area below it.
Garden windows may include non-operable window panes for the front and side or operable windows in these areas. Double-hung windows are an option for the garden window's side panels while sliders or casement windows may be installed as the garden window's front panel.
Garden window sizes range from a minimum of 36 by 36 inches to a maximum of 72 by 60 inches. Sunlight enters the room through the window's multiple panels which extend 16 to 24 inches outwards from the exterior wall.
 Energy Efficiency Considerations
Garden windows are designed to attract enhanced natural light into the little window garden that the garden window creates. This light and heat filter into the room, necessitating consideration of window glazing and framing materials that will result in an attractive replacement garden window with proper insulation.
An industry standard is the Energy Star-rated windows. Energy Star windows are windows that meet the energy-efficiency requirements of the United States Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Replacement garden windows earn the Energy Star Seal of Approval if the window's framing materials are insulated and have a thermal break material that insulates between the window's pane and frame.
In addition, Energy Star Windows must feature insulated window panes. Levels of needed glazing insulation depend on the climate where the windows will be installed. Glazing insulation may consist of multi-panes, multi-panes with inert gas pumped in between the panes and window panes which have been coated with a Low-E (low emittence) coating.
Purchasing energy efficient replacement garden windows increases a home's remodeling budget. Homeowners, however, will see a reduction in their energy bills when they install energy efficient windows. Other reasons for including energy efficient windows in a home's remodeling plan include the increased resale value that such windows ultimately add to the home's worth.
 Framing Materials
The framing materials used in the construction of a replacement garden window will determine a large percentage of the window's energy efficiency. Window manufacturers make replacement garden windows with vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, wood or composite framing materials. Each material provides a different level of insulation capabilities.
Replacement garden windows of each of these materials may include sliders, casements or double-hungs made of the same material.
Wood replacement garden windows feature an attractive traditional interior look which may match a home's Colonial or Cape Cod design. Wood windows are sturdy but are not weather-resistant and, if left bare on the outside, must be painted or varnished annually.
Aluminum clad windows are an alternative which display the wood frame in the home's interior while providing a protected clad exterior which protects the wood frame window against the elements.
Both casement and sliding wood frame garden replacement windows are available. Simple wood frame windows which do not include exterior cladding may warp or rot unless they are painted or varnished yearly. Many manufacturers add aluminum cladding to the window's exterior which protects the wood and presents a classic look. Aluminum cladding is available in a wide range of colors and meets the U.S. Department of Energy's guidelines for insulation.
Aluminum frame windows are considered a low-cost window alternative. Lower grades of aluminum may be responsible for attracting moisture into the home by conducting the cold from the outside. An aluminum replacement garden window may be a good economical window choice to install in an area which isn't exposed to the weather's elements. There are also newer grades of aluminum garden windows available on the market which offer increased thermal insulation.
Vinyl replacement garden windows are another cost-saving window alternative which fit in well with the construction of many homes. Vinyl is a maintenance free option that can withstand all kinds of inclement weather. Some vinyl frames are reinforced with metal to strengthen the frame.
Replacement garden windows are now available with fiberglass frames. The fiberglass frame material is a good insulator and offers a sturdy window option. Fiberglass may present a more expensive window frame than other materials but is appreciated as a quality window within the industry.
 Composite Windows
Composite windows are windows whose frames are factory manufactured using a mixture of different framing materials. Composite windows may include frames made from wood mixed with recycled plastic, vinyl combined with metal or fiberglass that includes a wood veneer. Composite windows are a good replacement garden window option for a long-lasting and well-insulated window.
Thermal glazing further insulates a replacement garden window. Energy efficient window glazing provides the ability for a room to maintain a comfortable temperature while saving on energy costs. Glazing options also serve to protect the plants that are placed on the shelf of a replacement garden window.
 Low Emissivity Low-E
The Low-E coating has become an industry standard for reducing radiation heat transfer and helping to prevent heat loss in cold climates and heat gains in warm climates. Many manufacturers provide a Low-E coating on their replacement garden windows as an optional order. The Low-E coating is applied in the factory before the manufacturer ships the window.
Window manufacturers of varying framing materials supply windows with double or triple panes to further insulate the window. Insulating gases such as argon gas or krypton gas can be pumped in the gaps between the panes in the factory to increase the window's energy efficiency.
Replacement garden windows come with a variety of accessories. Some of these accessories are optional while others are part of the standard order.
Homeowners who include operable windows as part of the construction of a replacement garden window will receive screens with their windows. Screens for double-hungs, sliding windows and casements which open inward are installed on the outside of the window. Screens for casements which open outward are installed on the inside of the window.
Garden windows which include operable windows come with standard hardware including locks, handles and cranks. Standard-order hardware is generally made of hard plastic but the homeowner can upgrade the order by requesting bronze or brass hardware.
Grilles add character to a replacement garden window. Grilles are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Homeowners who special-order a replacement garden window may place an added request for grilles which will match the window's size. Grilles can clip onto the outside of the window or be factory installed between two panes of glass within the window.