If you’re considering building a new home, you may be a little overwhelmed with all the steps involved to take you from buying a completely vacant lot up to the day you move in. One of the questions we often receive is “When should I start looking for doors and windows? Should I have plans made / picked out first?”
The short answer when looking for windows and doors is that it can never be too early, but it can be too late. For example, if you’re already framing your home when you start looking at door options, the door of your dreams may not fit, or not have the right structure to support it. You may have to do some costly revisions, or settle for a door that may not be your first choice.
Even if you you wait until your plans are done, but haven’t broke ground yet, it can also cost you. If you were hoping for a beautiful arched transom above your huge double entry door, but the structure wasn’t designed to support such a large opening, you can’t simply “make the opening bigger”. You’ll need to get the plans re-drawn in order to make it work.
The Best Time to Look for Doors and Windows
We always recommend that if you have an idea in mind, just run it past us during the initial stages. If you start early, we can work with your plans or your home designer to ensure your ideas will fit. We’re a custom door and window manufacturer, so we can do just about anything you can dream up. (Plus we can show you a lot of fabulous work you may have not even thought of!)
If you’re buying a stock new home plan that’s already completed, shoot us a quick note to ask us what will work. Quite often they come with standard door sizes, so there are a lot of great options available. However, if you’re set on some brilliant sidelights for your door, you’ll want to find out sooner rather than later if they’ll work.
Patio Doors and Glass Wall Systems are Special
One area many homeowners choose to put a little more effort into is how the patio doors and indoor-outdoor space will work. When building a home, there’s a pretty big difference in the structure required for a simple standard sliding patio door, and a multi-panel glass wall system.
Glass wall systems are beautiful, but they do require proper planning. In order to have such a large open space, the structure needs to support it. The larger the span, the more complicated it can be. To reduce complications and headaches, it’s best to plan for this early.
All Widows are not Created Equal
Windows can be a little more forgiving than doors, but the type and size of window will make a difference in the type of structure that it needs to support it. Like doors, the larger the opening, the more the structure will need to disperse the weight so the window isn’t
holding up your walls and roof!
It may be tempting to look at plans and think you can just enlarge the window space to fit in that glorious bay window you’re considering, but it’s not always that simple.
Of course, as a custom window manufacturer, there’s a lot we can do to mitigate a massive reworking of the plans, but we’d need to have a conversation before we can give specific advice here.
As always, our best advice is to chat with your team early, including window and door manufactures like us to ensure you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for – even if you’re just wondering what your options are.
Contact us to see what we can do for you, and we know we’ll find windows and doors that will suit your needs. You’re always welcome to drop by our showroom to have a look for yourself!