Colonial windows have been around for hundreds of years, which makes sense based on the name alone. These windows have a very nice, classic and classy look to them that includes the side shutters, smaller window panes and often regular spacing between windows. Colonial windows recreate the look of 18th century windows in colonial America. Obviously the technology was much different back then, as were the needs of homeowners. We will go through the main characteristics of these windows and try to give a basic price range.
Traditional American colonial windows had much smaller panes than they use today. The glass itself was also quite expensive, due to the manufacturing process. As well, it was tough to transport with the rough dirt and mud roads. This was the principal reason that they made much smaller window panes typically 8 to 12 inches in length and width. Today, colonial windows manufacturers recreate this look by using simulated divided light or mullions that create the illusion of smaller panes. The actual pane is much larger, but the mullions or muntins break up the look of the pane.
Order And Symmetry
Colonial windows were very orderly and symmetrical, which in some sense reflected the more regimented life back then. The windows are evenly spaced and fit well with the square shape of the homes. Colonial homes of today share this same evenness and the windows are placed very symmetrical by the builders to recreate this same sense of order.
Wider Exterior Trim
Builders weren't as knowledgeable back then as today and often homes were built with relatively unskilled labor and tools. This meant that the windows didn't fit as well into the rough opening as they do today (window companies still screw this up!) The wider trim would cover any gaps between the frame and the walls and help protect against wind and air entering the home. Today's colonial style keeps the look of this wider trim for the historical significance, but modern tools, calulking and sealing should mean no air comes through the sides of the window.
Shutters On The Outside
During Colonial times, shutters were meant as protection from storms, thieves, the English, etc. They didn't have screens and /or storm windows. When big storms came, the shutters were closed to protect the homes, especially for homes that were near the coast and had to endure hurricanes and the like. Today, colonial window shutters are decorative in nature and don't actual shut over the windows. This isn't always true, but it is more aesthetic than function.
Colonial Window Costs & Pricing
It's pretty tough to put a price on colonial windows because they are a style that come in any number of materials from an array of manufacturers. Vinyl replacement windows start around $250 installed and wood clad frames top out at $1,300 per window fully installed for a normal sized opening. Check out our top window section to find prices and recommended brands and models.