Before you can install window hardware, you must first choose the window hardware that’s best for your windows. This may sound like an easier job than what it actually is. By the time you’ve selected a double-glazed, low E glass replacement window, you’ll probably feel like you’ve made all the decisions you need, when you’ve just scratched the surface. Window design and hardware have more options than window glaze, and the choices are a lot less cut and dry. Some designs are more complicated but allow for greater window operating flexibility. Simpler designs, on the other hand, may have fewer parts that can deteriorate and require repair.
Window Hardware Basics
This is far from a comprehensive list, but here are a few common window hardware items that you may be dealing with, depending on the type of window you decide you want. Most homeowners, naturally, are looking for window hardware and window companies that will install windows that have the least likelihood of falling into disrepair.
- A crank arm is a finger-length rod used to open steel case windows.
- A butterfly window-opening device is similar to a crank arm but smaller and ideal for windows that have shades that hang inside the sill. This device can be a straight arm or rounded.
- Window locks and latches can be sliding locks, padlocks, hook locks, or key locks.
- Window sash and balance design that keeps your sliding window operating smoothly.
Window Hardware Professionals
Any number of people can offer advice on your window hardware. Even your neighbor probably has a reasonable amount of experience with different windows throughout the years. Architects have a general knowledge of home structural design, including windows, but probably lack the specific expertise to choose between different window hardware options. Interior designers are great sources of information and advice on any number of home design options, but you’ll need to find a designer who has knowledge in the function and performance of window hardware, not just its appearance. Window installation professionals are probably your best bet for an expert opinion on window hardware.
Curtain Hardware/Drapery Hardware
Hardware of this type is also sometimes referred to simply as window treatment hardware. As counterintuitive as it may seem, there are probably more types of curtain and drapery hardware available than standard window hardware. The reason for this is simple. More than a simple curtain rod, many homeowners want their curtain hardware to be invisible. Holdbacks, swag holders, and drapery pins are just some of the mechanisms that can create invisible curtain hardware. Even visible or partially visible curtain and drapery hardware is available in a number of different designs and finishes to match your home decor.