Home owners love seeing and being more connected with nature, from the sheer pleasure of viewing landscapes to the healthful benefits that are said to result from more sunshine and the sight of greenery. Not surprisingly, this trend is a factor influencing the look and size of windows and doors.
Marvin Windows and Doors, one of the country’s top manufacturers in Warroad, Minn., has noticed over the past five years an increase in demand for bigger windows and large window walls—many windows mulled together to create a wall of light, says Christine Marvin, director of corporate strategy design. "Letting light in allows us to feel alive and connected to spaces outside our homes," she says.
How big are the window walls? Many home owners are opting for designs that are big enough for an adult to walk through easily. For example, the Marvin Ultimate Casement is the largest operating wood/clad casement in the industry, extending up to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Next Generation is available in sizes up to 5 feet wide and 10 feet tall.
Another trend in the quest to connect with nature is the use of more glass or larger panes in doors, as well as doors that fold open or slide into pockets. These "scenic doors," which offer unobstructed views, also increase the feeling of seamless living with the outside.
"A large door invites people out," Marvin says. The Marvin Clad Ultimate Bi-Fold door is available in a maximum height of 10 feet, overall width exceeding 55 feet and individual panel widths up to 3 feet, 6 inches. Its Ultimate Bi-Fold door is available in more than 90 different configurations. The result of all these options is greater flexibility to incorporate a variety of applications and functions.
In addition to traditional glass, home owners are also asking for practical features that don’t interfere with a room’s design such as retractable screens in climates where home owners must contend with mosquitoes and other bugs. Several company products like the Ultimate Multi-Slide and the newer Ultimate Bi-Fold Door are available with a sliding screen built into the wall, which is completely concealed when not in use.
And because energy efficiency is a priority, the company’s new Marvin Clad Ultimate Bi-Fold door is designed to improve energy- efficiency performance so it can work in a range of climates. In addition, the Marvin Contemporary Casement features a flush exterior frame and sash as well as a narrow frame for expansive views and another top energy-performance rating.
In the case of these new products, seeing is indeed believing.