Since meeting my husband more than 10 years ago, we’ve lived in several houses in different parts of the country, all of which were pre-existing homes. The thing is, despite living in them and despite each being beautiful in its own right, we never truly loved any of them, as they lacked a certain character. More precisely, each of the houses fit someone else’s vision at the time they were built, but they didn’t fit my family’s. It wasn’t until we found our current house that we truly fell in love with a home. It wasn’t, however, love at first sight. Instead, it was the vision of what it could be that we fell in love with.
With our prior houses, all were modern and either newly or close to newly built. With our current home, however, the house was older and in need of serious work when we stumbled upon it. And that was the beauty of it. Unlike a new house where the main design choice is what wall color you’re going to paint, we looked at this house as though it were a blank canvas that we could impart our own style upon from the ground up. As a serious foodie and avid home chef, the room that has always been at the top of my list to renovate was the kitchen, and we’re finally in the midst of doing exactly that. In designing the kitchen, one of the main design elements we had to consider was how to let as much light into the room as possible. This means (if you haven’t already guessed) that one of the biggest decisions we had to make was selecting new windows – both a brand and a specific style.
In researching windows, we quickly discovered how vast the options were. We looked at home magazines and different architects for inspiration; then we went to different stores to see the windows in person. But during our research phase, despite there being a huge variety of brands to choose from, we quickly discovered there was a certain boringness to the majority of windows we looked at. It’s amazing really, because windows play one of the biggest design roles in a house, both from the outside and the inside.
For us, this quickly became a determining factor in the brand we picked, as we not only were planning windows for our kitchen, but also throughout the rest of our home. We wanted windows that reflected our character and personality and allowed us to be flexible in the designs we chose. And that’s when we visited our first Marvin showroom. Unlike the other window manufacturers that noted simple, very basic designs, the design consultant at the Marvin showroom directed us to the Marvin.com inspiration gallery, which is basically a collection of different windows and styles that have been incorporated by a variety of designers, architects and artists. The range of windows was simply leaps and bounds ahead of anyone else, with styles from traditional to art deco to victorian all showing off the myriad of ways windows can be incorporated and the different look and feel that each creates.
Marvin gave us the confidence that no matter what design we chose, both in the kitchen and in future rooms in our home, they would be able to match exactly the style we were looking for.
Style wasn’t the only thing that made us choose Marvin Windows, however; after talking with the Marvin design consultant, we discovered there’s a long list of attributes that sets Marvin apart from not only their competition but from most businesses in general. Here are just a few.
To start, Marvin windows are “built around you”, which means every window is made once you order it, ensuring the absolute highest level of quality. Marvin doesn’t specialize in building one-size-fits-all windows in bulk; they specialize in building custom ordered windows in different sizes and shapes every single day. As our Marvin design specialist said, if you’re concerned that a custom order may be beyond the scope of the company, don’t be. Custom is what Marvin does. There are literally thousands of standard window options, seven interior wood species, nineteen clad color options and limitless divider options. If, by chance, there’s a different window design they haven’t already created, Marvin will work with you to make it a reality. And because they do it day -in and day-out, you can rest assured the quality of every window you buy will be up to Marvin’s exacting quality standards.
Speaking of quality, Marvin windows note what I’ve found to be simply beautiful craftsmanship. Built from solid wood throughout and extruded aluminum cladding on the outside, Marvin windows are are able to stand up to even the most extreme climates. This was a huge factor for us because our home is in the Midwest – we needed windows that could stand up to extreme cold, with temperatures sometimes going below zero in the winter, while still keeping the heat out during hot and humid summers. Because of their build quality, Marvin windows’ cladding is strong enough and durable enough to handle these fluctuations without any fading or cracking of the paint color, which ensures they’ll look like new for years to come.
As for energy efficiency, Marvin offers 150,000 different energy efficient options to fit your home’s climate, because what’s great for a home in the Midwest isn’t what’s great for a home in the South. It’s just another example of how Marvin customizes windows to your needs. They work with you to find what is right for your climate using easy to understand ratings including the EPA’s Energy Star rating, U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Design Pressure Rating. Some of the options you can choose from include selecting dual or triple glaze with two or three panes of glass or suspended film; insulating glass coatings that uses transparent LoE glazing to block out heat; and insulating gas options that can significantly lower the U-Factor. Our Marvin design specialist explained each to us and gave us his recommendation, which made it remarkably simple to find windows that matched what we were looking for in terms of performance. The best part, however, is that no matter what energy saving options you select, the beauty of Marvin windows stays the same.
In addition to the windows themselves, the final thing that drew us to Marvin was the company’s production standards. As we came to learn, Marvin Windows and Doors is a leader in green manufacturing, making every effort to produce the highest quality window with the smallest impact on the environment. Numerous materials in Marvin windows and doors are produced from recycled materials; wood used in Marvin’s products is harvested from responsibly managed forests; and excess materials in Marvin’s plants are used to help power the facilities. There’s more, but these are just some of the ways Marvin is setting an example of how companies can set a new benchmark for green production. Best of all, every Marvin window and door is produced in the United States, with Marvin boasting five manufacturing facilities and over 4,500 employees.
So which Marvin windows did we pick? For our kitchen remodel, we selected two sets of Marvin Ultimate Casement Windows (each containing three windows). And while I’m going to cover the Ultimate Casements in a separate article along with my complete thoughts on them, I can tell you now they’re simply the best casement windows I’ve ever used. They look beautiful, they’re energy efficient, and they’re incredibly easy to clean, thanks to Marvin’s engineering ingenuity. Most importantly, however, is they gave my home a character that’s fitting of me and my family, and the perfect compliment to my new kitchen design.
Stay tuned for my second article looking at my specific Marvin windows, but until them, take some time to look at the photo gallery below and the range of window solutions Marvin offers. It’s easy to envision what a difference even a single window could make in your favorite room in the house, whether it’s brightening it up or letting your own personality be perfectly reflected. Once you’ve made your way through the gallery I highly recommend checking out the winner’s gallery from the Marvin 2014 Architects Challenge to see even more amazing ways that something as simple as a window can change the look and feel of even the most grand estates.