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Choosing Windows: The First Decision in Your New Build

By 04/30/2020March 29th, 202316 Comments

Choosing windows is the first expensive decision you’ll make in a new build. Your window colour will drive all other exterior options on your new home so you want to get it right. Here’s how to choose windows for your new construction.

Lucy Williams Interiors

Choosing Windows: The First Decision in Your New Build

My lovely eDesign client Marta came to me with a special project. She was demolishing her historical home and rebuilding it new to look as close the the original house as possible.

The pressing emergency was that they needed to choose their window colour right away. This is typical of any new build project by the way, the contractor will want to put that order in for the windows early.

The problem was, they were still waffling over whether to go with historic red brick as the house had originally been (shown below circa 1940), or opt for a fresher painted brick look, which they had had on the house up until now.


An early photo of the house with red brick c.1940

The house before it was razed


A rendering of the new design

To Paint the Brick or Not to Paint the Brick

Since she really was unsure whether they wanted to go with red brick or painted brick at this point, I provided options for both directions. And, since she needed to order her windows right away, I recommended the cream window option rather than the true white.

This way, cream windows would not be too stark with brick, and they would still give her fresh options for painted brick. (I did also give her the option of true white windows and pale paint colours for the brick, but the cream windows left more options open for her exterior).

Window Colour is the First, Most Pressing Decision of Most New Builds

Here’s a slide from my eDesign consultation with Marta.

The idea was to get a good colour match of the Satin Creme window colour from her chosen brand and use it as her trim colour if she went with red brick, or as her trim AND body colour if she decided to paint the brick.

By the way, the trick with custom colour matches is to paint up a large board of the colour they come up with and test it properly. If it’s not perfect, have them tweak it until it is 🙂

 For more on testing colours, click here: The Shortcut to Testing Exterior Colour


Here’s what you need to know about choosing windows.

If you are working with limited options for stock window colours, the colour of your windows is a very important decision. It will drive all other options you will have for the rest of your colour palette. For example, if you are planning to install brick or stone, the window colour often needs to be a custom creamy colour.

Since windows are typically the first expensive decision you will need to make for your exterior, you want to get it right. Don’t get caught off guard without a design plan when your contractor needs to order the windows. 

>> Need help choosing windows? Check out my eDesign packages for Trim, Windows, Soffits & Gutters and All Inclusive Exterior Colour .

The decision to paint her brick home.

In Marta’s case, the cream window colour also became her trim and body colour as well, because in the end, she decided to paint the brick. And this cream brick home turned out just beautifully!

Marta’s new house | Colours by Maria Killam

Isn’t it lovely? With the exception that it looks so fresh and well kept, you would never know that it was not a historical home. The custom copper gutters really make it look high-end and polished too.

Here’s a close up of her inviting new front entrance with a classic mahogany door and a bluestone porch (here you can see that the shutters arrived for the window above the entrance).

The new build home is perfectly timeless and classic, well done Marta! And thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us.

If you would like help getting a beautiful plan for your new build project, don’t delay! Your contractor will be putting on the pressure for your window choice soon. Let me help you be prepared with plans for all your finishes and colours so you are not caught off guard. Click here for my All Inclusive Exterior eDesign package here. 

If you want to learn how to choose the best exterior colours for your home or your clients home, you can join my Masterclass for Exterior Colour Selection here.

Last week I added Module 14: What Would Maria Do with THIS House Before & After and May 15, I will add: What would Maria Do with THIS Patio/Fence; Before & After

Here’s a review I just received:

‘This was was fantastic class!!!!!!! I am not a designer and this class has helped me analyze what is wrong with the colors of my house. Thank you for adding some mediterranean examples. Where I live (South Florida) we don’t have too many traditional looking houses and siding is rarely used. Thank you also for showing that sometimes what is missing is the landscaping and for showing examples.’

“I loved the examples. Super helpful to see the what is “wrong” vs “right”.  The Ask Maria module was awesome, I loved that it was over an hour and that she gets into the weeds with all the things we really deal with when it comes to everyday homes.”

Join here

Related Posts

Are Black Windows the Best Choice for Your New Build?

How to Get the Perfect Creamy Exterior

How to Choose the Right Windows for a Brick Exterior: Before and After

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  • Julie S says:

    Oh my gosh it’s GORGEOUS!

  • Diana says:

    Love reading your blog. You give a fresh perspective to all who read and follow you.
    This rebuild is beautiful. I do, think, however the shutters are too short. Even if fixed shutters, they should look like in inclement weather they would close and cover entire window. These shutters wouldn’t.
    Time to call the Shutter man.

  • Connie says:

    its confusing to me why someone needs to tear down a home and build the exact same home….rather than repair and remodel? (none of my business I know) Would love to see her interiors sometime.

  • Beth says:

    At first I thought “No! Save the old house” but I am guessing the expense to restore was greater than the expense to rebuild. But when I saw the after photo, I no longer questioned it. GORGEOUS!!

  • Sheree L says:

    Stunning! I’m so glad Marta decided on the painted brick. I love it so much. All the details are perfection, especially the copper gutters. Thanks, Marta, for sharing your beautiful home. And thanks, Maria, for sharing the process with us!

  • Kim says:

    Wow, turned out gorgeous and I love those copper gutters! I was wondering about the length of the shutters, though. What is the “rule” on length of shutters?

  • Lucy says:

    Great advise! I love the painted brick vs the old red brick. It looks so fresh and current now. I agree that the outside trim, windows and brick should all match to make it look more cohesive. Good job and she will love her new/old house for ever.

    I hope she asks for your help inside. That would be a nice project and a new post!

  • Lorri says:

    I’ve always loved painted brick. Young House Love painted their brick house a year or so ago and the results were stunning. People who say it’s not historical are just plain wrong. Plenty of painted brick in historical Charleston, SC and no one complains.

  • Barbara says:

    Very pretty home. I love that classic look, but do not like the inside centre hall plans. Maybe with a new build they can work around that configuration inside.

    My first home was in an older area, older for Canada. Across the street was from 1870, next door 1885 and 1890 on the other side. One next door was painted white brick, it was so gorgeous with dark green trim and a beautiful hedge of Yew. The other two of these homes were in the light brick, very similar colour to what the painted one here is. Is this colour of light yellow/cream brick not available anymore? Because it would sure be a lot better than having to re-paint brick on a regular schedule.

  • Kim says:

    Hi Maria, love the cream frames! We had only two choices for our standard plan, white or tan, inside same as outside. Decided on tan, even though interior trim and cabinets will be true white. I just didn’t want white exterior frames or clear colors in our rustic / forest setting. Not too late to change, for a small cost, so I could be persuaded switch to white frames. But don’t think I’ll mind tan on the inside.

  • Kim says:

    Also, think the shutter length is perfectly proportioned, just long enough to cover the glass.

  • Jeannine520 says:

    Ann J Chapdelaine, I don’t know how you expect to get any business with a comment like that. Googling a name makes it easy to access one’s character, you know.

  • Carolyn says:

    I think everyone commenting about the shutters is thrown off by the trim, if you look closely it looks like the shutters are the right length for the windows, minus the trim.

  • Carrie says:

    So stunning-Well done Marta and Maria!

  • KristyJones says:

    I was amazed by the transformation. The classic and timeless look is perfectly displayed. Painting the brick is a good decision. Great work!

  • Michelle says:

    Orange? I don’t understand why it’s stylistically OK to have a bright orange (wood) door, bright orange (copper) gutters & downspouts, and orange (wood) mulch around the plants, but my orange OAK kitchen cabinets are not fresh!? I’m just being devil’s advocate here, lol. I know it’s all in the styling. I was fortunate 30 years ago to choose solid oak cabinets with FLAT skandinavian style doors. Almost unheard of during that era. They look intentionally fresh nowadays with the right floor, counter top and back splash. I’m seeing a lot of “orange” wood accessories, chairs and tables pared with greys, blues, creams, navy, black and white. If you squint your eyes, unpainted wood is always a color, be it cream, yellow, orange, brown, rust or mahogany. A good stain will bring out the beauty of wood. I think it’s the reason this home looks warm and inviting. I’m growing a bit tired of all the copycat white homes with black shutters. At first it was unique, now it’s just a ubiquitous trend that will be dated once again. Thank goodness this home isn’t one of them. I was overjoyed to see an unpainted but stained wood door!

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