As he was perusing a catalogue of home designs, Preston Stokes wasn’t necessarily expecting to have a “Eureka” moment. Nevertheless, when he came upon Keystone Custom Homes’ farmhouse model with vinyl black windows from MI Windows and Doors, he knew the search was over.
“We didn’t know black windows were an option,” says Stokes, referring to himself and his wife Ciara. “There’s something about that look. It’s almost like a black-and-white
suit — it just looks really sharp. It caught our eye and we fell in love with it immediately.”
The Stokes family is not alone, as Americans have been falling in love with black windows for the past few years. Aided by home décor television shows and design websites, consumers have become attuned to the numerous benefits of black windows: They go with everything, they’re stylish, and they look great without any treatments.
When black windows first hit the market on a large scale less than a decade ago, customers came running. It’s a stampede that has only grown since.
“Black has definitely caught on,” says Jeffrey Jenks, a window salesman for one of MI’s highly valued distribution partners, BMC. “It establishes a look that their neighbor might not have. I think it results in an elegant finish.”
It was fortuitous that the farmhouse style with the black windows was the one that jumped off the page for Preston Stokes, because he and Ciara had already selected the perfect place to build a modern farmhouse. Their new home sits in the southern portion
of Chester County, Pennsylvania, near both the Maryland and Delaware borders. This region is historically an agricultural area, and, though it’s seen its fair share of development over the years, it still offers plenty of farmland.
That’s one reason why Keystone, headquartered in neighboring Lancaster County, Pa., sells so many homes featuring the farmhouse design. However, in a nod to modernity, they’ve decided to meld the classic American farmhouse with the latest trend, thus pairing it with MI’s black 3500 Series vinyl windows and 910 Sliding Glass Door.
“MI’s 3500 Single-Hung is Keystone’s go-to window,” says Jenks, who supplies MI windows to Keystone. “And now that it’s available with a stylish black exterior, it’s more popular than ever.”
One of MI’s top sellers, the 3500 Single-Hung window enriches any style of home, though it looks particularly good on a modern farmhouse. As noted above, Preston was certainly struck by the black windows’ aesthetic. But he was just as pleased with the energy efficiency of this vinyl window.
“The house that we built, it’s not just a smart house, it’s not just a farmhouse,” he says. “It’s an extremely energy-efficient house. So if the windows weren’t up to par, then they weren’t going to fit with the whole heating and cooling system that we have. But they obviously complement that system very well.”
And why wouldn’t they? The 3500 Single-Hung and 910 Sliding Glass Door feature Low-E glass, which deflects the sun’s ultraviolet rays while still allowing light into a home. Additionally, the windows’ warm-edge spacer system and multi-chambered mainframe help to maintain a comfortable interior temperature by reducing heat transfer through the product. The insulated glass unit can be enhanced with argon gas, which is denser than air and helps to further insulate the home’s interior.
For extreme energy efficiency, this product can be upgraded to an even higher performing Low-E. The end result is an impressive U-Value rating — which is the primary classification used by ENERGY STAR® and other agencies to evaluate and compare the energy efficiency of building products such as windows and doors.
Having moved into their home at the beginning of summer, Preston and Ciara could see how energy efficient the windows were right away.
“On the hot days, they’ve been great,” Preston says. “The house is pretty cool.”
That seems to be the consensus of the couple’s family and friends, too. Though they’re not always talking about the climate inside the house.
“I’ve received so many compliments on these black windows,” Preston says. “The black gives our home that clean cut, classy, modern farmhouse look that we were going for. The whole aesthetic of the house completely changes with the windows.”