July 14, 2018

Do you know why windows wow? It is typically because of size, shape and placement. It is a true study in space, light and movement. Windows are our connection to the outside from inside. A carefully placed and sized window in a room sets the tone.

Bathrooms

Windows in bathrooms by a general rule are over the toilet or tub and typically are shorter. But that’s just general. Breaking the rules can be quite fun. Just remember, they should be balanced and achieve your goals.

Bedrooms

Every bedroom must have an egress window. This is a window that a single opening is a clear 5.7 square feet. This is large enough for a fireman to climb in with a full pack and carry a child out the window. It is very important to remember egress windows because that is a code that is unnegotiable.

Cross ventilation in a bedroom is also important to consider as well as privacy.

Living Spaces

This is where you should have some fun with your windows. Consider a pattern and playing with heights. I am a fan of asymmetry because it keeps the eye moving but others insist on the steady balance of symmetry.

Windows that are lower than 24” from the finished floor need to be tempered, which means that the glass will not break and if it does it will shatter into tiny pieces like a car windshield. It adds about $60/ window but well worth is as long as you aren’t putting furniture in front of it.

Clerestory windows or windows hung up high are a very effective way of getting light into the space.

Kitchens

There are always different options for the kitchen, but the sink window is the most important one to get right. We spend a lot of time standing at the kitchen sink, having a window to look out is a good idea. From watching the children play or see who is coming or going from your home, this is typically the window that works the hardest. With options of a stone window sill to keep plants on, I usually suggest a casement window (crank out) so that it is easier to open.

The kitchen sink vignette is very important to line up the plumbing and electrical in a straight line with the center of sink and cabinet.

If you want to create windows that wow, put a lot of thought into it. I tend to spend roughly 30% of my time working on the windows for a project. Windows are also roughly 30% of the building budget as well so it’s important to invest the time and energy thinking about them.