Where Should Your Window Go?
Windows may play a key role in providing ventilation, natural lighting, and a good view, as well as improving your home’s curb appeal, but even the most well-designed windows won’t be of much help if they are located in the wrong places. Technically, you can place all window styles in any part of your home but you’ll find that some are better than others in certain spots.
Double Hung Window
The double hung window is THE classic window, and is a very versatile option. However, it works best if installed in bedrooms because of two things: ventilation and privacy. With both sashes open, a double hung window can easily let warm air from the inside to escape through its top opening, while the bottom opening allows cool air to enter the room, preventing the bedroom from harboring stale air. Furthermore, the size is just right to allow plenty of natural lighting without sacrificing your privacy.
Unlike double hung windows, casement windows have panels that open outwards or inwards, and are secured to the frame with hinges. Unlike double hung windows, they can be opened by pushing the panels open with only one hand using a crank. This makes them ideal for areas that are harder to access such as areas behind the kitchen sink, upper story rooms, and attics. Furthermore, they can open wider than double hung windows and be angled to catch side breezes, allowing even better ventilation. Since kitchens and attics require little privacy, the size of a casement window isn’t much of an issue.
The sliding window is basically a double hung window turned to its side, meaning the window panels slide horizontally to open or close. This may not seem like much, but now that the weight of the sashes are fully distributed on the frames, they can afford to be as big as casement windows. Unlike casement windows, which sashes may tend to hit something when being swung open, however, sliding windows feature sashes that don’t require too much space. This is perfect for areas with limited indoor space like the space directly above kitchen sinks, living rooms with limited floor areas, or basements.
Other Window Placement Tips to Keep in Mind
Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to certain rooms when choosing a location for a specific type of window. Here are a few more general window tips to help you maximize windows and their locations:
Who said you can only use one type of window? Sometimes, the best location for a window is right next to other windows. You can have smaller windows next to bigger windows to provide extra detail, or have different windows with the same details such as grille or trim patterns. Stop wasting wall space in your home; you can add a smaller window next to a larger window if there’s too much unused wall space on either side for a more symmetrical look.
However, you can’t just pick any window and have it slapped on the side of your attic or second-story wall. Some areas have specific standards when installing upper-story windows. Make sure you confirm your area’s building codes with your local window authorities before picking a window and having it installed.
While there’s a recommended distance between the top edge of your window frame and the ceiling, nothing’s stopping you from getting taller windows. However, this usually works only for rooms with higher ceilings, so it’s your call (Hint: You can ask a professional home designer or the window experts themselves for advice on exact measurements!)
While bigger windows means better natural lighting, it also usually means more heat coming from the windows. This can cause UV damage to your carpet and furniture over time. If you prefer larger windows, you should look for windows with low-emissivity glass, which will keep passive heating and furniture fading at bay without impeding levels of natural light let in by a window.
Speaking of natural light, the sun can also dictate where you put your windows. Certain areas of your home receive different amounts of sunlight during different times of the day so it’s important to strike a balance between the kind of window you’re using and the amount of sunlight you’re getting in a certain spot. Keep in mind that south-facing windows generally receive the most sunlight. As such, if you don’t want a room in that direction to end up too bright, for instance, you’ll forego large windows for smaller or more standard-sized ones to help offset some of the natural light you’ll be getting. Alternatively, the other side of your home that will be receiving the least amount of sunlight will benefit from larger windows.
As you can see, there are many ways to go about using windows in your home. To learn more, don’t hesitate to give your local window expert a call today.
Alex Esler is the marketing manager for Renewal by Andersen of Southeastern Mass and Rhode Island. Known for her positive outlook in life, she is always eager to help homeowners find the perfect window solutions for them. Check out the company blog for updates from Alex!