Question on window sizes.

pors996March 6, 2013

My house will have 8 foot header height throughout. I have 10 foot ceiling height throughout. All the rough openings look great except I am concerned about the dining room and family room.

The architecht called for a 3 foot by 7 rough opening in the dining room with a window which willl be 2'11 w X 6 foot 11 1/2 including a 1 foot transom.

In the family room its the same rough opening 4 foot x 7 foot with a 3'11 1/2 w X 6'11 1/2 h including the 1 foot transom.

When I saw the rough opening framed I expressed concern that it looks very low and I am posting pics, so he said to go 6 inches smaller on each window.

I still think this might be two low, if you have an eight foot header height then 6.5 window, thats 8.5 which leaves basically 1.5 for wood floors,base and window trim. Any thoughts?

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If I read the photos correctly, you have a common head height for all windows and interior openings--which is common, and usually a good idea for visual consistency. This is especially true if your house is a historical variant or anything other than a modern, International School design.

Your verbal description is confusing and I'm not sure what the issue is. Is it that you think the head of the windows should be higher? If so, how high do you envision them? And is it worth the time and cost to reframe all the window, door and interior openings to be consistent throughout?

IMO, I think it will look fine with your 10' ceilings. A window with an 8' head will let in a great deal of light. It's as tall as the ceilings in a normal house. I'm not one that uses window coverings, but if you are you will need that area between the head of the windows and ceiling for mounting window coverings of some sort.

FWIW, you are at the stage of construction where many owner's eyes begin to play tricks on them, causing expensive change orders, often for little gain. This is the time for discipline rather than changes here and there (unless there is something truly surprising and upsetting).

This looks perfectly fine to my eye.

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:53PM
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It looks perfect to me and just fits into the Code I work under, and presumably the one in your area.

What are you worried about? Falling out the windows when they're open and plummeting 18" to the ground below?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Sorry I am probably not explaining right, I am only concerned with the opening in the two windows I posted. All the other windows are fine. The header height is fine.

What my concern is the bottom part of the window. Right now its about 18 inches from the botton of the rough opening to the floor. If you install wood foors which are 3/4 inch thick, then install a baseboard of roughly 6 inches, and then install window trim there will be very little wall space on the bottom part of the wall.

The arhictect had suggested go six inches smaller in window size which would require bringing up the rough opening, but I am still thinking that might be to low.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:26PM
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What do you want to put there (under the windows)?

If you have a specific furniture plan to where you need to be able to put a built in, or something there, then alter it. Otherwise, leave it and enjoy the light!

As long as you are high enough not to need tempered glass in the lower panes, I'd not worry about it. (and yes, when framing, your eyes see everything as too small. Wait until the drywall goes up.)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:50PM
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pors996, I'm still confused. What would be the "right" height to your eye above the floor? Six inches, more or less isn't going to do very much visually.

It looks in the second photo that you have an exterior door framed in on the left. The two windows in question work well proportionally with that door opening and all will make the room a delightful light-filled space with good views to the trees and landscaping.

I'm not sure why you are bothered with the current rough-in, but perhaps you can explain a bit more.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 5:48PM
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I think it is fine either way. 2' off the ground is a little better and perhaps the windows will be cheaper? You don't actually get much extra light from the lower portion of the windows and it will probably get covered by landscaping.

This window sill is about 19" from the top pf our hardwoods. Header height is about 8'.celings are 10' (same as yours):

This sill is 22" from the wood floors. This header height is taller bc of the transom.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:03PM
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The window sill for the triple window in my family room sits right on top of our 7" baseboard. I like the way it looks.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:11PM
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I think I understand your concern and I think it is entirely valid.

Are you concerned that the window is so low that the window trim and baseboard will almost be touching each other...that everything will look crowded? I can see why you are concerned.

As long as you have a good architect and have reassurance that there is plenty of room for the trim once the floor is in I think you will be fine.

Look how little wall space there is in this picture between the window trim and baseboard and I think it looks nice.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:42PM
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