10 foot ceilings and window height

bj_inatlantaJune 15, 2007

We're doing 10 foot ceilings and were planning to do 84" tall windows (most places) placed 14" off the floor. Nice and low to watch the ground creatures. Now I think the windows are too tall; once you add trim (5 1/2" above windows, 4" below, and 5 1/2" wide baseboards-I think). Plain boards for trim, craftsman style.

I'm afraid the bottoms of the window trim is going to be too close to the baseboards. And that there won't be enough wall showing above the windows once we add curtain rods, which we like to install above the trim 3" or so. (No crown molding; no picture molding.)

Doesn't matter how tall the ceilings, really. Everyone has the same proportional problem to solve. I can't find any "rules" or guidelines anywhere for how you do this. Does anybody know?

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Do you have building codes? Im wondering if there will be a problem. If you have BC you might want to inquire if there is a maximum they have to be off the floor.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:00PM
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As soon as my DH gets home I'll ask him what size windows he put in our new house as we have 10' ceilings also. I'll let you know and hopefully it might help you in making your decision. For now if you go to the June update thread and look at the photo's I posted of my house you can at least see the windows from the outside of the house. Hope this helps for now

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:05PM
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If you place the windows at 14" from the floor, they will most likely need to be made of tempered glass. Your architect will, of course, be familiar with all of the local building codes. What does your architect think of the window sizes? We first decided what we wanted our exterior to look like, and then we decided how to take that look and apply it to the interior. Our front elevation windows are 73" tall, and we have 9' ceilings. They are 20" from the floor and about 16" from the ceiling. One of our neighbors-to-be has his window trim integrated into the crown molding b/c his windows are oversized. The front of his house is beautiful, and the trim in the interior rooms that house these windows looks like nothing I've ever seen before...but I really like it. I share this example to show that if you want the taller windows (and they complement the exterior), then go for it...anything can be made to work!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 7:03PM
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cynanjon: architect is checking; our current windows here are 14" off floor and not tempered; don't think we can go below that and wouldn't want to.

dixiedoodle: just met with architect yesterday and she and her junior architect thought the 84" was fine. Until today I emailed them about the situation, said don't we need to determine the trim before we develop the Windows Schedule because of this question? Junior said he'd look at it next week before he does yet another revision. They don't look ahead as much as I do apparently.

brutuses: thanks! holding my breath till I hear. Ours look fine from the outside. I do want a bit more wall to show below the window than I think this will allow.

There should be some interior designer rules/guidelines on this but I can't for the life of me find them. Then you could deviate from there if you wanted to.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 7:16PM
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We have ten foot ceilings and 72 inch high windows.

You may be able to find some design specs at asid.org I was able to find kithen specs there (chandelier height, kitchen aisle width, etc.)

Good luck,


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 7:37PM
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Sorry I'm so late getting back to ya. The windows on the front of the house are 84" and the ones in the other parts of the house are 60".

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:16AM
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brutuses: thanks a lot. 84" is what I thought. We'll see what my architect thinks now.

teresa b: thanks. I also had them at 72" earlier in the planning, but DH wants them long and low enough so the cats can sit on the floor and see over the window sill. More cat-spoilation. He may have to make cat window seats instead.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 6:08AM
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Most windows are too high off the floor, IMO. It's preferable to be able to sit and see the ground outside. In our current house, you would have to stand up. In a very congested neighborhood, that may be a good thing, but if there's something nice to look out outside, I like low windows.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:41AM
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bj, we've decided to install granite for the window sills so the cats can't mess them up as they have in our current home. Also, the big 65lb. dog likes to stand on them when he wants to see out. No matter how low the window the cats will still want to sit on the sill. You know how they are!!! HA! I have a 7 ft. cat tree with shelves in front of one living room window and the cats stil like lying on the sill too.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 4:14PM
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bj Why don't you just have a cat outdoor enclosure built just for the kitties? Then you wouldn't have to worry about the kitties having to look out the window. They will be outside instead! I have three cats and will be looking to have a cat enclosure built off our mudroom for them. Check the link out below for suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: cat enclosures

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:22PM
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bj, unfortunately the cat who claws the door trim will find herself with the outside cats at the new house. I keep my outside cats contained in the yard with a cat fence-in system on the fence so they can't get out. What we do now to protect the new frames we installed in this house after Katrina flood, is tack sisal rugs tacked to the frame. Yea, real pretty!! HA! HA! We left one bare and don't you know she went to that one instead of the ones with the sisal rug. 99% of cats love sisal. You could try some of the wooden scratching posts that are out on the market. Put it next to the area she likes to scratch and see if she'll use it. Actually I may try one of them myself for this girl. Otherwise she is such a good housecat except for her facination with the door casing. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 11:21PM
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