relationship of windows and doors

abekkerJune 10, 2014

I will have an 8 ft double enty door. I am going with 10 ft ceilings and 8 ft doors on the 1st floor. Do my window headers have to align with the door headers? That brings my windows about 2 ft away from the ceiling, is this the way it's done? Same issue on the 2nd floor 9 ft ceilings 7 ft doors. Please advise. My architect put down 5'10 for the downstairs windows and 4'9 for upstairs. Should I go with a different size?

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The only building type that typically aligns door heads and window heads is the American developer tract house which is fortunately becoming a thing of the past. If this is a custom house and you are not a developer, there is no compelling reason to align these elements. Windows heads should be as high as possible to allow light to penetrate more deeply into the house.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Renovator8 how do you think should I have my windows put in? Are my windows big enough for such high ceilings?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:01PM
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with 10' ceiling I would probably put a 1'6" or 2' transom above the windows

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:03AM
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I do have transoms on the 1st floor windows . How far from the ceiling should the header be and how high from the floor?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:32AM
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in my area if the window sill is lower than ~18" you will need tempered glass so most are set just above that

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Lowering the bottom of the windows doesn't add much light in the room. The tempered glass rule is 18" or less from the floor to the bottom exposed edge of the glass and the individual pane is larger than 9 s.f. sq. in. and the top edge of the pane is higher than 36" above the floor.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Windows that are too low don't allow you to have furniture on the walls with windows and creates problems for the actual use of the room. If you might want a table or seat on one of the walls with windows, they should be no lower than 36" above the floor to allow for a standard 30" high table to fit below the trim easily. Another issue that often arises in new builds is windows too close to the adjacent walls so that there is no room for window treatment hardware or window treatments. It's an issue that most people don't even think about during building, and is prevalent in way too many "mill" plans with little thought to fenestration. The problems arise because of too much emphasis on a "floorplan" and not enough emphasis on developing the interior and exterior at the same time, organically.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:53AM
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I do have a custom home and we set the tops of our doors and windows to the be the same height because we liked the symmetry of it. Ceilings are 10', doors are 8' and windows are 6' (set 2' from the floor and 2 ' from the ceiling). The exception is in our bedroom where the windows are about 6" inches shorter to allow for bedside tables underneath them.

I definitely agree with live_wire_oak's suggestion about furniture placement as well.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Thank you for the feedback. I've been going back and forth with the windows and it seems if doors are set much lower than windows it's fine but if there is less than half a ft difference than might as well align them,so that it doesn't look like a contractor mistake.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:51PM
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The residential designers of the 19th century paid little attention to the alignment of door and window heads. Alignment was a 20th century response to modular exterior sheathing panels and interior gypsum board and a housing boom that made possible large developments with simple repeatable construction elements.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 8:07AM
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we have ten foot ceilings and the window tops are eight feet off the floor. I wouldn't do less than 6 ft. tall windows.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 10:32PM
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Skyangel do you find the space above the windows too big? How far from the window trim did you hang your curtains?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 11:07PM
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I just changed my back window to 6 ft, I hope that's not too big.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 4:29PM
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