Help me weak this window wall

deee_gwMarch 10, 2012

We are considering buying this home and some of the windows on this wall have broken seals and will probably have to be replaced. We'd like to use more traditional window sizes and shapes and like cottage style.

I am pretty clueless about windows. Would four rectangular windows and a port hole in the peak work?

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you could do the rectangular windows on the bottom, and a triangle on the top, like the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Well, if you are going to be changing it so drastically anyway, I would lose the idea of a round window above. This kind of window is always difficult to coordinate with draperies/any window treatment (if you ever plan to use them). You can find lots of threads asking how to hang draperies when there is an oval or arched window above the traditional windows.

I would fill in with drywall and have either the four-over-four pattern you have now, but squaring the top outside windows, or I would go with something large with a huge single pane if your view is amazing-which it looks like it might be with all that green.

I think the idea of the trianglar windows at the top might work, but I see that as much more mid-century than cottage.

Looks like a wonderful room and if you don't need or want any window treatments, then go with whatever you like-which, come to think of it, you should always do anyway! :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 4:41PM
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If you are considering buying, you should consult a window vendor and/or a contractor. The outside wall finish will be affected and it may be hard to match your current siding. The size and style window will also affect how the house looks from the outside.

Since you are clueless about windows, you will want to get a clue on the cost of this project.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:15PM
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If this window has problems, I'd question the overall quality of this home. What about all the other windows?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:18PM
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What does that part of the home look like from the outside? What is the material - siding, brick, stucco?

I would avoid any odd little window, as it always seems to create issues with window treatments.

I would go window shopping, literally, and get some feel for what is available, what costs might be, and then get estimates on the work.

For me, as long as you are changing windows and the wall, I would consider windows that start lower on the wall, if that would work from the outside as well.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Cindy, we have already consulted a contractor about a window replacement estimate and are having a home inspection on Tuesday. Replacement of windows and other repairs were figured into our purchase offer and any other major problems found during the inspection will be negotiated.

When I said I was clueless, I meant from a design sense. How do different size windows and placement influence the look of a room? I feel like there is something off with these windows and I can't put my finger on it. I wondered if the problem could be solved by trim or window grids to jazz things up a bit

The exterior is painted cedar clapboards, some of which will also have to be replaced. Hopefully it should be fairly easy to work with any changes to the outside wall.

Les, I also posted this on the building forum and Pal noticed the window height too. I had not considered lowering them. The view is actually not that great. Just some trees and a neighbor.s side yard.

I we were to lower things, what kind of configuration do you think might work?

Thanks for the suggestions and advice.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 6:18PM
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I'd replace the curved windows with ones that match the others. So the two lower rows would have 4 windows each and the top would be two windows.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 7:41PM
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the windows are set pretty high on the wall. is that because they can't come any lower for some reason?
if they can be lowered i'd think about two sets of french doors, one on either side of the room. plus transom windows above each one i think.
at the peak you can add a diamond shape window.
if no to the doors, then a long line of double hung at chair rail height might look cottage-y too.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 7:57PM
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You are correct that there is something off with these windows and it's because of the overall huge size and shape and because they are too high to look out. The scale and view would be improved if the lower 4 windows were taller. A rectangle is more visually pleasing than a square. As others have recommended, it would be wise to lose the curved windows as they are difficult to dress and also date the house. Having the window start lower will provide better proportions but wonder if there is a valid reason this window was designed this way. Are there windows on other walls in this room? Do they also need replacing?

I would definitely change their shape but I'd need to know what the rest of the room looks like and probably also the rest of the house, both inside and out. This is not an isolated design project and many factors need to be taken into consideration. If you post more pics of the house you might get more useful ideas. Otherwise we are all advising in the dark. It really might be worth the money to hire an architect if there are also other windows that need replacing/redesigning.

I would definitely not add a triangle window at the top, it will also date the house.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:31PM
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I am getting the impression the designer put these windows in for light and are purely for decoration. Instead of a blank wall for art they used windows. They are a huge frame for the outside. Their height makes curtains never needed, except for light control or heat, depending where you live. Lowering them invites more architectural issues we cannot see in this picture, I presume. If you square them up and have four rectangles, no curves, you have a more traditional look. You still have windows no one can really gaze out of. What are the lighting needs of the room? If you do not want the windows to be just decorative what do you want from them?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Oh my. I just noticed that I asked for help to WEAK the window wall. What a ridiculous typo.

Paraphrasing from the real estate listing "The ceilings/ windows were planned to flood the home with natural light while minimizing heat."

Here is my original picture.

Here another picture of the same room, taken from the stairs.

Here is a floor level picture of the eating area to the left of the window wall. The edge of the big window is in the upper right corner.

At this point, I'm not inclined to move the windows but am open to persuasion. I like the idea of four rectangular windows but feel that four rectangles will "fight" the peak. Would transoms in the two middle rectangles help or should I put a small window high in the peak?

Thanks so much for your advice and suggestions.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:00AM
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wow, it really is a massive room, have you got the measurements for us?
and i see there are windows in the corners of the room already.
to me it looks a bit awkward, the corner windows look very tiny compared to the huge window.
if it were me (and again if it were an affordable option) i'd tear them all out and start over.
i'd move the corner windows in a foot or three towards the center of the room and turn them into nice big french door sets on either side.
even without an outside to go to, you an decorate them more cottagey and still have plenty of room for furniture etc.
def add the transoms over the doors too.
as for the diamond window in the peak, to me it's cottage-ish or seashore-y, but maybe not to all.
wish i had photoshop skills, i'd show you what i mean.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:36AM
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The two transoms will help emphasize the peak. That's what I was talking about in my earlier post; sorry I wasn't clear. If you just go with the four lower windows, you will lose a great architectural element of the room.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 7:59PM
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You could go for the full expression of what this is, which is like the window in the gable of a church. Venturi, Scott-Brown, who I mentioned in your other thread on this window, fully explored this during the 1970s and 1980s:

VSBA house in Bermuda

VSBA house in Stony Creek CT

VSBA house in Stony Creek CT, exterior elevation

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Here's an example

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:49PM
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This top window adjustable "shutter" is from JC Penney's. Sorry, I can't seem to make these bigger like they used to be. But hope you can get the idea. Came from Penneys Widow Decor catalog. They came out to measure and install.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 11:37PM
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I would do something like this..probably not as wide, maybe just the upper portion, only 4 wide with the 2 windows above.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 1:57AM
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Traditional window sizes and shapes are very much in demand i like your idea .....Windows always need a good shape because they can improve your house style...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:20AM
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