Big awning windows and alternatives
Hi, I'm trying to design a replacement wood window for an odd opening in our old house. The opening is roughly 70 inches high and 60 inches wide, likely the result of removing two old double-hung windows and removing the stud between them. The current window in the space is a 70s aluminum special that is mostly fixed pane, with just a tiny slider that opens across the bottom.
For privacy reasons (faces neighbour's kitchen window some 12 feet away), we keep a curtain almost permanently closed across the bottom half, and because the window faces east and gets brutal sun in summer, there is also a full height horizontal venetian blind that remains closed on summer days until past noon. When that's open, which is all day for most of the year, the view above the curtain is nothing to speak of (the neighbour's roof) but we love the daylight.
One of the major reasons for replacing the window (besides that it's ugly) is to have one that we can open at the top and leave open overnight in summer without compromising security. We'd also like to open the lower parts from time to time, for air and for emergency exit. But it will be awkward to open them through venetian blinds, so we are thinking of just making a series of three full-width awning openings one below the other, the top one just 12 inches high and the lower two in the neighbourhood of 28 inches each. (27 and 29 or whatever works with the exact final dimensions).
We like awning windows since it rains a lot here :-) and if we want to air the place out in winter, chances are it'll be raining. Also, this puts the controls in reasonably accessible places with respect to the curtains and venetian.
It was suggested by one window store that the bottom two awning openings would be too heavy to stay open, so we're thinking we'll have to divide them in half. The problem with that is that we lose a bunch more daylight - the paradoxical appeal of the current windows is that we enjoy a lot of daylight, and every opening or division we create loses us another three inch strip or so.
Are there other ways to approach this opening that would be better, more functional, offer more daylight?
Thanks in advance,