how high can windows go to the ceiling?

Fiona44July 9, 2011

Hello All, my first time posting on this forum. We are planning a kitchen reno in our 1978 Saltbox home. We would like to optimize our view by placing 5' tall windows along the back of our kitchen wall which overlooks our garden. Our trusted GC says this is doable with the proper header. We would have the windows running from the counter to the ceiling...which means the top trim would be right up against the ceiling. I hope this makes an okay visual...as I am wondering if it would look okay? The width would be between 5 and 7 feet, we have not decided yet. Next to this window we would have our eating area slider which would have a 1 ft transom above...same idea...trim right against the ceiling. I'm fairly confident the expansive view will not make the the window look "squished" but was hoping for some other's opinions. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

Header placement is the driver.

The header height is based on the loads above the opening and the width of the opening.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 11:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

+1

In most applications, you cannot run the window up to the ceiling height because you are encroaching on the placement of the window header and the homes ability to structurally support the load of the home.

You will need to get a PE to look at it and see what needs to be done to achieve that look. It may require considerable restructuring.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wolfgang80

If the windows run too close to fit the required wood header size, can she substitute a steel header that is not as thick but supports the same load?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

Steel headers must be engineered.

The building code does not provide sizes.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Potentially, however, this is a question better suited for PE and the code compliance implications.

If you use some sort of steel beam, the issue becomes how you tie that structure into existing structure, drywall to it, etc.

You also are creating a huge thermal bridge in the home as well to suck the heat right out of the home.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"If you use some sort of steel beam, the issue becomes how you tie that structure into existing structure, drywall to it, etc."

You wrap it in wood to provide nailing surface.

"You also are creating a huge thermal bridge in the home as well to suck the heat right out of the home."

Some high R-per inch foam board can normally solve this problem.

It will have to be engineered though, and that will include fastening and insulation issues.
You may be able to use a flitch beam (steel plate between wood members),
In many cases you need to just replace the 1/2 inch plywood layer in the header with 1/2 inch steel plate correctly fastened to transfer and share loads with the wood.
It is not that hard to design or fabricate.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Agreed. Flitch plate, LVL, glulam all might work but it does not sound like it will give the customer what they are looking for. I got the impression that the OP was looking for the windows to run right up to the ceiling.

It is certainly not impossible by any stretch but when you give the customer that quote so that they can have some additional window height, be prepared for a change of heart unless the windows are egregiously low.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"I got the impression that the OP was looking for the windows to run right up to the ceiling. "

The header is going to have to support joists or rafters for the structure above so no vertical wall space is used.

They can be hung from the side of the header.

Not hard, but will require some 'different' (read not covered by the building code and therefore requiring engineering) framing methods.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

There are certainly framing techniques that will allow for just about anything to be done.

Different usually = $$ and additional work.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
renovator8

I don't think the original question was how to design a header so the window could go all the way to the ceiling but what it would look like if it did. The OP said the builder already knew how to do that.

That would mean that he intends to put header inside the structure of the floor or attic framing above. Some building officials might allow this header to be sized from the building code tables and others might require an engineer to design it. In any case, the continuous top plate should remain and that would cause the window to be just low enough for the trim to fit as the OP described.

How that would look in a kitchen above the counter is not possible to say without a photo of the kitchen but it might be just fine if any window treatment does not require space above the window. Narrow blinds would work for instance.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:47AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pros please help differentiate between two window manufacturers...
Hello, we are the midst of a new construction build...
rebph
Kitchen Sliding Patio Door
Hi everyone! My slider is junky and the frame around...
LSSF
Dual pane window retrofit, for sound blocking, question on thickness.
Been looking at options on vinyl windows with better...
mystrwizard
Hunter Douglas Roller Shades Not Staying Down
We have a bunch of new Hunter Douglas Roller Shade...
Sean
Plantation Shutters Pros/Cons, need advice
Hi, I'm new to this website and owning a home so forgive...
rehsanipoor
Sponsored Products
Violet Swirl Frame
$8.99 | zulily
6-Light Hall / Foyer Regal Bronze
PLFixtures
James Moder Impact Maria Teresa 5-Light Silver Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Fusion Modular Four-Light Matte Black Chandelier
$440.00 | Bellacor
Antique Bronze Five-Light Chandelier
$285.00 | Bellacor
Vinotemp 12TEDS 12 Bottle Wine Cooler - VT-12TEDS
$211.98 | Hayneedle
IMPERIAL Pendant Lights New York Yankees Tiffany Pendant IMP 255-2001
Home Depot
Tiffany Green Glass Ceiling Pendant Lighting
ParrotUncle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™