Best garden window?

shadeyOctober 8, 2008

I am remodeling our galley kitchen. It's small and low on light, so I thought that replacing the casement window with a garden window would add visual space and light.

The ones that I have seen in catalogues at the box stores look cheapish -- Marvin and Anderson apparently do not make them, and Pella has one, but it looks a bit cheap too.

There is a place called Renaissance Conservatories that has a gorgeous window -- but it's about $ 4,000 for a small 36 X 36 window! Does anyone know of something in-between? A nice quality garden window (36" wide) that is more like $ 1,000?



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Most Garden Windows look kind of "cheapo" on the outside. It's too much vinyl and looks like a box hanging off the side of your home. On the other hand they can be nice when viewed from the inside with your plants etc inside.

Speaking of plants - you are asking for all sorts of condensation issues when you do this, and it doesn't matter how much you pay, if you have humidity in the house during heating season (if you have one) those things can become a bit of a science experiment on the inside.

Back to your question, once you get past the big box stores and national lumberyard chains, you will probably be dealing with more of a regional window manufacturer for your Garden Window. Some are better built than others, but when your talking to the salesman and getting all excited - remember your first reaction to the "Cheapo" look 'cause most vinyl units will look the same from the outside.

Some of the bigger (non box store) companies that may be in your area would be Atrium or Simonton or perhaps Sunrise or .... there are so many.
Where are you?
Good Luck - Ed

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 5:50PM
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Kolbe and Kolbe makes one that is a very nice unit, of course it will be more than the vinyl companies but it is a nice unit.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 11:44AM
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I would leave the casement.
We just remodeled our kitchen, it had a garden window, and I can say I will never again put one in.
It was 5 years old and completely rotted from the inside due to condensation.
It leaked cold air and looked silly from the outside.
Also, they are hard to keep clean.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 8:41PM
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I am in the Chicago area. My contractor wants to use a Lang window. I looked it up online and the garden window is pretty nice looking.

I am concerned about condensation. I do not have a condensation problem now, but have heard that this can be an issue with garden windows. I suppose that I should be concerned that it may be hard to clean -- but for a more open, airy feel to my small kitchen, I guess that is a price I am willing to pay!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 12:35AM
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I found a really nice Garden window for my home and have had no problems with it yet! It looks beautiful!. One of the main things I learned while shopping was that this window was MADE to be a garden window. A lot of other companies I looked at, more or less, built their garden windows from other window parts, making it not as structurally sound, or good looking for that matter.

A company called Vinyl-Lite Window Factory put it in. I don't know where you are located, or if they serve your area, but you can try them at

I'll copy some text from the original brochure I have for it:

The vinyl extruded frame sections are reinforced for extra strength. The bottom frame has a drainage system to remove excess moisture and is insulated for energy efficiency. A compression bulb seal in combination with a continuous hinge eliminates air infiltration when closed. The rain gutter system also drains excess moisture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Window

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:02AM
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Does anyone have experience with garden windows from Harvey Building Products?

Also, should explore options at garden shows, the internet, other ways?

High performance 1" insulating glass with option of Low-E/Argon glazing
Only vinyl garden window on the market today with an AAMA Certified R-50 rating (units 60-1/2" x 60-1/2" and smaller)
Top sloped insulating glass (a constant 35ð pitch) is tempered for improved safety and unit integrity
Twin sealing, fully screened, operating casements with external glazing for improved weather protection
Exterior grade plywood headboard, seatboard and jamb are 1-1/4" for excellent structural and thermal performance; support brackets are not needed
R-50 "Coastal Rating" available

Here is a link that might be useful: Quality Garden Window?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Most manufacturers don't actually make their own garden window. Does Harvey make it in house?

Garden windows are pretty specialized in terms of manufacturing and quite a few folks use the Ventana manufacturer unit.

If that is the case with Harvey (i.e. made and supplied by Ventana), we have used the same Garden unit with success and have not had any issues with the Ventana unit.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 7:34AM
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I don't know if anyone is still reading this post...but what did you decide to do for a garden window? I have ~37X37 casement window and was looking to replace it with garden window over my sink. To get more light.

I went to Lowes and they have ones from United Window & Door, and Reliabilt. Anyone have any recommendations about these brands for garden windows? I will also check out Harvey.

I am located in the Boston area (ie cold) do I need to worry about condensation?

Any info is appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Of those two, the Reliabilt is likely the better unit. They may not be that different at all though.

Often times, manufacturers do not make their own Garden Unit. Ventana makes quite a few of the garden units for manufacturers out there.

Being in Boston, I would be concerned about condensation on the unit and especially on the corner sections where the vinyl is continuous and bridged to the outside.

Be sure to order a unit with foam in the extrusions and an insulated seat board.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Mike Bouchery

I took the advise ,I found on this blog and ordered a new garden window-to replace my old aluminum garden window ,that was cold and had water between the double glass.I found it at .They shipped it to my home and We had our handyman install it.My wife and I love it,its warm,has a glass middle shelf.We were thinking of just putting a regular window in,but now we are glad we went with a new vinyl garden.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 7:40PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

How did you find this post Mike. Somewhat of an interesting first post?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 9:02AM
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Help! We are replacing an Alside garden window. The wooden seatboard is ruined. It builds ice upon it during the winter. It is NOT from condensation within the house, it is because it is so bitter cold on the bottom of an uninsulated seatboard. The sill can be 40 degrees! Our contractor wants to replace with an Atrium brand garden window. Does anyone have any experience with this brand garden window? I love the garden window, but don't want to deal with the ice cold in the winter and the hot of the summer. Is a garden window just a bad idea? I don't want the same problem again.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2015 at 11:40AM
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Windows on Washington

I would venture a guess that more than 50% of the garden windows out there (vinyl units) are made by Ventana. Most manufacturers don't make their own given the specialized nature of the construction.

Be sure that your installer takes extra care to insulate the seatboard if you unit does not come insulated.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2015 at 6:57AM
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