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Great Room Windows

Posted by jebrough (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 2:04

We have finally started building. The foundation is almost complete, so the framing should be soon. However, we are having trouble deciding on the windows in the Great Room. They started out as 2 fixed French Doors on the side of the Great Room facing the entry. On the opposite side there was 1 fixed French Door and one operable French Door. The drawing shows double casement windows on both sides, but I think we are going to lean to 2 single casement windows on either side to make it a bit more private. There will also be a door on the side that is facing the garage/landscaped area. There will be a small sideporch on that side. Do you think this will look okay? Any ideas?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Great Room Windows

To be able understand how it would look or if it is functionally appropriate I would need to see the entire floor plan, a site plan and the elevations.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Reno raises a good point about what's needed to be able to understand the design and offer suggestions.

Here are some general thoughts, based on what we can see (and surmise) from only the plan above:

--the room is large, and thus the glazing and doors should be in proportion to the space, i.e., large room means large windows;
--if the ceiling is high, then the windows should be proportionally tall;
--the fixed French doors would have permitted a lot of light and opportunities for views to the outside;
--the current scheme using doubled double-hung windows appears to be similar to the fixed French door scheme;
--using single casement windows, which will be considerably smaller than either of the other two schemes, is probably too small and may create a "pin-hole" effect of small openings in a large wall., resulting in glare during periods of strong illumination.

A better assessment is possible if you post the other needed drawings. Plus we need to know the ceiling height.

Good luck on your project.

PS: Does your lighting plan really represent how the room will be furnished and used? It looks to be a very generic lighting layout with no consideration of furnishings, uses or type of use/occupancy. I would never hang a chandelier in a family or great room, unless there is a large table planned for that exact location.


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RE: Great Room Windows

This room is 18' wide by 26' long. 9' walls vaulted. This is a hip roof. Roughly 20' vaulted ceilings.

Our local architect who didn't design this plan, recommended 2 double casement windows on each side of the room opposite each other. The problem with this room for us is that it doesn't allow for very much privacy because it is in the front of the home. Therefore, we were going to make the windows smaller in order to achieve a more cozy atmosphere. One friend who has built many homes said that if we went with big windows, then it would be like a large sun room with a fireplace in the middle. This room will only get early morning sun. The chandelier will not go in the middle of the room. It will go over the dining table. We haven't finished this drawing yet. It has also been suggested that we use several of the small architectural windows like the one in the front next to the fireplace, but that almost seems to small. The wall facing the entry looks strange to us with those large windows facing it. I am attaching the first floor plan. The door in the Great Room will lead out to a sideporch and the garage doors have been moved to the left side.


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RE: Great Room Windows

This is the original front elevation. As you can see in the floor plan, the garage doors have been moved. There is now a window on that garage wall. Those are the only things that have changed about the front except for in the guest room, there is now a window that matches the one on the garage instead of the french doors.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Lastly, this home is now on a 32 in. crawlspace.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Here are a few windows that have been suggested for the wall facing the entry. The small windows at the top left.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Here are a few more suggestions.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Another suggestion: The three windows to the left of the chimney on the side facing the entry.


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RE: Great Room Windows

But where are the elevations for THIS house YOU'RE building not suggestions or other renderings?


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RE: Great Room Windows

But where are the elevations for THIS house YOU'RE building not suggestions or other renderings?


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RE: Great Room Windows

I posted it above. Where it says "this is the original front elevation". The only changes to it are the garage doors that have been moved to the side, a double casement window is now in place of the garage doors, and the french doors on the far right guest room have been changed to a double casement window just like the one on the garage front.

The reason I posted the other elevations, is to show the windows that we are thinking of using on the right side of the great room facing the entry.


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RE: Great Room Windows

This is the left side elevation. It shows the Great Room with 2 sets of French Doors (1 fixed) that we will be replacing with a single door and some other type of window/s. There will also be a small side porch attached to this side.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Let me reiterate.. The above is the original left elevation. Again, the window that you see on the garage is now in the front, and there are garage doors in place of that window.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Hmmm.. And, where will your guests drive up?
I have a concern about having doors to the great room (esp on 1 door) from the driveway when you can't see the front door from the driveway! You'll be getting packages, etc dropped to your great room french door because that is easier for the ups guy than walking all the way around your great room protuberance to the front door....UNLESS, you have a secondary driveway that guests/delivery persons will mainly use.

For that reason, I'd not put a door there. I might put a series of 2 doors there (because, that usually cues that that isn't the main door location). Or, I'd stick with windows.

The reason they all want to see YOUR real elevation is because it sounds a lot like you plan to make changes to the windows... but usually windows have some common sizing throughout the front elevation. You can't (don't want to) change windows in 1 room of the front of your house without consideration to the dimensions of the other windows on the front of the house (which then affects windows in other rooms of the house, etc).

Therefore, your window choices for the great room should be restricted to those that "match" or are consistent with the rest of the house.


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RE: Great Room Windows

krikhall, I hear what you are saying, but it seems that the example elevations that I posted above don't have all matching windows. They have cool architecture going on with various window sizes. I do have that one small architectural window in the front by the chimney. Maybe we could play off of that.

I will get an updated front elevation up asap. We have had a time with this house. Ist architect wanted as much or more money than the original houseplans cost to make a few revisions, so we went with a local architect who was hourly. He changed a few things for the floor plan, but didn't do exterior elevations. We are working off of the original plans with the framer to make those changes. I called the original architect who said it would look fine to use the garage window that you see above on the front elevation, and to use the same one on the guest room (which is the far room to the right). So if you can imagine that, great. If not, I will post my cut and paste copy for you to see.


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RE: Great Room Windows

This is the front as is so far. The windows on the garage and guest room may or may not have shutters, depending on what looks best. I know we can add them if we don't like the look without them. The dormer above the garage is now a shed dormer.

I am concerned about adding a small side porch as well. My wife wants it, so that she can sit somewhere and watch the kids play on the driveway and ride their bikes, without having to go out of the garage and sit there. I was told a small shed porch would look good.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Sorry for the blue look. I took this outside while I was working. Here is one that is a bit better, but not much. Hopefully it will work well enough in order to help answer my question.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Hmmm . . . I kind of think that if you want a room to be private, you don't build it sticking out way into your front yard.

I agree that for a large room, you need large windows. I think I'd do this:

- Nix all French doors.
- Stick to the one "architectural" window next to the fireplace. It'd be a splurge, but I'd go with something like diamond-shaped panes.
- Do some built-ins on both sides of the fireplace. This will be functional, it will "excuse" the lack of windows on the front of the house, and I personally like the look of big, sturdy built-ins by a fireplace.
- Include two side-by-side double-hung windows on the two "living room" walls, which will sort of "define" the living room as a separate area apart from the dining room.
- Splurge on great, heavy drapes that're easy to open and close.
- The dining room needs one single double-hung window in the spot that is now a door.


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RE: Great Room Windows

I think I would want an obvious side entry to the house about opposite where the person door is in the garage, maybe where that small room/closet is to the left of the dining room table.

That might be where you would want to be able to answer a door for packages and such since it's near the kitchen. I would want it to be a real entry though, not just in the garage at the front of the cars.

As for the windows in the great room, why not a ribbons of high windows, Arts and Crafts Style? This house is Tudor Revival with an English Arts and Crafts plan:
 photo Huron1_zpscf47db38.jpg

This house has them all over, these are smaller and it's a bathoom, but the high position allows privacy and lets in a lot of light.
 photo Huron14_zps9219816a.jpg
 photo Huron18_zps1abe8414.jpg

The front windows of my house, which is right on the sidewalk, and a modernist house are right at the ceiling line and I can't see straight out of them. But it allows the entire width of both front rooms to be glass, allows a lot of light in, a view of trees and the sky and is completely private.


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RE: Great Room Windows

mrspete - Since it is our family room, yes we do want to make it more private. It just happens to be in the front of the house. BTW all of the windows are casement, not double hung.

palimpsest - thanks for your comments and pictures. We had fun sitting around the table cutting and pasting with our window schedule. What we came up with was that we would change the garage and guest bedroom to triple casement windows. On the left side of the Great Room we are going with 2 single casement evenly spaced apart and on the right side we are going with 3 small windows like the one on the front. They are evenly spaced from the left side. That will allow for privacy, but also allow for light on that side. It also gives more space on that interior wall for furniture, pictures, etc. It may seem odd, but it actually looked really good. The right elevation has 3 small windows on it as well. Not sure if we are going to go with shutters or not. We are going with a lighter brick and bronze windows with dark trim and a dark brown shingle roof. There are lots of timber accents on this home.
Some people may not be as familiar with this type of architecture, but it seems that you are. This house is a Jack Arnold, but we also really like Dungan Nequette, Bill Ingram, and Bobby McAlpine.


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RE: Great Room Windows

We made one last change..... On the left side of the GR we have 3 single casement 2046 windows and on the opposite wall we will have 2 single casement 2046 directly opposite the 2 on the left side. The reason we went for 3 on the left side was to have one near where we will have a dining table. It will be facing the entry.

The garage and guest room windows will be triple casement.

One opinion that someone gave us is that you do not have to do any shutters. (The exterior will be tumbled brick - a stone color) Another is that if we did the double casement windows on the garage and guest, then we should do shutters.

Here is my question: Can you have some windows with shutters and some without? If so, which ones would you do? I don't have the right elevation but it has 3 single casement windows like the ones on the side of the GR evenly spaced in the middle of the brick wall. There is a med. size shed dormer above them. I know they would look really good with the single shutter. There are also 2 other windows exactly like those on the back in the laundry room and MB closet.


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RE: Great Room Windows

I would not put shutters on any window/s that would not be covered if the shutters were closed. That excludes almost any window but a single window.

Also, unless the casements are inswinging casements, shutters aren't realistic because there is no way to manually open and close them from inside if the window opens out.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Thank you palimpsest!


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RE: Great Room Windows

yes. i just read a blog entry by bobby mcalpine a couple of days ago. it was on shutters. like most great architects, he insists on shutters being operable, so only on a single window in most cases. he also mentioned that if it's a tiny window, put only one shutter that is the same size as the window, rather than 2 shutters half the size. i love that look.

i love your house!! we are doing a Tudor look that was inspired by a Cullingan Abraham house. But ours is on a much smaller and modest scale than yours and the Abraham inspiration.

If you like McAlpine, you'll enjoy these pics
http://www.houzz.com/photos/762826/Lincoln-St-traditional-exterior-chicago

http://www.houzz.com/photos/762827/Lincoln-St-traditional-exterior-chicago

http://www.houzz.com/photos/669643/Vine-Street-traditional-exterior-chicago

http://www.houzz.com/photos/653672/Hampton-traditional-exterior-chicago

http://www.houzz.com/photos/762830/Lincoln-St-traditional-exterior-chicago

http://www.houzz.com/photos/653676/Hampton-traditional-spaces-chicago

http://www.houzz.com/photos/3514902/Blue-Ash-traditional-exterior-chicago


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RE: Great Room Windows

Thank you bmh4796. Just checked out Cullingan Abraham - very nice! Yes, McAlpines pics on houzz are great. If you have time, go to Dungan Nequette on houzz. Great stuff.
One more question - We changed the double casements with shutters on the front to triple casements w/o shutters. Does this house need the shutters? Exterior will be a stoney brick with timber accents and a brown shingle roof.


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RE: Great Room Windows

Thank you bmh4796. Just checked out Cullingan Abraham - very nice! Yes, McAlpines pics on houzz are great. If you have time, go to Dungan Nequette on houzz. Great stuff.
One more question - We changed the double casements with shutters on the front to triple casements w/o shutters. Does this house need the shutters? Exterior will be a stoney brick with timber accents and a brown shingle roof.


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RE: Great Room Windows

i don't think you put shutters on triples because realistically they couldn't be operable. i think the house will lookfine without them, and triples will fill in the wall space nicely.


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