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Best garden window?

Posted by shadey (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 8, 08 at 10:51

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?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Best garden window?

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

RE: Best garden window?

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.

RE: Best garden window?

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.

RE: Best garden window?

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!


RE: Best garden window?

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

RE: Best garden window?

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 35° 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?

RE: Best garden window?

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.

RE: Best garden window?

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

RE: Best garden window?

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.

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