There are many reasons to install new windows in your house. It could be because you want to save on your energy bills, or simply that the current windows are old and drafty or look like they need replacing.
Regardless of why you want to install them, there may be different places in your house where it is best to install them for optimum usage of windows; best placement will depend on the size of the window, quality, type of window (slider or double-hung) and how much light you want coming into the room.
We will look at where the best places are in your house to install windows for this reason.
Aspects of the room that you need to consider when installing a window:
Size and placement of furniture – If you have a large sofa or bed then ensure that there is enough space around it for people to move without banging into any furniture. Also, ensure that there is sufficient space between the front of the window and the back of any furniture – if it is too close, you may find light or air restricting movement so keep a good distance. Remember, these rooms are going to be used for a lot more than just sleeping so don’t place them in such a way they impede on living!
Size – This means taking into consideration the actual size of the room and the size of the window. If you have a small window in a big room, don’t expect to get much light or air coming into it. It is always best to buy bigger windows for larger rooms as this will increase natural lighting, which can be great for large open living spaces such as kitchens and dining rooms.
The same goes for placement – if the window requires more height or width then ensure that there is enough space above or below it to fit it into your house easily. This may sound obvious but without ensuring that the window fits in with your surroundings, you may find yourself struggling with installation later on!
Amount of light – for some people they want all their windows facing East, others North or South or want them all facing West. This is totally dependent on preference but you need to consider the amount of light that each window will let in so that not too much or too little is coming into your house. Too much light can be just as bad as being exposed to direct sunlight, especially if it means early morning brightness waking people up (and believe me this isn’t good for anyone’s temperament!). If you’re installing windows facing East then ensure even more care is taken with the size and placement of furniture, purposefully placing smaller pieces of furniture against walls can create larger open spaces.
Design of rooms– If you are using one room for multiple purposes (an office space during the day and a bedroom at night make sure that windows don’t interfere with this use. If you are using the room for an office during the day, ensure that windows aren’t too close to your desk, or else it will affect your concentration. If you are using the space as a bedroom at night, make sure there are curtains or blinds so no one can see in!
Climate – While all of these points may seem obvious, it is important to bear in mind where you live and what climate you’re working with when planning out windows and rooms. Windows facing North won’t get much light and any windows placed on roofs (roof windows) need special attention paid due to weather and climate changes. If you’re living in a particularly hot climate, windows and roofs can be great for ventilation and keeping out the heat but if it gets too cold then these will stop being effective and need to be covered over with blinds or curtains.
But all this comes down to preference – different people will have different thoughts on what is most important so don’t feel as though you always need to follow these guidelines! They are more there as a starting point than anything. So those are some things you may want to consider when choosing areas of your house for windows – now we’ll look at where would be best places to do this:
Ground floor – Mainly used for bedrooms and bathrooms, placing windows here means that they can let in natural light and air when needed, no matter what time of day or season it is.
First floor – perfect for rooms in which you want to use in multiple ways such as living rooms and dining rooms and can also be used for bedrooms if the surrounding area is well lit – although the top floor doesn’t typically receive much light so this may not be an ideal room to place a window there. Basement – This level isn’t generally used for living spaces (a bedroom maybe) but would be good for studies or home offices where good lighting and airflow are vital.
Roofs – These might not always appear practical places to put windows but they can give wonderful views over the sea, countryside, cityscape or whatever scene takes your fancy! But do bear in mind if it’s raining outside – you may not actually see much!
Windows aren’t just for light and air. They can be used as features, such as mirrors or sliding panels that let in light but give the option to be closed when needed.
Once you have decided on how many windows to place where then simply follow these steps:
Measure up – You needn’t use a ruler and measuring tape at this point, eyeballing it will work the fine first time around but after everything is set out and ready to go you should measure first.
Don’t stress – It may take you a few tries at first but once you get the hang of things you’ll quickly start getting the hang of it.
Remember that light isn’t always a good thing – If you’ve managed to place windows directly above furniture, for example, people may have their view obstructed by direct sunlight shining through.
Think about comfort – Unless there are reasons preventing it from being done, having floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere means that just about every inch of your house receives sunlight.
Place windows across from each other – It may sound strange but placing windows opposite one another, either horizontally or vertically will ensure that both receive equal amounts of light and airflow. Of course, this isn’t always possible simply due to how certain rooms are designed but if so then try using skylights elsewhere for compensation!
Although they’re a fantastic addition to your home, windows aren’t without their downsides. Here are a few things to consider before using them as the main feature in your interior design:
Unlimited access – It’s quite common for people who work from home or have a lot of visitors to find that their window sills become cluttered with cups of tea and magazines. Once this starts happening it can be difficult to stop, simply because accessing the window means looking at all those cluttered surfaces underneath!
Oppressive – If you have several windows in one room then depending on their size and the amount of sun that shines through, this may cause your room to feel oppressive or a little too bright.
Too much information – If you have a view from your home which is very open, such as being next to an airport runway or looking out directly onto traffic then this can become distracting for obvious reasons.
For more information, ask our experts on window replacements.