Let’s follow this little fantasy for a bit.
These are some smart windows.
Sliders open horizontally on a track. They seal up tight, giving them an extra boost of energy efficiency. The mechanisms inside vinyl slider windows are a bit simpler, making these windows a durable, low maintenance and often less expensive option.
Those are the practical reasons to choose sliders—but now let’s talk about the stuff that makes us fall in love. Sliders are uninterrupted by grid lines, making them function like frames at an art gallery. They highlight the views out onto your property— quite a dramatic feature for a dining room or living room.
They’re easy to slide open with just one hand, so when the weather is nice you can let the fresh air in quickly. With a sliding window over the bathtub you’ll be relaxing to the sound of birds chirping, and you won’t steam up the mirror.
Windows are the jewelry of your home
Jewelry can really make an outfit sing, but not all baubles and bangles go with every outfit. You’ll want to take a good studious look at your home’s exterior when considering a new window size and style.
Sliding glass windows tend to play well with others. The clean lines of a sliding glass window are a mainstay in more modern architecture, but they can also be used to update a more traditional style home.
Figuring out the scale of your new windows is the challenge. It’s never a bad idea to look for inspiration shots for how homes like yours utilize sliding windows. On those pictures, take note of where your eye first travels. You want the house to stand as a whole. When you see a house whose proportions are off, it’s often the first place your eye will travel.
When you get into the finer details of size, your home itself is going to have a say in the matter. There are limits to the size of window your load bearing exterior walls will take. You’ll need to work with local building codes, and have a sense for the bones of your house.
High, Wide and Handsome
First step—take a look at the height of your ceilings. If you have a traditional home you probably have eight foot ceilings, and modern homes usually feature nine to ten feet ceilings.
The space between the top of the window and the ceiling is a matter of taste. You want your windows to be close enough to the ceiling to take maximum advantage of natural light, but also give you enough room for window treatments.
From the bottom up, the International Residential Code (IRC) wants the sills on your windows to be at least 24 inches from the floor. If you want windows that reach lower, you’ll be limited to options that don’t open, like a picture window.
The rules for width are mostly about aesthetics—modern homes can get away with being a bit wider than traditional homes can. Go back to that image library you gathered to see how wide you can go.
Time to start shopping
So this sliding window daydream is starting to become a reality.
Window Nation can walk you through this next step. We’ll work with you to figure out the structure of your home, and can make you pictures of how this new window will look (helpful if someone in your home needs to be talked into this project...).
There might even be a combo pack of windows—maybe some smaller windows over your sliders, or perhaps a non-opening window in the middle of two sliders.
Let us daydream with you, and work up a free estimate.