Design snapshot: Small house, big windows - Fine Homebuilding
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Square One: Good Home Design Starts Here

Square One: Good Home Design Starts Here

Design snapshot: Small house, big windows

comments (6) February 9th, 2012 in Blogs
KHS Katie Hutchison, Contributor

Click To Enlarge Photo: Katie Hutchison

One-story elements, on the front and both sides of this sweet, one and one-half story house, nestle it into the landscape. Though the central gable and side wing are modestly sized, the windows are generously oversized. The first-floor double-hung windows are wider than the entry door and nearly align with the top of it. Their sills are not much above floor level. Even the arch-topped second-floor window maximizes available height. Relatively large windows, such as these, can create a sense of spaciousness from within small spaces. They can also bring big personality to the curb view.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast and SquareOne
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posted in: Blogs, architecture, Design, Design snapshot, windows, small

Comments (6)

debsilber debsilber writes: You're right -- Window size is so important, and so often overlooked, particularly when a home's original windows are swapped out for replacement units. The smaller pane sizes can really effect the appearance of the house, as well as the amount of light that enters the rooms.
If you're interested in how window choice makes or breaks a home, check out Lynn Hopkins' article, "Character-defining Windows." You can find it on this site by clicking on the Design tab and selecting "windows," or see it in print in ReDesign, a special FHB design issue that's on newsstands now.

Posted: 5:17 pm on February 16th

vnc vnc writes: So Pretty.
Posted: 9:30 am on February 14th

RYagid RYagid writes: Semar: Thanks for your input. You bring up some good points. I agree, nothing looks/functions worse than a space that was designed without consideration for furniture placement. Here are some other examples of the impact extra large/extra small windows can have on a home.
Posted: 7:33 am on February 14th

semar semar writes: the simplest way to determine window sizes is to draw an elevation and experiment with different windowsizes (papercut-outs). It does not take long to find out what you like.
Other things to consider: what effect will it have on the heating system. (heatloss - furnace too small)
are you loosing placing space - looking at a large cabinetback from the street or backsides from tv and audiosystems is not very attractive.
What will be involved when you increase the width of window - structural elements
Posted: 1:51 pm on February 13th

KHS KHS writes: Rob, it often takes a number of elevation studies to get it right. It's a matter of balancing not only window size, relative to the overall elevation, but the amount of surrounding wall. A window that's too big may feel too dominant, and leave too tenuous a surrounding wall; a window that's too small may look somewhat lost in too vast a surrounding wall.
Posted: 10:29 pm on February 9th

RYagid RYagid writes: I'm glad you posted this, Katie. I'm really into big windows on small homes. However, I always wonder how people get it right. When is big not big enough and how big is too big? Any insight?

Posted: 4:00 pm on February 9th

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