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The ONLY 4 window sizes you’ll ever need! Window Schedules SIMPLIFIED.

Yesterday I put out a video about window schedules. You can check it out here:

I know it seems like a boring topic and Im sure theres not many people out there that are involved in such matters on a daily basis. However, I wanted to bring it up as an example of how often we overcomplicate aspects our lives.

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So Ive come up with 4 window sizes that will work in any scenario in a house. This idea came from me being frustrated with one project where we had close to 30 different window types for a 4,000 ft2 house. What bothered me more than the insane amount of windows was the fact that the house we recycled them from was only 5 years old! I believe the house was a couple million when it was sold and the new owners decided it wasn’t their style and thought it was best to demo it all the way down to the slab. In my mind, Im thinking, ‘just buy another piece of land!’ Anyway, I digress.

Granted, they are really nice windows, so Im okay with putting in the extra work to use recycled materials. If I was using BIM software, I would probably have a way easier time. However, moving forward, we can simplify this whole process regardless of what technology we're using to organize it.

The key ‘restraints’ im using for this philosophy are the following:

  • Door height (to line up window height with)

  • Sill Height (ground Level vs upper levels)

  • Counter height

  • Privacy height

  • Clerestory

For the door height, I don’t believe it should be more than 6’- 8.” I see a trend these days to have really tall doors. Doors feel more prominent when they feel like “portals.” Thats why arched doorways are so interesting & inviting. Some say doors heights should be lower, but as we historically seem to be getting taller as a species so I don’t see the need for that! So once we have the door height, all the tops of the windows should line up with that door height.

For the sill height, Im a firm believer that we should have a lower sill than usual. Which, Im actually seeing a lot more of these days! In A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, ‘Pattern 222’ talks about a low sill. He states “One of a windows most important functions of a window is to put you in touch with the outdoors. If the sill is too high, it cuts you off.” He proposes that sill heights be somewhere between 12” and 14” AFF (Above Finished Floor) and for the upstairs a bit higher around 20” AFF.

So that covers the areas that are open, perhaps a hallway, or places with furniture, etc. But there are many places where we have working countertops or table tops. So the next height AFF would be around counter height, typically 36” or so AFF.

Then of course bathrooms, or areas that want to remain private, but still need natural light. Maybe around 4’-8” AFF so you can still look outside but if you're naked in your bedroom its not a problem!

And lastly, clerestory windows, which would be above the 6’-8” door height and just below your top plate. This works nicely for 9’ or 10’ ceilings. I love clerestory windows, they can bring a lot of light to spaces without taking up precious wall space. They can be put above doors and windows and give everything a fresh look. Also, I love the extra air ventilation it can provide. If the building has a hefty roof overhang, they can even be left open without the worry of too much moisture coming into the building.

So now that we covered heights, lets talk about width. 36” is standard for a reason. Im not a glass scientist, but I believe there is a certain span of glass before needing a mullion or thicker piece of glass overall. Remember when windows had small panes and had a grid of mullions? Theres something about breaking up the glass into smaller parts feels more structurally sound, even if the technology warrants larger spans of glass. I think 36” wide is perfect, and they can always be put together if, for example, you wanted to amplify a particular view.

So that leaves us with our 4 window sizes:

  1. 1st floor standard window: 36”W x 66” H

  2. 2nd floor standard window: 36”W x 60”H

  3. Counter height window: 36”W x 40”H

  4. Bathroom & Clerestory windows: 36”W x 18”H

4 window sizes

As far as window type, I personally like awning windows because they keep the moisture coming from outside less of a direct hit on the interior space if they happen to get left open. I can’t tell you how many times Ive accidentally left double hung windows open only to come home to rain getting inside and ruining my laminate floor. Sometimes awnings aren’t great if your in a high wind zone, or you just have something happening outside where the opening might interfere. Also, I love casement windows. Couldn’t tell you why though!

Hope this helps!

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I love all things natural. I love building places we can call home and in turn be our most authentic selves. 

Although I specialize in architecture and interior design, I appreciate all forms of design where form and function are in balance.

My hope is to inspire others to find eco-friendly options valuable and beautiful. 

This is where eco meets elegance... 




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