Over the years I’ve talked a lot about the impact windows can have on the exterior of a home, but the impact they have on the interior is arguably even more important.
Windows are a critical component of a room. Whether it’s a living room, bedroom, kitchen, or even bathroom, the amount of natural light that flows in will have a direct impact on the room and the people in it. When you add or enlarge a window you can dramatically change the atmosphere inside the house.
More Natural Light
Nothing has a bigger impact on a room – any room – than light, and you should never underestimate how much people value light, bright interiors. Maximizing the amount of natural sunlight coming into a house is an important step in raising its value, but also in raising the quality of life of those who live there. Think about it, how much more productive do you feel in a room filled with natural light? How much happier are you when you can gaze out a window? Natural light is rejuvenating and can contribute to quality of life.
That said, when deciding where to place new windows make sure you’re considering the orientation of the house, as well as how the rooms are used. While I’m a big believer that the more natural light the better, keep in mind that east and west facing windows can get quite a bit of sun, and depending on the time of year and day, it can be troublesome in rooms where you might be watching tv or using a computer. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t add or expand windows in these rooms, just keep in mind that you may want to consider things like window treatments, or in some cases, frosted glass.
Windows are some of the most important architectural components of your home, and every room can benefit from different sizes and shapes of windows. Although squares and rectangles are common, they can come in whatever shape you want. Take this kitchen for example. We wanted to have more natural light, so I had Pollard Windows make some custom windows to be in line with the sloped ceiling. It makes the ceiling appear higher and allows a significant amount of light to pour in. Anytime you’re considering adding a new window make sure you’re taking the style and shape of the house in mind.
Frame the Outdoors
Another great thing to consider is how a window can act as a frame for a great view of the outdoors. Whether it’s a backyard, a deck, the front of the house, or some other outdoor highlight, your window can call attention to it and provide a great viewing spot from inside. ‘Picture windows’ (windows that don’t open) can provide you with an unobstructed view that can help elevate your mood and connect you with the outdoors.
Windows can also change a space by providing ventilation. A stuffy room can feel fresher and more comfortable when there’s an open window with a breeze coming in. There are many types that can provide ventilation. Casement windows are hinged on either the left or right and allow the glass panes to swing out like doors, providing some of the best ventilation for their size. Sliding windows and both single and double hung windows are also good options.
If adding a new window isn’t an option, you can also consider enlarging the existing openings. Keep in mind that this job requires a building permit and specialized work, which can be a bit pricey. However, the expense may very well be worth it if the new windows increase the light inside and improve the curb appeal of the house, but make sure to take the additional cost into consideration.
#ScottTip – Want to increase the amount of natural light but can’t add any more windows? Try placing a mirror on the wall opposite your existing windows. You’ll instantly increase the amount of natural light in the space.
Photos courtesy of HGTV Canada and Pollard WIndows