Why Rooflines Determine Your Window Options


Have you ever wondered why rooflines determine your window options?

No doubt, windows are the eyes into and out of the house. One of the most challenging and interesting parts of designing a house is windows. Designing windows is mulit-layered and complex and rooflines will be a strong determiner of what and how windows can be placed.

Here are some guidelines to consider when thinking about your windows:

1 – Height

Does the height of the bottom of the roof allow for the height of window that you are looking for? Remember: You will need a header above the window(s) for structure – between 4-12” depending on the width of windows.



2 – Window Sill

If your window is closer than 24” from the finished floor, the glass needs to be tempered. The additional cost is roughly $60/ window and often achieves a unique look.

3 – Egress Windows

This is a window located in bedrooms only with a code requirement of 5.7 s.f. opening. Technically, code is determined by a fireman/woman needs to be able to fit into the window with a full pack on their back and carry out a child in their arms.

4 – Window Type

There is a definitive look that each window type will bring to the house. Tucked under the roofline, an awning window is a wonderful way to add a square window. A casement egress window doesn’t have to be as large as a double hung egress window.

5 – Dormers

Gable dormers provide a wonderful opportunity to add different sized double hung windows to keep the eye moving while shed dormers bring an opportunity to introduce a casement or awning.

6 – Cupola

This is a unique opportunity to add true roof windows. This one shown here is strategically placed over the master bed to observe snow and stars.

I calculate that I spend about 30% of an architectural project on designing windows. It is also about 30% of your construction budget. Therefore, it is well worth the time to stop, think, dream, plan, look at inspiring photos online and come up with a beautifully designed home. Let me know if you want to work with me on your project!


View Related Projects

Leave a comment