We are in the process of picking new windows for the second floor. There are two windows to be replaced: one on each end of the house. These are the major sources of light on the second floor, other than the dormer (which lights the hallway) and the solar tube (which will light the master bathroom).
The existing windows are double hung, with each sash having about 26″ by 24″ of glass. They fit into rough openings that are about 4″ too wide for a modern window, because the old windows have sash weights fit between the jams and the studs. We see ourselves as having two options: 1.) Install a new window which exactly matches the existing in terms of glass area (and furrow out the studs to fit). 2.) Install a larger window which takes advantage of the 4″ larger rough opening, sized to be taller as well to maintain the proportion.
The following picture shows the existing window on the right, and a mock-up of the proposed larger window on the left. The larger window is 4″ wider and 3″ taller.
- More light – Brighter rooms are nice, especially since thicker walls will mean a narrower viewing angle
- No rough opening alterations – Well, except for height, but that’s easy in a gable end wall
- Consistency – There are presently 6 windows of this size in the house. Two on each end wall (the other in the photo above is hid by the tree), and two framing the big window on the front. Do we replace all of these with the larger window? We can’t for the front windows .. it will alter the proportions and run the trim together. So this will introduce a new window size in two or four of the 6 locations.
- Cost – Larger windows are a little more expensive. Not by much, proportionally, but some.
- Balance – Does the window look too dominating in the altered photo? Does the original size seems a little lost on the gable end?
- Insulation – Bigger windows are colder than smaller windows. Not by much, proportionally, but some.
Which do you prefer?