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Thoughts on bay windows

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Student

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Not particularly woodworking but, some 35 years ago, we had PVC double glazing installed to replace the 1930s era Crittall single glazed windows. These are now showing their age and are not as efficient as they once were especially at the back of the house which faces north-west and gets the prevailing winds. As such we are looking to replace them. Most of the replacements will be like for like except for the half-landing. SWMBO would like to convert this into a bay window, either rectangular or triangular. In my view, this may be somewhat complicated but would welcome any thoughts from those with a building background.

These are pictures of the interior and exterior of the window

Window interior.jpg


Window exterior.jpg


My concern is how far one could cantilever out without some form of support and, if a support is needed, how would this be tied into the building?
 

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MikeG.

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Check with you local authority. You almost certainly would need planning permission for such a change.

Personally, that would be a very odd looking bay window. It's too small. Are you perhaps thinking of an oriel window? Again, personally, that might sit a little awkwardly in that elevation. You actually gain very little inside for all the buggeration involved.
 

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Mike

Thanks for your invaluable advice; sorry if I used the wrong terminology but I know more about mortality statistics than architectural terms (don’t ask!). What SWMBO wants is, in fact, a triangular oriel window such as these:

http://www.acarchitects.com/ACACL/Image ... 5&pup=true

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=trian ... gMoDG0u2rM

I’m not convinced such a design would work or provide any more light bearing in mind the width of the frames. Nor am I convinced that going for a trapezoidal oriel window would work either but my design consultant has wanted some such window for some time.

Out of interest, why is planning permission needed? We’re not in a conservation area and the increase in size of the property would be trivial. Our last two minor extensions didn’t need any permission as one was within the current building line, including the balcony, and the other involved roofing over the passageway between the house and garage. Is it anything to do with the insulation value of the window?

Regards.

Martin
 

MikeG.

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You have the same sized hole in the wall as now, so no matter how you arrange any glazing you aren't going to get any more light in.

Aesthetically I don't think an oriel will help that elevation, and depending on what the rest of the house looks like it could even be quite odd. As for planning permission, you are changing the external appearance of the house, and the proposed change wouldn't obviously fall within permitted development rights as I read them. At the very least you should ask your local council if PP was required.
 

Trevanion

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An oriel window is only going to let less light in than anything else because of the whomping post down the middle. They're only really good if you want to spy into your neighbours back garden or something like that without hanging out of the window :lol:

A Juliet balcony would look nice there.
 

Richard_C

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Looks like a nice outlook over the garden and maybe the view to the side is good as well. Nice place to sit with a book. You won't get more light but I would be tempted to do something with it.

Google for oriel window seat, box window seat, frameless window seat, that might give good ideas. Might look better than a triangular one in that location. If it uses the existing opening, therefore existing lintel, it might not need building control approval. Don't know for sure, nor do I know about planning.
 

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In response to Richard C‘s comment, this is the view from the window in question, taken in the autumn when our neighbour’s trees are looking spectacular.

UKW Garden.jpg


In response to Mike G’s comment about what the house looks like, this was taken from the bottom of our garden looking back at the house.

UKW House.jpg


I think SWMBO has, reluctantly, come round to the view that an oriel window is impractical. There was never any real plan to have a window seat there as it’s quite low and we have a balcony to sit out on in fine weather. However, there still remains a slight problem with the proportions. When the current window was installed, we wanted to have the maximum expanse of glass so as to get the view but also have an opening light for ventilation. The only problem is cleaning the outside window. You can’t easily clean it from inside and it’s awkward standing on a ladder to clean it from the outside.
 

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MikeG.

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If you replace the window with an opening side-hung casement window, then opt for "side swing" rather than "side hung" or "side hinged". The casement then moves away from the stile of the window when it's opened, and the outside becomes accessible from the inside for easy cleaning. Different suppliers will use different terminology, but if you explain you want to be able to clean from the inside, they'll know precisely what hinge mechanism to quote for.

As for the view/ max. expanse of glass thing.........that's an easy trap to fall in to. Just because you have a nice view you don't stick in an ugly window with a huge pane of glazing. Think of the window as a picture hanging on the wall. A nice view framed by a well proportioned well frames window invites the viewer to go and have a closer look. A bloody great mural can be overkill, and there is no mystery drawing the attention of the viewer.
 

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MikeG.":y012l17w said:
If you replace the window with an opening side-hung casement window, then opt for "side swing" rather than "side hung" or "side hinged". The casement then moves away from the stile of the window when it's opened, and the outside becomes accessible from the inside for easy cleaning. Different suppliers will use different terminology, but if you explain you want to be able to clean from the inside, they'll know precisely what hinge mechanism to quote for.

As for the view/ max. expanse of glass thing.........that's an easy trap to fall in to. Just because you have a nice view you don't stick in an ugly window with a huge pane of glazing. Think of the window as a picture hanging on the wall. A nice view framed by a well proportioned well frames window invites the viewer to go and have a closer look. A bloody great mural can be overkill, and there is no mystery drawing the attention of the viewer.
That is very zen: Japanese gardens often have particular viewing points which block the view with screens, so you only get a partial view. You don't want to be overwhelmed with spectacle when contemplating the infinite, apparently.
 

MikeG.

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I have one or two friends in Cape Town, and they all have houses with a view of Table Mountain. All of them have windows at least 6 feet high and 8 feet wide in a single pane of glazing facing the view. I would never do that. I would have strategically placed smaller windows giving a section of the view, perhaps from the breakfast table, perhaps glimpsed walking down the hall, perhaps from a favourite armchair location. These invite a second glance as you catch a glimpse of the mountain out of the corner of your eye. Something to entice you. If you want to be sexist about it, a beautiful dress giving just a hint of what lies beneath is likely to draw more attention than a bikini. And to continue the analogy, the beautiful dress hides the knobbly knees and varicose veins, which in the case of the acreages of glass in Cape Town is the rooves, traffic lights, roads, and garden walls of all the houses between you and the mountain.
 

Trevanion

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Did this one fairly recently



3M x 2M pane of glass in the middle, 250KG manhandled into place. Hell of a view which I overlooked taking a photo of #-o
 

Richard_C

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I have side hung casements as suggested, there when I moved in, and confirm that it makes cleaning very easy as long as there isn't too much clutter in the way inside the house. My neighbour has a similar house with side hinged casements and I wonder how much I have saved in the last 24 years by not having to pay a window cleaner like he does.

I have one window which is very hard to get at, and recently decided that at 67 I really shouldn't be leaning backwards out of a first floor window hanging on to the top frame by one hand while the other cleaned an adjacent one at full stretch. Coincidentally I bought a wolf garten pruning saw with a 2 to 4 m extending pole to cut some tree branches, they do a click fit window squeegee so got that. It's a bit cumbersome but well engineered and works well. Recommended, with reservations because you need reasonable arm/body strength to use it.
 
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