Author Topic: Typical window height from the floor ?  (Read 28104 times)

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Offline Arky217

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Typical window height from the floor ?
« on: April 05, 2010, 08:36:41 PM »
On new construction with typical 8' ceilings, what is the usual height for a window from the floor to the bottom of the window ?

I can't seem to find this information anywhere.
I've read that 32" is the typical height.
I've also read that you should match the top of the window with the top of the door.

(The windows in my current 30 year old house are 32" x 52". They are 32" from the floor and the top is slightly above the top of the exterior door)

But the windows that I am looking at for new construction are 36" x 60".
For a 8' ceiling, if I put the height of these windows at 32" from the floor, it puts the top of the window nearly to the ceiling, way above the height of an exterior door.
However, if I match the top of the window with the top of the door, then the bottom of the window seems way too low.

So, my question is:
What's the right height for a 60" tall window in a 8' ceiling room ?

Thanks,
Arky


Offline MountainDon

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 08:50:15 PM »

So, my question is:
What's the right height for a 60" tall window in a 8' ceiling room ?



It's more 'normal' to match the height of the top of the windows and the exterior doors and let bottom fall wherever it does. That's is visually pleasing from the outside. On an upper floor maybe a little lower to assist with an easier down view.  

That's what we did. Then we sized the window height to 'fit in' with the use of the interior space.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline bayview

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 03:31:06 AM »

I've also read that you should match the top of the window with the top of the door.


   Yes . . .
    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .

Offline zion-diy

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 04:39:21 AM »
I would have to say it depends on your planned use. Our 60" windows on the west wall of our place are only 12" from the floor. They are like that so our 7 furry baby's can stand there and see outside ;D. Now, I sit in the recliner, and watch them carry on at the window and at the same time enjoy a wonderful sunset. [cool]
 Alex
Just a 50-ish chic an a gimp,building thier own house,no plans,just--work,work,work,what a pair :}

Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 05:52:32 AM »
Set up some tests to see if you like the view as well....

I ended up buying windows to fit some storm shutters that I have, and I wish now I had scrapped that idea and went with larger windows, no shutters.  I set the height of the windows so that an adult could sit at the table and look out over the sill.  This brought the window down just a few inches, but when you are standing and looking out the window, the header feels low.  I needed to compromise since I had smaller windows and it just sort of feels a little weird. 

Experiment. 

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Offline davidj

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 06:54:45 AM »
Most of our windows line up with the top of the doors.  However, our big 8'x5' is set 6" higher at the top.  This puts it 26" from the floor at the bottom.  It seems to work well although we've not got any furniture in there yet.

Offline OkieJohn2

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 08:47:59 AM »
Where I currently live the window sill is about 12 inches from the floor and the top is at door height.  I really like it this way. At my parents house, they wanted to be able to arrange furniture all around the room and the sill is about 4 feet from the floor, talk about dark rooms.
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Offline psammy

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 04:59:08 PM »
remember if the glass is within 20" of the floor (and especially if you are getting inspected) it needs to be tempered....

psammy

Offline bayview

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 05:18:59 PM »
remember if the glass is within 20" of the floor (and especially if you are getting inspected) it needs to be tempered....

psammy

   Good to know . . .    Thanks!

/
    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 05:46:53 PM »
Excellent point of glazing types.    The glazing rules in the IRC are a little more complicated or all-encompassing than that...  See section R308. Also there may be local exclusions or special inclusions as with anything in the codes.

VA example code:  https://www2.iccsafe.org/states/Virginia/Residential/Res-Frameset.html

code books online  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=6224.0
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 06:17:07 AM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline psammy

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 07:24:21 PM »
Mt. Don....My '97 UBC volume has the same language as the VA res. code you linked.  Looks like 18" is the magic number! (not 20").  Good thing to figure out BEFORE you order windows, though!

psammy

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 07:43:07 PM »



Exception to above:

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline John Raabe

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 08:47:25 PM »
Code Check (confirm locally)

Tempered or safety glass required:
- <2' from door, <5' from tub or shower pan
- bottom of glass <18" from floor,
- Window near exterior walks or stairs - see above from Don
- Skylights

At least one alternate exit from each sleeping room (outside door would count for egress)
Egress Window:
- openable area min 5.7 sf clear
- clear height min 30"
- clear width min 24"
- sill height max 44"
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 09:03:47 PM by John Raabe »
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Offline bayview

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 03:06:57 AM »
Code Check (confirm locally)

Tempered or safety glass required:
- <2' from door, <5' from tub or shower pan
- bottom of glass <18" from floor,
- Window near exterior walks or stairs - see above from Don
- Skylights


   Uh oh . . .   I messed up on this one!  My bathroom window is about 2' from the tub . . .    No inspections, so not much of a problem.  But it might get caught when I resell our home.  I wonder how much a "tempered" 24x36 window is going to cost?

/
    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .

Offline Sheldondesigns

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Re: Typical window height from the floor ?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2010, 11:42:04 AM »
Also be aware that IRC 613 may require window sills to be 24" above the floor if more than 72" above grade.

From a design point of view, unless you are dealing with a large glazed area in a gable end wall for example, it is always best to have the head of doors and windows align, especially in an 8' wall where you really will not have room for both headers and transoms.