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Which direction should casement windo...

tom_herman's picture

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Is there any design consensus, on where the hinge side of the casement window should be located?

- so that the open window catches the prevailing breezes ?
- not catch the breezes ?
- all face the same direction, on any given side of a house ?
- flip a coin ?

(post #166119, reply #1 of 35)

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Most windows are mulled for you with latches in the middle of a double set.

near the stream,

aj

(post #166119, reply #2 of 35)

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Right, if it's a symmetrical mulled window, then of course the hinges are on the outside.

But back to my original question, what if it's just a single operating sash ???

(post #166119, reply #3 of 35)

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Outwards.

(post #166119, reply #4 of 35)

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Outward? That's odd..In the two houses that I've lived in that had casement windows, they opened inward.

(post #166119, reply #5 of 35)

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I've only seen outward opening sashes.

But given an outward opening, single (not mulled) sash, is the hinge side simply chosen arbitrarily ??

(post #166119, reply #6 of 35)

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I think the direction they open should alternate. That way you could open one of them for the breeze to enter, and another for the air to exit. Gives you a lot of flexability in ventilating.

(post #166119, reply #7 of 35)

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You know, if you tilt that over on its side, you'd have an awning window, which you could leave open in the rain.

(post #166119, reply #8 of 35)

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when you go fishing, which hand do you reel with? just order them so you crank with that hand.

Seriously, I've never seen any "forumla" for which way a window opens. I don't think there is such a thing. My experience is that they alternate, unless the location would dictate the hinging.

steve

(post #166119, reply #9 of 35)

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you can order thenm either way.. and you either do it for symmetry... or for a specific need...

your choice..

(post #166119, reply #10 of 35)

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The dual function casement/hopper windows in Europe typically swing open or tilt - both inwards.

Not sure about the wisdom of casement windows that open inwards....
Are they more sensible about something we don't know ?

(post #166119, reply #11 of 35)

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>Tom
>I've trimmed a good many casement windows and every time I've seen one that looked odd to me and bothered to ask, the builder has always had a good reason for setting the window that way. i.. It's set that way to catch the breeze , or it's set that way so that it opens opposite the one on the other side of the house.
>In my opinion there is no way a casement window "should" be set. Set the window so that it opens to catch the best breeze. After all that's what windows are for. If you or your client is concerned with how the window "should" look, then set it so that it opens away from the closest corner of the house. In the end though the window should be functional.

(post #166119, reply #12 of 35)

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>Tom
>I've trimmed a good many casement windows and every time I've seen one that looked odd to me and bothered to ask, the builder has always had a good reason for setting the window that way. i.. It's set that way to catch the breeze , or it's set that way so that it opens opposite the one on the other side of the house.
>In my opinion there is no way a casement window "should" be set. Set the window so that it opens to catch the best breeze. After all that's what windows are for. If you or your client is concerned with how the window "should" look, then set it so that it opens away from the closest corner of the house. In the end though the window should be functional.

(post #166119, reply #13 of 35)

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I'm not 100% sure on this, but I'm pretty sure casements open in the opposite direction in which they close. Hope that helps ;-)

(post #166119, reply #14 of 35)

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I think mike is correct in saying that the orientation of casement windows is based on asthetics. This is surely the primary reason although certain features of the house may warrant their opening from a certain side too.

As for prevailing breezes, casement windows really stink for getting a good breeze through.

They do typically open by swinging outward. Maybe someone installed a few inside-out (don't laugh, I've seen it done with doublehungs). If they opened inward, the sash would be banging your hand and the crank and be in the way of people and things in the room that may damage it. The poor thing about casements though is that their screens are on the inside. I would prefer doublehungs or gliders any day of the week.

Pete

(post #166119, reply #15 of 35)

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Pete, You're right!!! On this matter we agree!!!!!

(post #166119, reply #16 of 35)

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Some architectural magazine had an article on casement windows not that long ago and suggested that they should all open towards the centre of a wall. If it's one unbroken wall, then the line would go right down the centre, if the wall is divided into segments, then each segment should have it's own centre-line.

The exception (why are there always so many exceptions ?), was when you had multiple units (like a double, or two casements with a fixed pane netween them), then the unit gets it's own centre-line.

(post #166119, reply #17 of 35)

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I officially rescind my previous commentary and replace it with the exact opposite information. People have to have certain absolutes in their lives like taxes, death and me & Frenchy disagreeing. I wouldn't want to be screwing up the balances of nature.

Pete "for the good of mankind" Draganic

(post #166119, reply #18 of 35)

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O.K. Pete,
I offically recind ..MY.. previous commentary and...
So, does this mean we reagree?!!???

(post #166119, reply #19 of 35)

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Frenchy,

It apears that we are in the midst of a paradox. I expect the universe will collapse upon itself any moment now.

Pete

(post #166119, reply #20 of 35)

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Speaking of inward vs outward --

Around here (Han[JOBSITE WORD] Park, Beverly Hills, Hollywood) most of the windows on older houses are inward opening casements.

In Vienna and Moscow, I've seen a lot of permanent installations in which each window had both inward and outward opening sashes. This results in two sheets of glass 4" - 6" apart with an air space trapped between when all are closed. This greater distance is supposed to make them much more efficient insulators than the closer spaced double glazed sash that we're familiar with. Over there they really need that. It's sort of like having permanent storm windows. Also, instead of crank mechanisms, they usually have either a rod and thumbscrew arrangement, or just a long hook and eye -- very simple. Does anybody know if this double layer casement arrangement has a special name?

-- J.S.

(post #166119, reply #21 of 35)

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Casement windows are BAD. The wear out and break and people want you to fix them & old parts are hard to come by. Blah-blah-blah.

(post #166119, reply #22 of 35)

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Jimbo, if you tilt it on it's other side and install from inside you got a hopper window. Wow I never knew casements were so versatile .

(post #166119, reply #23 of 35)

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John - Are you sure about that "...greater distance...more efficient..." thing? I always heard that anything over an inch between the panes and you start to get weather cycles in there. I think it might even be less than an inch.

(post #166119, reply #24 of 35)

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John, EXACTLY! We lived in an older home in La Crescenta (not all that far from Hollywood) that was probably built in the '30's. Inward opening casements with screens on the outside. Same for our present house in SLC. Very simple arrangement that seems to guarantee long-lasting windows. Also there is no impediment to air moving into the house. Window treatments, however, can be difficult.

(post #166119, reply #25 of 35)

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Pete, Frenchy: Is this an example of Paradoxical Motion in the textbooks?

Oh yes: Out, hinge outside, latch center.

(post #166119, reply #26 of 35)

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Jim --

Re: #23 -- You'll certainly get a convection cycle, no matter what the distance. Air near the cold surface will be cooled, and go down, air near the hot surface will be warmed and go up. With a greater distance between the panes, I'd expect a smaller percentage of the total volume to be involved in this cycle.

-- J.S.

(post #166119, reply #27 of 35)

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The outward swinging casement is an American original. In the rest of the world, casements open to the inside of the house (and often tilt as well) just like a door.

The advantages of in-swinging casements can be: greater ventilation, keeping the window out of the weather when open, and screens on the outside.

The disadvantages can be: Difficult weatherstripping and loss of space on the inside of the house (windows swings over windowsiill). The loss of space is particularly problematic where a window seat is installed or where it is desirable to use the sill as a shelf, such as over a kitchen window.

I've built both in the same house, as the situation dictates. Hope this helps.

(post #166119, reply #28 of 35)

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That's not your real name, is it?

(post #166119, reply #29 of 35)

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inswing windows are a lot more likely to get cleaned on a regular basis, too.

(post #166119, reply #30 of 35)

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>Casement windows are BAD. The wear out and break and people want you to fix them & old parts are hard to come by. Blah-blah-blah.

You mean the crank and gear mechanisms, right, not the actual windows? My house has both casement and double hung original windows from 1926, and the casements have lasted better and stayed tighter than the double hungs. But they're just simple casements, two hinges and a latch, no stupid crank and lever arm. They open inward, so you don't really need the mechanism.

-- J.S.