September 2022

A picture window is a lovely feature in a room and a beautiful way to emphasise a view or feature in your garden. It’s also a great way to enhance the feeling of inside and outside being connected. If you are considering incorporating a picture window into the design of your home, here are a couple of things to consider.

What is considered a picture window?

A picture window is a single pane window that frames a view outside like a picture. Picture windows are usually larger than regular windows and fixed, meaning they do not open. Having them as a fixed rather than opening window reduces the frame size so as not to detract from the view outside.

Picture Windows

Where to use one?

The ideal location will depend on your views. Ideally, a picture window should be located where it can capture a picturesque view. This might be in a bedroom or a living space with an appealing aspect. Picture windows work very well with window seats. Another excellent idea is to include a picture window in a bay to create impact and let in the maximum amount of natural light. When choosing where you locate picture windows, you must conform to current building regulations with particular reference to fire safety and egress.

Are there picture windows that open?

Picture windows do not open. A picture window is a single fixed window without any opening sections. Windows that open are called casement windows. Casement windows will have thicker frames as they have the outer fixed frame and an internal frame for the openable section.

Is a picture window more expensive?

The cost of the window will depend on the size and kind of glazing and frame you select. Picture windows are typically made to measure, making them a bespoke product however, when comparing smaller picture windows with casement windows of the same size, you will typically find that picture windows are less expensive. This is because picture windows do not have moving parts like casement windows.

Picture Windows and Popularity

What is the difference between a fixed window and a picture window?

Picture windows are fully sealed windows glazed directly into the opening. These non-opening windows have a slim frame offering a clear and unobstructed view of the outside.

Fixed windows are also non-opening windows. However, the main difference between a fixed and a picture window is that a picture window will have a single pane of glass, giving a clear, unobstructed view. In contrast, a fixed casement window can have secondary glazing bars to match the style of other adjacent windows.

Consider your orientation

Because picture windows are typically fixed panes of glass, you should ensure that there is another window in the room that can provide ventilation. If you are placing the picture window in a southerly or particularly sunny room, consider using solar neutral glazing to minimise solar gain.

Don’t forget about window treatments

Blinds are also something you should plan when choosing a picture window. You’ll want to select something that doesn’t take away from the view, so a roller blind is a good choice. If your window is wide, you may need more than one blind to fill the space. In this case, you could consider having motorised blinds to avoid the need for having any cords or chains hanging in the way of your view.


Denise O’Connor

Managing Director Optimise Design, B.Arch. RIAI RIBA
& Senator’s Expert Design Consultant
This blog post is sponsored, but the views expressed by the author are her own.

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