View Full Version : Questions about window types?

Michael Yadfar
08-21-2016, 2:01 PM
On an old farmhouse near me, the house has windows on the bottom floor in front which are door sized. I haven't seen any on any other home, and can't find what that type of window is called. They're sort of useless as windows, but are visually appealing.


Also, what are the windows called that have an outside window, the gap of the wall, and another inner window? I've seen these on a few older homes, but couldn't find what that type is called either.

Rich Riddle
08-21-2016, 3:06 PM
We had loads of old farm houses in Kansas with those windows. For a lack of a better term, the ones back home were essentially casement windows that opened inward. It let in a lot of air prior to air conditioning. The ones back there typically had tall thin external shutters you could close over the windows to protect them in storms. The shutters could be latched from the inside. You would then close the windows.

We called the second type of window you are discussing, a "storm" window.

Rich Riddle
08-21-2016, 3:10 PM
They still make storm windows and call them such. Here is a picture of a modern one:


Mel Fulks
08-25-2016, 1:21 PM
Agree with Rich on air circulation. I dare say inhabitants referred to them as doors. Early 19th century had a number of variations on that theme. Most of the ones around here were sash that went to floor and lifted into the wall to provide door way about 6 feet tall. Some of the sash rested on a pair of hinged paneled doors at chair rail height. Few years ago I worked on a pair of the to floor type. The problem I saw was that the way they were drawn a void at top of frame would show when the sash were down. I made an elevating jamb header and trim that just rode up on sash top and rode back down. It was an old house and it's not always clear exactly how original set ups worked but I am confident that they did not have a big hole showing above the window.

Aaron Conway
08-25-2016, 1:25 PM
I'd hardly say they're useless as windows. I have casement windows in my house now (though not as tall as in your picture). They crank out to a full open position which allows for great airflow and have a screen on the inside so you still get protection from insects. I'll take these over double hung windows any day.

Wayne Lomman
08-26-2016, 7:18 AM
They are French doors. They have been used for centuries. The house I am building in South Australia has 7 sets of them. Cheers

Rich Lester
08-26-2016, 12:52 PM
They are indeed french doors and the style of house just happens to be french colonial. Most french doors on that time period of home, I would be guessing mid to late 1800's, would open out and were to allow large area ventilation. Some, however, do open in and the reason for the smaller sized doors was to not intrude on floor space in the home.
The other type of window you are referring to are, as Rich stated, are storm windows and are definitely not original to any old house. These are usually later add on to help with thermal efficiency.

Rich Riddle
08-26-2016, 4:22 PM
The doors your discussing must be slightly different than the windows I am discussing. Back in Kansas, the tall windows on the first story of a house don't start at floor level. They are about chin height and go very high. You could step up and out of them, but you'd likely fall in your farmer's rose bushes that are all around the front of the house except where the stoop is. On top of that, the first "floor" there is usually a few feet off the ground. The house in the picture is much lower than the ones out in the country. Perhaps farmers elevated the farm houses to keep out livestock and feral animals. Here is a picture that more or less shows what I meant. But back home the upper windows aren't that high.