Multi Lit Windows

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Multi-Lit Windows
Block Glass Windows
Other Names
Replacement Multi-Lit Windows, Multi Pane Windows
Windows that are divided into grids with many small glass panels.

A multi-lit window is a window which is divided into an arrangement of panels or a grid. Multi-lit windows are unoperable.


[edit] Multi-Lit Windows

Replacement multi-lit windows are glazed with small panes of glass which are separated by glazing bars of wood or lead. They are frequently arranged in a decorative glazing pattern. Multi-Lit windows were the main type of window option until the early 20th century due to the unavailability of large glass panes.

[edit] Placement

Multi-Lit windows fit any opening as a self-contained window or as an accompaniment to other windows or doors. Multi-lit windows can be installed in both vertical and horizontal bands of two, three, four or five panels which border a window or door. A multi-lit window can be installed as a self-contained window to fill a square or rectangle window opening.

Homeowners may place the multi-lit replacement window as a fixed frame sash above a single hung window or above or below a transom of a bay or bow window. A full multi-lit window frame may be installed above, below or beside a door. A partial multi-lit window may occupy only the upper portion of a door's side panel while the lower portion remains solid, matching the door frame material.

[edit] Operation

Multi-lit replacement windows are generally non-operable due to the complexity of their construction. The multiple window panes of a multi-lit window are held in place by muntins -- glazing bars.

[edit] Styles

Multi-lit replacement windows are popular choices for older building styles. Homes built before the early 20th century generally included paned multi-lit windows because large window panes were unavailable at that time. Homeowners with colonial, revival, classical, neo-classical, Italianate, bungalow, contemporary and ranch homes can recreate that timeless look by installing a multi-lit replacement window to compliment a classic home design.

[edit] Benefits

Homeowners choose replacement multi-lit windows as a complement to a specific home design, usually a classic or traditional home plan. The multi-lit window adds a simple yet stylish look to a window unit. It also allows a light flow without additional ventilation. Many homeowners place a multi-lit window next to an operable window or door where they will not miss the air flow.

[edit] Sizes and Designs

Multi-lit replacement windows are available in a wide variety of designs and sizes. Individual panes of a replacement multi-lit may measure as little as 12 inches by 12 inches which, in conjunction with the rest of the panes can create a large window of two feet wide or high or more. The multi-lit window may lay either horizontal or vertical as a square or rectangle shape. Rectangular-shaped multi-lit windows are often placed above or below another window though they can also be installed as a self-contained window unit.

[edit] Considerations

Due to the multiple glass panels which are held in place by a framing unit, it is not easy to fully insulate a multi-lit window. Heat can pass between the points where the glass panels are held in place by the glazing bars. In addition, the construction design of multi-lit windows does not allow for multi-pane window panes. Multi-pane replacement windows can include a Low-E (Low-Emissivity) coating of metallic oxide to reduce energy loss through the window panes.

Although replacement multi-lit windows are not considered highly energy efficient, new framing materials can offer adequate insulating for climates which are not extreme climates.

[edit] Safety Issues

Some homeowners may wish to replace an existing multi-lit window by simply replacing the window panes while retaining the original frame and muntins. The muntins are the bars which separate the glass panes. Many homes were constructed with lead, including the window frames and muntins which can lead to lead poisoning issues. Additionally these muntins can crack, resulting in cracked glass panes and warped frames, making the glass panes loosen in their frames.

Homeowners who like the look of muntins can achieve the same multi-lit window look by replacing the entire window with a better-performing modern multi-lit window.

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