Oriel Windows

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Oriel Window
Block Glass Windows
Other Names
Replacement Oriel Window, Porch Windows, Balcony Windows
Multi-paned window which does not reach the ground

Oriel replacement windows project outward from the wall but do not extend to the ground. Oriel windows were once used as a form of porch, particularly in homes that did not have porch space but could extend a small area outward. Gothic Revival style homes often include oriel windows.


[edit] Oriel Window

A replacement oriel window is a window which projects outward from a wall. It does not reach the ground and may be included as a window option on a lower or upper floor of a house or building. The oriel window is supported by a bracket or a corbel which is also called also “oriel.” Oriel windows are banks of windows which are designed in a semi-circle, as with a bow or bay window. Oriel windows may include three, four, five or more window sections.

[edit] Designs

Oriel replacement windows may be installed as a semi- hexagonal, semi-octagonal, or rectangular window unit. Each oriel window has three or more sides and is divided by mullions and transoms into the desired projection. Brackets or corbels support the oriel window as it projects out of the home’s wall. The angles which are most commonly used on the inside corners of the oriel window are 90, 135 or 150 degrees. Within the home the oriel window may include a window seat or shelf, installed in between the window’s angles, to maximize the interval between the angles.

[edit] Benefits

An oriel window creates the illusion of a larger room and presents a feeling of spaciousness. Oriel windows maximize the amount of light which enter a room and offer an alternative to a balcony when space is limited or a building code will not allow a balcony construction.

[edit] Sizes

Oriel replacement windows are installed in a large rough window openings which measure anywhere from three feet in height up to six feet high. The window's base is two or more feet off the ground. The width of an opening for a replacement oriel window can measure anywhere from three feet in width, although the window’s projection means that the window components will measure, in total, much more than three feet in length. The projection itself may extend anywhere from a foot outward from the home’s wall to several feet in projection. Larger projections create a small porch or balcony effect.

Replacement oriel windows may be custom ordered to fit any window opening or desired projection.

[edit] Alternatives

Oriel windows are popular in classic and gothic construction and are popular in Victorian and Edwardian home design. Oriel replacement windows may include single hung, double hung, casement or fixed windows as the oriel window’s component windows.

[edit] Single/Double Hung Windows

Double hung windows are a popular choice for oriel replacement windows. They are easy to clean and offer a variety of ventilation opportunities. Single hung windows are more difficult to clean and only allow for the operation of the lower sash, but many homeowners appreciate their easy operating possibilities.

[edit] Casement Windows

Casement windows allow for a complete open ventilation option which increases air flow into the room. Casement windows are available as push-open or crank-open options as oriel component windows. Casement windows can be ordered to open inward or outward.

[edit] Fixed Window Frames

Fixed window frames are non-operable window panes which are less costly than operable windows. Oriel window designs often place fixed window panes in between operable double-hung or casement windows. The operable windows provide the needed ventilation while the inclusion of fixed window panes reduces the overall cost of the replacement oriel window.

[edit] Energy Efficiency

One of the most important questions for homeowners who are considering installing an oriel window is the level of the window's energy efficiency. The frames of the component windows, whether casement windows, fixed frames or double hungs, must create a good fit into the transoms and mullions that create the angles and design of the oriel window. Since there are a large number of fittings the windows must provide draft-free insulation and good thermal insulating properties.

Windows with satisfactory U-Ratings -- the rating that indicates the level of thermal insulation -- are generally a more expensive window purchase. However, industry experts point out that a homeowner can recoup the additional costs of purchasing an energy efficient window within four years of the window's installation through reduced energy costs. In addition, many states offer rebates and tax credits to homeowners who remodel with Energy Star qualified windows. These windows reduce energy costs by 7-15 percent.

Homeowners must consider both the framing materials of the replacement oriel window sections as well as the glazing alternatives when making their decision as to how to create an energy efficient oriel window. Framing materials for casements, double hungs and fixed frames include vinyl, aluminum, wood and wood clad, fiberglass and composite frames.

[edit] Vinyl

Vinyl replacement oriel windows are available in a variety of interior and exterior colors which can match the exterior style of the home in which the window is being installed. Vinyl frames are a sturdy oriel window option which require no maintenance. Many window manufacturers offer vinyl windows which meet the insulating requirements of Energy Star qualified windows.

[edit] Aluminum

Older aluminum windows contract cold and produce moisture on the inside of the window frame. This increases the moisture in the house and reduces the insulation capability of the window. Newer aluminum frames are a low-cost energy efficient framing alternative which do not require maintenance.

[edit] Fiberglass

Fiberglass has a reputation as a more costly insulating frame alternative but is appreciated in the window industry as a sturdy framing material which offers a high degree of thermal insulation. Fiberglass replacement oriel window frames do not require maintenance.

[edit] Wood and Wood Clad

Many homeowners appreciate wood frame windows as an "authentic" window look, especially for traditional home designs. They shy away from wood frames, however, because wood frames need to be painted or varnished annually to prevent the frames' warping and rotting. A new generation of wood frame windows provides wood frames which are covered with a treated aluminum cladding on the window's exterior. These wood clad frames offer the classic look of wood on the home's interior together with an Energy Star qualified exterior insulation.

[edit] Composite

Composite windows are an additional energy efficient framing alternative. These window frames are manufactured using a hybrid of materials including fiberglass with interior wood cladding, a blend of wood chips or recycled plastic and wood veneers on vinyl frames. Composite windows offer a good insulating frame. They are available in a variety of colors and do not require maintenance. Prices of composite windows vary depending on the composite materials used.

[edit] Glazing

Together with the replacement oriel window frame, the most important factor of the window's insulating capabilities is the window's glazing. Window manufacturers have several alternatives for producing glazing alternatives that demonstrate a high resistance to heat transfer.

[edit] Multi-Pane Glazing

Windows that include two or three panes of glass significantly reduce heat transfer and offer a highly insulated window option. Industry experts suggest that homeowners who live in extreme climates consider a triple pane replacement window to further insulate their home. Homeowners in moderate climates will find that a double pane window is sufficient.

A number of window manufacturers provide replacement oriel windows with insulating gases that they pump in between the window panes. These gases, argon or krypton gases, help homeowners maintain a comfortable room temperature without resorting to higher energy costs.

[edit] Low-E Coating

Specific window manufacturers will coat a window's glass with Low-E (Low-Emissivity) coating while the window is still in the factory. This is a special order and involves adding an invisible layer of metallic oxide to the glass which helps control heat transfer caused by the sun's rays. Including a Low-E coating on an oriel replacement window can reduce the window's energy loss by as much as 30% - 50%.

[edit] Accessories

The functions and attractive look of a replacement oriel window can be enhanced by available window additions and accessories.

[edit] Grilles

Oriel window decorative grilles are available in a wide range of shades, designs and patterns. Homeowners can add the grille order to their window purchase for a standard-sized window pane or as a custom order for custom-sized window panes. Grilles are available as inserts in between the panes of a double or triple paned window or as clip ons which fit snugly into the window frame. Clip-on frames can be easily removed to clean the window.

[edit] Screens

Homeowners who include double hung or casement windows in their replacement oriel window will receive a screen as part of the window order. Screens clip in and out of the window frame for easy window and screen cleaning. Screens for outward swinging casement windows fit on the inside of the oriel window frame while screens for inward swinging casement windows fit on the outside of the window frame.

[edit] Hardware

Hardware for casement and double-hung windows which are included as replacement oriel window sections include push handles and, for crank-out casement windows, cranks. Standard window hardware is available in hard plastic but a homeowner may upgrade to a brass or bronze handle or crank. Locks are standard on all operable windows.

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