Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Outfitting your cottage with new windows

If you live in a cottage-style home or own a cottage and are looking to install some new windows in it, you will want to make sure you are choosing the right styles. This does not mean you have to choose all the same types, as you can definitely mix and match windows. However, if you are going for the traditional look and want to keep the original architectural appearance, cottage-style windows should be on your list.

There are a number of other options available for cottages and cottage-style houses. Here are a few great choices to consider when shopping around. Whatever style or type you end up choosing, make sure to take your time when doing so.

Types of windows for cottage style homes

An obvious choice for any cottage owner is going to be cottage windows. Keeping with the architectural look, these windows are made with a larger bottom sash. This is mainly for aesthetic purposes though and does not serve any major functions. These windows can be opened and closed just like a normal double-hung window, and they come in wood or vinyl styles. To keep consistency with your window choices, it is a good idea to select the same style for each type.

Divided windows are also a great choice and give an aesthetic appearance most homeowners are searching for when in the market to replace. These are the windows that have wooden sections in place on the glass itself. Oftentimes they are installed with a crisscross pattern on the sash. You can buy them in single- or double-hung models, depending on your preference.

One of the unique features of cottage style homes is that they feature narrow sides and large openings. Sometimes it can be difficult to find quality replacements to fit. In any event, a narrow window will be your best bet. These windows can be installed next to one another to fit the irregular opening. In addition, this is often considered a stylistic feature.

If you want to create a completely unique design, you can always have your windows custom-built. Depending on the age of your home, condition of the windows, and the period detail that is in place, you may need to go this route. These options are very popular and can make your home look just the way it did when it was first built. As mentioned, you can mix and match different styles if you like. In fact, you may need to: cottage windows may work in one room, but you may need some narrow windows in a hallway or entryway.


There are some extra considerations you should keep in mind to make sure you are making the right decision, in terms of both design and functionality. You are going to want to take into consideration how much natural light the windows will allow for, because cottages, after all, are all about natural light. You will also want to consider how the windows mesh with the existing aesthetic and overall theme of your cottage, as well as how durable those windows are going to be, especially since most cottagers, lamentably, spend a considerable amount of time away from their cottage during year.

This means that if problems concerning durability arise, you want to be confident that your windows will hold up to the winter elements, especially if your cottage is not winterized and/or if you don’t plan on spending much time in it over the winter. Deciding on which combination of style and strength is difficult, especially considering how infamously cruel cottage weather can be. Below is some advice to keep in mind when outfitting your cottage with new windows.

What cottages really need. Cottages need windows that not only look great, but come with an extended lifespan guarantee. They need to be resistant to the often intense inclement weather that “cottage country” typically experiences, including harsh wind, rain, heat, UV rays and snow. As most cottages are on the water, it is highly likely that they receive much more of the brunt of winter than an inland or suburban house will.

Windows need to be a compromise between looks and functionality. If you live somewhere where you are guaranteed a more or less predictable weather year-round, you can afford to compromise on durability, but if you are in cottage country, looks, while important, shouldn’t come at the expense of a window’s ability to stand up to the weather. Vinyl materials are popular because you can “fix it and forget it,” but tend to look out of place on vintage cottages. Hardwood, while being at the high-end of the price spectrum, provides the best natural-durable composition. And softwood, while not as durable, still stands up, but is less hard on your wallet.

Casement windows. Casement windows are one of the most popular designs seen on cottages. Tilt and turn windows open inwards and look best on modern cottages, providing both ventilation and security. Sash windows, which are common in Georgian and Victorian houses, are beautiful, but are generally not standard-sized, meaning you need to be sure they fit with the look of your cottage before making a decision.

Selecting the right windows for your cottage, or your cottage style home means knowing how to balance the requirements of each. With a cottage style home, the need for durability, while always present, is not as pressing a concern as it typically is in cottage country, which means you are freer to experiment with style. Conversely, when in cottage country, the importance of choosing windows for your cottage that don’t detract from the sanctity of the space, while ensuring that you aren’t risking a flood or a security breach should inclement weather strike is very important.



  • Avatar for Alen Alen says:

    To keep things simple and traditional, we installed all cottage windows in our home. I considered some custom-made options, but ended up figuring this is always something we can do down the road if we want to remodel

  • Avatar for Michael John Michael John says:

    I have always been a fan of divided windows; the wood patterns on the pane are decorative and attractive in my opinion. Can I install them on window types other than single and double hung?

  • Avatar for Jips R Jips R says:

    I personally will vouch for the benefit of replacement narrow windows. Our cottage-style home had a few windows that were a nightmare to replace, and these were the only type that worked. We had to situate two next to each other just like you mentioned to get it to work well with no issues.

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