What Is A Picture Window? A Complete Guide

May 6, 2021



Picture Window Guide - Clera Windows + Doors

Picture windows, also known as fixed windows, are large, fixed-pane windows that are stationary or do not open. As the name suggests, these windows are a great way to showcase outdoor views without any obstructions. Because they typically do not have any mullions (a vertical element that divides and accentuates windows), picture windows frame scenery beautifully as if they were life-like photographs or paintings on your wall.If you want to know more about how having fixed windows can make a difference in your home, check out this article that covers the pros and cons of picture windows and offers great resources for inspiration.Let’s get started!

What Is A Picture Window - Clera Windows + Doors

The Pros of Picture Windows

1. Increases Natural Light

Aside from offering panoramic views of your surroundings, a well-placed picture window becomes a generous source of natural light for your home, which comes with plenty of benefits. It brings out the natural beauty of your interiors, brightens up your mood, and reduces your reliance on artificial light, potentially lowering your energy bills as a result.

2. More Affordable

Picture windows are probably the least expensive type of window with maximum benefits. When you request a quotation for a fixed window of the same size and material to, say, casement windows or double-hung windows, chances are you will get a lower rate just because it doesn’t require the moving parts for an opening mechanism.

3. Offers Better Insulation and Energy-Efficiency

With proper window installation, picture windows offer great insulation, keeping your home warm and cozy in the long winter months. Because they are inoperable and sealed on the edges, there’s also minimal risk of a gap for air or water leaks. Added features, such as double-glazing and low-E coating, can also improve your picture window’s insulation and energy efficiency quality.

4. Adds Curb Appeal

Picture windows can boost your home’s curb appeal significantly. Oversized and creatively placed fixed windows are now commonly used as an architectural accent in many contemporary homes.

The Cons of Having a Picture Window

1. Poor Ventilation

Picture windows are not designed to open and close like other types of windows. Because of this, they cannot let the cool breeze in or encourage air circulation. This may not be an issue if you’re living somewhere with a cool climate, but if you are located in a region that has long, dry summer months, it’s definitely a disadvantage.

2. Window Cleaning Can Be a Challenge

Because picture windows are fixed, it means that they may also be more challenging to clean compared to, say, double-hung windows. Because they cannot be opened, you have to actually go outside to clean the exterior part of the glass. Large picture windows that are placed in a higher location, for instance, closer to the ceiling, can also be extra difficult to maintain.

3. Heat Gain

Because it lets plenty of sunlight in during the daytime, picture windows also tend to increase unwanted solar heat gain inside the home. But don’t fret. This is exactly what window treatments are for. Install curtains, blinds, or drapes during the summer season and you’re good to go. In addition, when shopping for replacement windows, you can also ask your provider about U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).

Heat Gain - Clera Windows + Doors

Common Window Combinations Using Picture Windows

When used in window combinations, picture windows can be framed by casement windows or double-hung windows on the sides, or awning windows at the bottom part. The best thing about this type of window customization is you can still enjoy stunning views and sunlight during the daytime without compromising good ventilation. This application is most commonly seen in bay windows where the picture window/s is at the center, flanked by two smaller windows that open, and with all sides forming an area that projects outwardly.

Where Do Picture Windows Work Best at Home?

  • Low-lit spaces - Homeowners can strategically place one or a series of picture windows to increase the amount of sunlight coming into a specific part of the house. This way can be in the living room, kitchen, hallway, bedroom, and even in the bathroom. Added privacy features, such as window treatments or tints, are typically used for the latter two locations.
  • Unused exterior walls - Fixed windows can create a seamless wall, which is a clever way for capturing stunning views and natural light through otherwise unused walls. A series of carefully shaped fixed windows can also be arranged on the empty wall space adjacent to a vaulted ceiling.
  • As an accent in unexpected locations - A circular fixed window above the landing of the stairs, for instance, serves as a beautiful accent while lighting up this usually gloomy part of the home. Yet another avant-garde application is placing a fixed window in the corner of a room. It’s a modern touch that opens up space and lets in more light.
Where Do Picture Windows Work Best At Home - Clera Windows + Doors

Helpful Tips for Decorating Your Picture Window

  • When looking for window treatments for larger fixed windows, choose a manufacturer that offers to customize the dimensions instead of making you choose from predetermined sizes.
  • Hang curtains two inches closer to the ceiling to create an illusion of added height.
  • Make sure the curtain rod is extended a few inches to the side of the window frame so that they can be pulled to the side whenever you want to admire or show off the views outside your home to guests.

Top Qualities to Look for in a Picture Window

Energy-Saving Features

Look for double-glazed picture windows that also have Low-E coating. Double-glazed windows have two panes of glass with argon gas in between, creating added insulation. Meanwhile, Low-E coatings minimize UV and infrared light, improving the window’s insulating properties while also reducing unwanted radiation that can damage your interiors.  

Customization Options

Choose a manufacturer that will give you the freedom to customize in terms of shape, dimension, and privacy features for your picture window. Having these options will allow you to have picture windows that meet your aesthetic preferences and lifestyle needs.

High-Profile Fixed Windows By Clera

Clera Windows + Doors is an award-winning company. Our high-profile fixed windows stand out from other picture windows sold in the market because of these features:

  • Modern and contemporary design with low profile frames and sashes, large visible glass area, and clean lines.
  • Higher solar heat gain and Pilkington next-generation Low-E technology, which is designed specifically for Canadian climates
  • Optional structural reinforcement for greater performance and stability
  • Increased extrusion wall thicknesses for a sturdy, heavy-duty window
  • Wet-glazed for significantly increased water leakage prevention and structural integrity
  • Hidden drainage/water management system for a neat, clean external appearance
  • Sleek and fresh contemporary color, Trillium White
  • Hardware is AAMA tested and certified
  • Accessory groove designed to provide a flush interior

If you have any questions about our high-profile fixed windows, other products, or professional window installation service, please feel free to reach out to us. You can also get started by clicking here for a FREE estimate!

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