lmage

Replacing windows for minimising heat and sunlight

lmage
5 months ago

We have floor-to-ceiling windows across the front of our house which faces 65 degrees NE, and they continue round the corner to face 180 degrees south. The morning sun is intense, both in terms of light and heat. The windows are dated and unsafe, so we want to replace them. What would be the best, most cost effective option to minimise heat and extreme morning sun?

The remaining windows in this part of the house are South facing so we don't really want to block out the light too much. We have a very small awning out the front and suspect that installing external shading may not be an option, and we worry that this would reduce sunlight too much.

We have been told double glazing might be overkill, and just to put a low e coating on the glass, but I worry about maintaining the E coating against scratches etc as we have young children. All my research also says double glazing with E coating on the inside is best, although with the amount of windows this might be out of budget.

We have also considered installing a part wall from the floor to create a windowsill, so we no longer have floor to ceiling. Would this be cheaper than double glazing floor to ceiling windows?? We have no idea!

Thanks in advance for your ideas and thoughts.

Photo with children in it shows our windows. Inspiration for closing the space in a bit more (having a window sill instead of floor-to-ceiling) also attached.

Comments (9)

  • lmage
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Photo credit for above idea http://www.hauthaus.com/

  • macyjean
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    It looks like an enclosed verandah, or some kind of sunroom extension, is that right? What is your climate, it sounds as if heat is a concern but cold is not? What is the floor, if you were to build walls what would they be sitting on? The most budget friendly efficient solution to heat and light is external shading, but you also say the existing windows are unsafe, so presumably you want to replace them anyway?

  • lmage
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Thanks for your responses! I will work on getting some of those things together (plan with dimensions, photos etc). Yes, it is an old external patio from what we understand. It has a concrete floor which isn't level - it is lower (to varying degrees) than the wooden floorboards in the rest of the house. We are yet to decide what to do with our floors so currently just have carpet taped over the concrete so our kids can play on it. We are in Brisbane, so have a sub-tropical climate. Certainly cold is a consideration as we find with all the glass we lose a lot of heat in winter, but heat is more of an issue.
    We do need to replace the windows, or at least the bottom panels, because they are old and therefore not to code and not safe for our children. Some of the aluminium frames are corroding (we live near the water) and the windows really date the place, so ideally if we're getting the bottom panels replaced we would do the whole lot at once. I will post again when I have the other things you need. Thanks again!

  • lmage
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Hi again! Please find extra info as requested. As mentioned above, climate is sub tropical (very hot and humid in summer, mild winters). Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

  • oklouise
    5 months ago

    luckily the external cladding should be easy to match or you could use plain modern "fibro" wall cladding so my suggestions would be to enclose the original front verandah with stud walls up to at least 50cm (lie your wish photo) -75cm off the floor (to block out views of the street, allow wall space for bookshelves and toys use and use louvre windows to create much better ventilation (bottom of standard sliding, awning or casement windows would need to be higher to be safe without louvres) but you need to change the front entry so that the door can open inwards .. bug screened louvres windows are ideal for this location and i would also plan for external shutters on the eastern side of the living area to screen the morning sun, reduce overheating and increase privacy

  • lmage
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Thank you @oklouise! I think you have commented on many of my questions over the years and your advice us always top notch and so helpful! So do you think we could get away with standard glass (e.g. no low e coating etc) with this aspect (especially as it may take a few years for the budget to extend to external shading)? We will investigate external shutters, we would need something really non-obtrusive as we have a beautiful Jacaranda tree out the front which makes for a lovely view. But we are really not loving having so much old glass around with small kiddies, so the windows are first priority.

  • oklouise
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    it would be a crime to spoil your lovely view but i still think that modern louvres above a low solid wall would be the best choice at the front and side of the original verandah and external screens to shade the eastern side of the living area...the problem with budget is that it will never be cheaper than doing it properly the first time ..the glassed in verandah wasn't the best option and now you're having to replace it...thinking about a range of budget options for safety, sun and heat control ...consider the DIY stick on window films for all the windows ...a range of window films are available at the major hardware stores including one for increasing strength of glass, reducing heat transfer and frosted ones to improve privacy but you could also add plastic garden lattice screens horizontally inside the lower windows.. that should give some extra protection to the kids and can be recycled into the garden when no longer needed

  • lmage
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Thank you @oklouise! Some great budget ideas there, should we need them - I hadn't thought of any of these! Next stop for us: quotes for external awnings/blinds and for a low solid wall. Thanks again!