Floor to Ceiling Windows: Ideas, Pros, Cons, and Cost

There’s nothing as satisfying in a home as having plenty of natural light.  For a lot of home buyers, it’s a “musth have” on their list, and often it’s one of the most common cosmetic renovations that are brought into a home.  When you’re looking at floor to ceiling – the favourite option – you’ll find that there are both pros and cons to consider, and you’ll also need to factor in the cost as well in order to get it all done for the number you want.  Take a look for yourself.

What it can look like:

There are several options that you can look at if you’re on the hunt for a floor to ceiling wall style.  The most traditional version of it is called “cathedral style” and it’s ,well, what you would see in churches and cathedrals, often with stained glass.  They are often narrow, tapered up to a high finishing point and are lined with hatching of some sort. These exist in clear versions, too, of course, especially in older homes.

You can also find geometric windows that are mostly floor to ceiling but form an archway at the top to add aesthetic to it.  In this design, the archway itself is part of the window design and intended to draw the eye to it.

Lastly, there is the more modern design that either features a virtually frameless sheet of glass from one side of the wall to the other with floor to ceiling windows, or you can bring in multiples frames with minimal barriers to create the wall-sweeping effect.

The type of floor to ceiling window design that you choose will vary greatly depending on the design of the rest of your home.  If you have a traditional old fashioned home, you might want to go with the cathedral design instead of the modern sky-scraper design that is used in the equally modern buildings.

After all, these kinds of additives are intended to add value and style to your home, not create a clash in visual appeal or taste.

Pros

As mentioned, there are some serious to consider when looking at this design perk to your home design.  Some of them may surprise you!

  • It adds value to your home if you resell: Knowing that you’ll have to probably sell your home one day in the future means that you can look at this as an investment for when this time comes. As mentioned, it’s a major “must-have” for a lot of home buyers, so you can’t go wrong with it in that respect.  You’ll also get to enjoy it for the present moment.
  • It bumps up your natural light: This is obvious, but needs to be mentioned.  Humans are creatures that love natural warm sunlight, so make sure that you are giving yourself as much as possible through full windows.
  • It adds ambiance: Having warm lighting that is all natural is going to add some serious atmosphere to the space.  It makes a bedroom cozier, a living room much more lived in, and it will create that top of the line feel in the room even on a cloudy day.  There’s something about natural light that just adds that unique flair to the space.
  • It’ll amaze you every single day: No matter if it’s cloudy, sunny, pouring rain, thundering, snowing or any combination, it’ll be stunning.  Every single day, nature will inspire you to stand or sit in front of that window, sip your coffee, and grin.  It’s that incredible. Even if your view isn’t particularly spectacular, a sunrise is gorgeous no matter what.

Cons

While those pros are impressive to say the least, there are also some cons that you need to consider to be fully informed.

  • It can be costly: We’ll talk about the details in a minute, but floor to ceiling windows are definitely costly and you’ll need to seriously think about whether or not the cost is worth the effort in the end.  It may also determine whether you want the full wall or just the half wall to be floor to ceiling windows.
  • You’ll need to invest in window treatments: You may love waking up to the sunrise, but if it’s baking you alive in your bed every morning, you may want to consider the idea of curtains or shades that you can close or pull down when you need some privacy and comfort from the sun. If you want them to custom fit the windows, you’ll need to custom-design them, which can also add expense.
  • May not work well with kids or pets:  Kids and pets are messy, so if you are someone who can’t stand the idea of a few smears on the glass, or a couple scratches from playing near the window, these are not recommended until the kids are grown up enough to know that drawing on the window isn’t a good idea.

Cost

Now the numbers.  For most contractors, the starting price of just the window itself is around $1500 per square foot. Labour and any kind of finishing touches such as glazing or tempering is going to cost more than that, as well. That’s a high number to consider and it will absolutely be a serious factor, but there are other options that you can consider as well that will cost less.  One example is to do 7 to 8 foot windows (instead of the full floor to ceiling options), or you can look exclusively at the cheaper design options out there instead.

Floor to ceiling windows have pros and cons to know about, but even with those – and the cost – factored in, there is a lot to love about them for many years to come.  Now the choice is simply whether you are ready to go for them and their design perks, or you need to think about the cons a little longer instead.

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