Important Considerations For Windows In Stairwells

Natural light is a boon in any space. However, natural light can be especially beneficial in a stairwell. You need good light when you navigate stairs, and windows can help provide that. What’s more, windows can help draw the eye up, thus giving your stairwell more visual impact.

When designing a stairwell with its attendant windows, you do want to keep some important considerations in mind.

Cleaning and Maintenance Access

Windows don’t need a ton of maintenance, but you do want to keep them in good working order. Generally, you should inspect all your windows once or twice a year. You want to check for any misalignment, damage, or failing seals. You also want to clean both the inside and outside.

When you deal with windows placed high up, such as stairwell windows, you want to schedule your day for maintenance. You’ll probably need a ladder to access the exterior for cleaning, which is when you should do the inspection. For cleaning the interior, consider purchasing a telescopic pole for your cleaning tool.

Size and Shape

Your stairwell stands apart enough from any specific room to warrant some of its own design considerations. So, while you may choose to stay within standard styles for the rest of the house, you might decide on specialty windows for your stairwell. For example, a porthole could be a charming addition, or you could opt for lots of little windows.

The stairwell is also often a space you want to highlight. So, you may choose to make your windows a design focal point. As noted above, this focal point can come as a uniquely shaped window or an unusual arrangement. However, you can also simply go big with your window choice. You may choose to have as much of the stairwell wall done in glass as is feasible.

Window Placement

Your next consideration will be placement of the windows. A stairwell presents its own challenges for placement. Instead of a flat floor, you have stairs rising up. However, the bottom of the window will still be flat. So, you’ll want to consider the geometry of how to place a window to create a pleasing effect.

Often designers incorporate a series of windows placed in a graduating diagonal. So, the series of windows will provide their own visual steps. If you have a landing, this location is ideal for a single window because you have that flat space. You can also locate a window high up so its bottom has little visual relation to the diagonal of the stairs.

Another consideration specific only to stairwells is the handrail. You may have a handrail attached directly to the wall, so you’ll have to keep enough space available for the rail as you’re planning the window placement. Even if you have a handrail installed on the other side of the steps, you’ll want to envision how that diagonal line will work aesthetically with the windows.

Window Treatments

As noted, the stairwell operates somewhat as a “no man’s land” for design. It’s a literal transition space, so designers don’t always follow the décor rules. To that end, while designers always recommend utilizing window treatments, they might skip that rule for the stairwell. After all, privacy may be less of a concern in this space.

That said, you may have specific reasons for wanting to install window treatments, such as keeping the house cool or avoiding direct sunlight. For the stairwell, you want to maintain safety while you’re traversing the space. So, consider cordless options such as outside mount Roman shades or plantation shutters. Avoid curtains that pool on the stairs because they’re a tripping hazard.

Let windows provide aesthetic and practical value to your stairwell design. Fischer Window and Door Store can provide any windows for your needs.