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Community and Q&A

Euro style inswing windows & lessons learned

laodonnell | Posted in PassivHaus on

This is kind of an interior design question, but I am wondering what people’s experience has been with these inswing windows? Specifically in living rooms and bedrooms wherein the inswing of the window can cause problems with furniture placement.

I am tempted to place windows at 36″ high in living room/bedroom areas simply due to ease of furniture placement. If it’s that high (and wider to compensate), it won’t ever hit the back of a sofa or end table or whatever. Ditto for bedroom furniture such as a nightstand, desk, or dresser.

Any lessons learned would be appreciated.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Here's one lesson: Many Americans like to put nicknacks on their interior window sills (technically, window stools). You can't do that with European windows.

    Also, some Americans are bothered by the fact the opening the windows interferes with curtains.

  2. laodonnell | | #2

    Yes, I've considered the obvious about interfering with drapes but would like to hear people's experiences with the inswing and what they wish they had done differently - such as raisiing them maybe.

  3. user-1109130 | | #3

    We have lived with inswing (tilt and turn) windows for about 6 months now. We use the tilt operation for ventilation. One of the really nice aspects is that they are totally secure while in the tilt position. We also have some doors that can tilt in for ventilation while remaining locked. The turn (swing in) on the windows is really only used for cleaning. We carefully placed our operable windows in locations where the swing wouldn't conflict with furniture, so we don't have any issues. All in all, they are fantastic. You can see some pictures here:

  4. laodonnell | | #4

    Jeff, thanks for input. So the tilt in feature alone provides you with enough ventilation? I wouldn't have thought so, so I am pleased about that fact. I do like that they are still locked while in this 'mode'. Your house is cool looking. How is the heat in the summer with no overhangs -- do you use the blinds to control sun hitting the window? I think in the living room I will just place them slightly higher and make them wider (it's the south wall) so to make furniture placement a non-issue and changeable for however I may want it in the future.

  5. user-1109130 | | #5

    You can swing the windows open for ventilation but they swing freely in the wind so you need to be careful. Generally the tilt provides enough ventilation. We also have a large sliding door that opens if we want more air.

    We have exterior shades that we can lower to control the sun and heat gain on the south facing windows. Combined with night ventilation it keeps the house exceptionally cool in the summer.

  6. Mike Eliason | | #6

    some inswing tilt turns have limiters that prevent the free swinging thing, i think you can even rehab them on to your windows, jeff. some of the tilt turn hardware coming out of europe is really incredible with what it allows (variations on the depth of tilt, limiters on swing - esp. good if you have kids, 'relaxed' mode which just eases windows off frame for slight trickle vent).

    the biggest trick is to really limit fenestration to ventilation/access, and fixed glazing. like this, or in jeff's incredible PH. also helps keep costs down.

    other option is lift-slides, which I think solve a lot of issues and look/perform really well, but are, alas, more expensive.

    curtains can be done w/ inswing, just takes a little more thought.

    also, ou can put knick knacks on european window sills - just not the operable ones (otherwise you'll be moving them). if you limit 'vent' windows to be smaller portion of ganged fixed/operable unit - can still use most of the sill.

  7. laodonnell | | #7

    Another consideration with the inswing window is the fact that unless you pull the window all the way in (super innie), you can only get that window open to 90 degrees. That is, you cannot push it back against the wall like I was anticipating. Still thinking about where/how to install windows in RO, but I wanted to kick myself for not considering this fact. Also, with a drywall return, I will need some type of bumper so the drywall doesn't get all dinged up. Argh

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