Clerestory windows are common features in rooms or buildings with high ceilings, and yet many people don't know what they are. A clerestory window is, by simple definition, any window that is placed at a higher level than normal in a room, and which is modeled off of the high windows from the nave of Romanesque church buildings.
The idea behind these windows is that they can help to draw in extra light inside the space, thereby making it appear even more open than it already is. Because they're usually included in rooms that have higher ceilings, these rooms are frequently in need of additional light, in order to prevent them from being dark and gloomy. Read on for a few tips on how to install clerestory windows.
Clerestory Windows To Light the Back of a Room
Clerestory windows have a great advantage in that they can help to draw in light to areas of a room that aren't covered by light from lower windows. If you're thinking of installing clerestory windows in your high ceiling room, look for areas of the room that are dark, even when light is shining through the existing windows. By positioning the clerestory windows properly, you can light up these darkened areas. A good candidate room is one that has ample wall support and upper wall access to an open light source.
Use Clerestory Windows Above Long Hallways and Corridors
One of the best places to install clerestory windows is above a long hallway or corridor. These parts of a home have the tendency to get very dark and can be difficult to reach with natural light from a normal hanging window. A clerestory window placed properly can provide ample light for a long area like this.
Be Careful of Framing Support
If you plan to actually install your own clerestory windows at home, one of the most important things that you will need to be careful of is respecting the location of the main supporting posts carrying the weight of the load-bearing walls and framing the window openings without altering them and causing structural damage.
Windows take up space that would otherwise serve a load-bearing wall or structurally functional areas, making it crucial for you to plan with extreme care. Know where you can place a clerestory window without causing structural damage to your home or putting any part of the building at risk. Clerestory windows can also be difficult to clean and maintain, due to their height as well.
Place Clerestory Windows Under Eaves and Above Stairs
In terms of a good place to position your clerestory windows, both from a structural perspective and also in regards to getting ample light for parts of your home, it's good to put these windows under roof eaves. This helps to create a larger light source for a large open room. You can also place these windows just above staircases as well, which tend to feel cramped and rely on artificial light sources for lighting.
y doing so, you can turn the staircase and the window eave into a more prominent feature in the home. Positioning your clerestory windows so that they're at a 45-degree angle to the prevailing wind will help to ensure that warm air from your home can properly ventilate through them.