Adding Natural Lighting in Your Kitchen - dummies

Adding Natural Lighting in Your Kitchen

Your kitchen windows are important sources of light. If you are remodeling a kitchen with a blank exterior wall, then you have the perfect opportunity to add windows. More windows mean more natural light, which makes any kitchen brighter and more inviting. Adding windows also provides more or better ventilation, especially if the new window allows for cross ventilation.

In most cases, it’s best to let a professional carpenter install your windows. They’re used to making the openings in the walls, lifting the windows (which can be a real chore, especially with a larger window unit), sealing around the windows so that moisture doesn’t get between the windows and your home’s siding, as well as making sure there’s no air leakage or drafts around the windows.

You need a building permit to add windows and, in some cases, to replace existing windows. Your city inspector will want to inspect the new framing or rough opening for any new window(s) to make sure that they’re properly supported and installed.

Adding new windows isn’t as simple as punching a hole in the wall and slapping in a window. If there’s an exterior wall that doesn’t have a window, there’s probably a good reason why a window wasn’t installed when the house was built. So it’s important to consult a designer to see where new windows might work in your kitchen. They can help you select the window size and type that will provide the most light and ventilation.

It’s also a good idea to hire a pro to cut the openings in the wall. And if you plan to use any non-traditional shaped windows, leave the installation to the pros. Installing a round or oval window is tricky to say the least, and professional carpenters are more accustomed to dealing with unusual construction situations and usually have a trick or two to accomplish this.

In days gone by, the main shapes for windows were square or rectangular with an occasional round window over a doorway. But designers and architects have pushed the window manufacturers into creating many new sizes and shapes for windows. If you do decide to add new windows to your kitchen, take a look around at what’s available before you decide. You can choose from so many shapes and sizes. For example, you can install very small 1 foot by 1 foot stationary units or large, sliding patio door type windows.

You can also purchase custom-built windows to fit your new kitchen design. For example, the use of a trapezoid window above a traditional rectangular window unit in a kitchen with a vaulted or sloped ceiling makes the entire wall look like a sloping surface, creating a smoother visual effect between the wall and the ceiling. Granted, you may have to pay more for a custom-built window, but if it provides the look you want, it’s worth the cost to complete the design.