And Then There Were Windows? What Homeowners Should Know About Adding Windows To Existing Walls

While homeowners rarely complain about having too much natural light in their home, having too little is a common problem shared by many. This is especially true if the home was designed and built by a previous owner during past decades when windows were often smaller or used more sparingly in the building process. 

The solution to insufficient natural light can be both possible and affordable by adding one or more windows to existing walls. If you are interested in achieving more natural light inside your home, as well as better ventilation and a more pleasing appearance, the following information will help alert you to the potential problems you may encounter during the process. 

Structural concerns

The first potential problem that must be addressed when considering the addition and exact placement of each new window is the effect it will have on the overall structure of the home. The exterior walls of a home carry the load of supporting the roof and provide strength to the entire structure.

While it may be possible to safely install small, narrow windows into the openings between existing wall studs without affecting the structure, larger window openings that require removal of supporting studs should not be attempted without first having the plans approved by a qualified professional.

Wall cavity concerns

Existing walls often encase runs of wiring and plumbing within their cavities. They may also contain cables and wires used for home security systems, internet services, gas piping, and HVAC vents and ducts.

If plans are available that detail past construction and renovation projects, homeowners may be able to use them to get a general idea of what may lie within each wall. Before cutting into any wall, however, homeowners should always verify what is inside and the exact location. Professional window installers understand the process involved in installing windows into an existing wall and how to approach the process in a safe manner. 

Exterior surface concerns

Adding new windows to an existing wall can also create some exterior surface issues that will need to considered. If the home is constructed of masonry, the exterior surface will require cutting through the brick or stone.  Since this can create a structural issue, installing a steel lintel beam at the top and bottom of each window opening may be required to offset the loss of structural strength. 

More windows in your home can add many benefits, including adding value to the property and increasing natural light and healthy ventilation.

However, the process can also have some pitfalls that homeowners should strive to avoid. Before beginning, homeowners can learn more about adding additional windows to their home's existing walls by discussing their plans with a reputable window replacement company in their area.