Window Size ?

It is time to replace the windows along the front of my house. One room I use as an office and the other as a spare bedroom. Alas, the windows, large 6ft wide and 5ft high, are mounted 22" off the floors, so anything I put in front of them has to be moved away from the walls--a couch in one case and a desk in another.
I was thinking that perhaps I should go for 4ft high windows and mount them 34" off the floor. The siding is simulated board-batten, i.e. 3/8" rough-sawn ply with 1x vertical strips every 16 inches. The house is an overly-flat ranch style, somewhat buried into a hillside, so any exterior appearance of height is a good thing.... interior will get craftsman style casing, base, and crowns.
Has anyone else wrestled with this? Should I raise the windows or just go with the current size? The construction aspects are easy enough, but I am wondering about the design/effort tradeoffs. Thanks for any suggestions.
Cheers, Shawn
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Hi Shawn Have you thought of a window flower box...
http://rustylopez.typepad.com/imagoarticulus/images/flower_window2_germany.jpg
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Any children in the house? If so I'd consider impact resistant glass which of course will up the cost if you keep them so low.
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You build a room for space and install windows for light, air and obtaining a view. Unless you have some spectacular view right under those windows, I'd opt for raising them up so you can utilize the space in front of the windows more easily. Code only requires impact resistant glass if the glass is within 18" of the floor.
R
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I don't know where the change is taking place but code requires egress out of the room too. Even if it is fixed glass, I would want it low enough to throw a chair through it to keep the fire from my butt.


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Good point about the egress implications. The OP said the windows were 6' wide by 5' tall and he's contemplating making them ~ 4' tall. There's enough room there - whether smaller windows will work as egress windows would depend on the OP's choice in windows.
R
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The only spectacular view is that of the damn wabbits chewing on my shrubbery. The exterior grade is about level with my floor, so egress is not a problem, whether I raise the window bottoms a bit or not, you can pretty much just step through--thereby scattering the aforementioned wabbits. Oh, and a window box is not an option for me, a) I suck at shrubbery and b) the wabbits already have a salad bar.
By the way, the house is 40 yrs old so matching the rough-sawn siding (with 15 coats of paint on it) may be less than perfect if I were to raise the window bottoms. Then again, I keep thinking it would be nice to be able to put furniture right up against the window walls. Then there is the price of the windows, going from 30 sqft to 24 should save me a wee bit, as well as H/AC bills... quite a dilemma?
Others must have such low windows. Are they a pain from an interior/furniture perspective for you too, or am I just hallucinating?
Cheers, Shawn
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