Garden windows, also called greenhouse windows or mini solariums, are made to extend the usable area of kitchens and baths, where humidity helps with growing potted plants. They allow more light and a better view than traditional flat windows while keeping good ventilation.
We offer windows with either side or top vents, where the top vent is popular and to our experience the better of the two. Windows are easy to install in both new construction or retrofit applications. Unlike regular windows that are installed within the wall, garden windows are installed on the outside, either on the brickmould or flash on the brick. A liner – Jamb extension – is added around the existing jamb to cover the rough opening, finished with casing to match.
One issue needs considering with garden window: regular windows are mounted within the wall so surface exposure to the cold is minimal – one surface only. The Garden window has exposed areas at four sides and front so is essentially a bubble of warm, humid air exposed to the elements. If correctly made and installed, little condensation may occur, which is normal.
There are several windows offered in the marketplace. Some are Canadian, made for the Canadian climate, while others are brought in from the US, made for warmer weather. At a glance, the top-vent garden windows are local, where the side-vent windows are American.
Top vent advantages:
- Side-vent windows mount on a wide metal flange, so if installed within the outside brick the sightline – glass area – is smaller than the top-vent style.
- The metal flange conducts the cold through, where combined with humid kitchen air results in condensation or ice build-up.
- Side-vent frames are thicker than the top-vent frames, as they contain the hardware. As such, the side glass is much smaller than the top-vent style.
- Vent operation – top vent can be opened in any weather, as glass covers the opening underneath. It uses a supplied telescopic crank handle to easily operate the vent.
- Side vents crank handles are installed deep in the frame and are difficult to reach. In kitchen configuration, the cabinet is between you and the window, so the handles are far out – past the outside wall.
- Seat – the top-vent has an insulated, recessed vinyl seat, which can accept counter-top extension, tiles, wood or left as is. The side-vent window offers a plywood seat, hardly insulating when the temperature dips. See additional insulation layer we had to install under the side-vent seat to eliminate ice buildup.
- Countertop material is difficult to extend into the side-vent window, as handles are located just above the seat, living little space to slide anything there.
Top vent style
Side vent style
Jamb extension detail.
- Depth (projection) 17″ – standard on all windows.
- Top vent seat – insulated vinyl recessed made to accept tiles or other material to match counter-top.
- Side vent seat – furniture grade plywood, oak, or birch veneer.
- A fully welded, rigid PVC vinyl frame will not chip, rot or peel and will never need to be painted.
- Aluminum or steel reinforcements in the front mullion depend on style.
- Clear 1″ insulated glass package.
- Top sloped insulating glass (a constant 35-degree pitch) is tempered for improved safety and unit integrity.
- Both vents and fixed lites have a built-in sweep system and external glazing.
- A two-part structural silicone is used to glaze the top slope and vertical fixed lites portions of the unit.
- Locks and operators are mounted to the inside front area for easy access.
- Side vents supplied with multi-point locking system locks sash at top and bottom for a tighter seal and added security.
- Top vent supplied with an extension rod for easy operation.
- Snap-in sill cover for seat board provides aesthetic appeal and weather resistance.
- Snap-in corner slope closure profile assures a tight weather resistance.
- Operators are sealed to prevent air and water infiltration.
- The window is shipped completely assembled and ready to install.
- Fiberglass screens are included with every window.
- The standard color white in / out, optional other outside colors available.
- One or more tempered glass shelves with polished edges, brackets on top vent, standards on side vent.
- An insulation board with an “R” value of 5 can be installed under the seat board, increasing the “R” value to 6.22 A variety of glass types and grid options are available.
- Minimum size: 24″ wide, 30″ tall.
Garden window installation is simpler than a conventional window. It is flush-mounted on the outside wall or brickmould so save for the heft and weight once it is hooked in place all is left is securing in place and finishing the inside jamb extensions.
The top-vent install is simpler than the side-vents style. It is supplied with a hanging bracket that mounts on the top brickmould or wall, and once the window hangs there rest is a one-person job – secure the window in place and apply inside snap covers.
Shipping may be awkward and needs extra packaging. Shipping and crating costs are higher than a traditional flat window.
Please contact us for self-install measuring and instructions. Installation instructions are supplied with the window.
Typical installation, flush mount with filler before installing trim.
Top vent window, side and top jamb extension installed. Note the low position of the operating handle.
Jamb extension detail.
Outside finish of top vent window, installed flush on the outside wall.
Mini solarium – large greenhouse window.
Top vent, double operator detail.
Frosted glass window, top vent.
Vinyl recessed seat – top vent window.
Top vent garden window.
Side vent window.
Side vent window with plywood seat.
Above window showing added insulation under the seat.
Side vent inside view.
Side vent window inside detail. A: steel flange position. B: crank handle position. C: bottom jamb extension.
Garden window installed over a support base.
New and old, inset – old window. Right – installed 2013. Left – installed by us in the 60’s.
American-made window with side sliders.
For more information: For pricing and more information either call 905 761 5430 or email us.