Can You Install A Picture Window Sideways?

Picture windows are a great option for "framing" the outside view. It could be a garden, a lake, or a city view. But what if you ordered a vertical picture window for your home instead of a horizontal one? Is it possible or practical to install it sideways? We did research on this topic so sit back and read along.

Yes, you can install a picture window sideways. But because of the disadvantages of installing it sideways, it's better to use the window as is.

If you bought a vertical picture window, you'll notice the weep holes (the window's drainage system) at the bottom. When you flip the window sideways, the weep holes will also be flipped, making it impossible for water to drain out during downpours and causing dirt and debris to accumulate. Problems like water damage could result.

You may want to know if installing a picture window sideways is still worth doing. The installation is possible, but you should prepare your windows for the installation. Continue reading for more details and information related to picture windows!

Open window with a view of the forest, Can You Install A Picture Window Sideways?

What Happens When You Install A Picture Window Sideways?

Opting for a picture window allows more sun and warmth to enter your home. It also makes the room more aesthetically pleasing. And when you think about it, a landscape is best framed in a bigger and wider scope, such as that of a horizontal frame. 

But if you purchased a vertical picture window, you may have a dilemma on your hands. You'll notice two holes located at the bottom of the window frame. These are weep holes, and they're designed to push out water that gets trapped inside the window frame.

When installing a picture window, the weep holes should be on the house's exterior to push out the trapped water. The challenge with installing a pre-built vertical frame sideways is the placement of these weep holes, which will only be useful if placed on the right side.

If it rains a lot in your area, water could get trapped inside the window frame, causing unwanted dirt to accumulate. Not only does it cause drainage problems, but it can also cause problems for the glass because of how it's specifically manufactured.

Watch the video below for more information on how weep holes work.

If you need to change the orientation of a window, some homeowners recommend drilling two holes in the window to drain out water. Creating your own weep holes in this way is a possible solution if you're really eager to install a window sideways. 

Check out this cordless drill set on Amazon.

So, yes, you can install a picture window sideways, but when you consider the downsides, is it still worth doing?

Issues With Improper Installation

Despite the fact that manufacturers sometimes state that you can install a picture window in any orientation, you wouldn't be able to return the window or get a refund if anything goes wrong.

When you install a picture window sideways, the manufacturer will probably deem any warranties void. So, if it turns out bad for the window or your house, it's no longer their problem and you won't get a refund or return.

One home inspector discovered an extremely dirty window installed with in the wrong orientation. This type of improper installation generally invites dirt and debris to grow on the windowsill.

Besides the given disadvantages of installing a picture window in the wrong orientation, here are some things to look out for:

  • The window can be really hot during the summer
  • Incompatible with smaller houses/rooms

Ventilation can be a problem, as warmth will likely seep through the large window during the summer. 

Depending on the room, horizontally installed picture windows can be a bad idea. This type of window is not recommended in smaller houses or rooms because of how big it is. It can make a room look crowded.

Types and Prices of Picture Windows

The price of installing a picture window generally depends on the window's material and size and the cost of labor. The price can range from $65 to $700. The cost also depends on the manufacturer, if they charge more or less.

If you're thinking of picking out a window material that suits the overall design of your house or room, here's a list of common picture-window materials:

  • Vinyl: Vinyl is the cheapest picture window material on the market. And it's an easy replacement for aluminum because it's long lasting. The price ranges from $200 to just over $700.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is a very light material that doesn't require much attention. Aluminum windows are easy to clean and provides a polished, modern touch. Although they're prone to denting. They can cost up to $800.
  • Fiberglass: If you're looking for quality material that doesn't require much maintenance, go with fiberglass. Fiberglass is known for its durability in strong weather These windows range between $550 t0 over $1,000. 
  • Wood: Wooden frames can add a classic touch to your interior design. However, they need to be regularly maintained and can be on the pricey side. They can cost close to $2,000. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions related to picture windows. Read on to get the answers!

Is A Picture Window The Same As A Fixed Window?

Yes, both windows are the same. However, fixed windows have thicker frames and can also come in handy if you want to install operational windows.

The only defining thing about a picture window is that it encapsulates a view and makes it look like a picture. As a result, it usually has a thin frame.

How To Capture A View With A Picture Window?

To capture a view with a picture window, find an area that you specifically want to showcase, or see on a daily basis. It could be a garden, a lake, or the woods. 

Try to picture which part you want to be seen, as if you're cropping the best bit of a photo.

Generally, you want to avoid placing the window where the view is your neighbor's garage, a road, a construction site, or any view that' unappealing.

Bay window with drapes, curtains and view of trees under summer sky

How Do You Clean Picture Windows?

They key to making a room more polished is to start with clean windows. Cleaning picture windows doesn't require much, just a cloth, distilled vinegar, and water. Work your way gently but firmly across the window.

You can do the same thing for the window on its exterior, and if your picture window is on the second floor, you will need a ladder. If it can't be helped with a ladder, try using a window cleaner.

Check out this window cleaner in Amazon

What Are Common Picture Window Sizes?

Picture window sizes typically range between two to eight feet in width. They can be as tall as eight feet. The size can be customized to your liking. 

How Long Does A Picture Window Last?

There are a couple of factors that impact a picture window's lifespan, like the framing material and the maintenance. For example, vinyl, fiberglass, and wood are among the most long-lasting materials. Because picture windows cannot be opened or closed, they tend to last longer than other window types.

Alternatives To Picture Windows

A picture window is not the only option for your home. You can also try one of the following window types:

Double casement window: A double casement window is simply two windows hinged on either side that open like double doors. You can use two or three windows depending on the size of the room or the view.

Open window to the back yard with blue wall.

Horizontal sliders: Horizontal sliders are your typical sliding windows. This is a great replacement option if you really want a horizontal frame.

Interior, empty room of a modern apartment with window

Double-hung windows: The great thing about a double-hung window is its incredible ventilation system. It operates much like a sliding window, but vertically. You can move the sash up and down for air to pass through the bottom or the top.

The exterior wall of a building with three tall double hung windows and flower boxes.

Wrapping Up

Picture windows can turn a boring room into a bright and colorful space. Remember that picture windows are manufactured for a specific orientation and trying to install them a different way may result in unwanted damage.

Of course, you can do whatever you want with your windows but be prepared. After all, safety should come before aesthetics!

If you found this post helpful, check out the related topics below:

Vinyl, Aluminum, Fiberglass, Or Composite Windows: Which Is Right For Your Home?

How To Dress A Window With One Curtain

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