Floor to ceiling bay windows... want to add window seat...
Stephanie Parker
November 25, 2013 in Design Dilemma
hi everyone...I have a bay window in my bedroom that I would like my husband to build a window seat for. only problem is that my Windows are floor to ceiling... how could I make that work??? do I need to build a faux sill at the top of the seat? or would it look ok. to leave that space where the window is and just cover with pillows or something?
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Scott Design, Inc.
Where on the house is this window located? Can you see it up close and personal from the exterior or can you camouflage the unusual bench approach behind some shrubbery? Do you have heating at floor level to contend with?
November 25, 2013 at 5:34pm      Thanked by Stephanie Parker
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Pictures are worth a thousand.
November 25, 2013 at 5:37pm      Thanked by Stephanie Parker
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Stephanie Parker
it is at the back of our house.. the window is on or back porch.. no shrubbery. but one day there will be patio furniture there hopefully. no heating in the floor to worry about.

I am out of town for thanksgiving, but as soon as I get back I will take a picture of the nook.. I may have a pic on my phone somewhere though.. I'll look. ark
November 25, 2013 at 7:57pm   
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Stephanie Parker
I found this on my phone.. Not the best but gives you an idea
November 25, 2013 at 8:00pm   
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Stephanie Parker
bump.. anyone?
November 26, 2013 at 6:50am   
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Wallace Remodeling, Inc.
The glass definitely needs to be tempered. If it isn't already you will need to have a glazier help you with that. Call a contractor in your area who is familiar with building codes. Some sort of minimally defined fall protection may need to be put in place.
November 26, 2013 at 9:46am     
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Stephanie Parker
sorry I'm confused... why do I need to worry about codes to just add a bench? we aren't doing anything to the windows themselves just wanting to know if the bench would still look ok in front of floor to ceiling windows as opposed to the traditional higher sills you see with window seats.
November 26, 2013 at 1:11pm     
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stephanie, i'm assuming it's because those windows are operable?
they have to be unobstructed for egress in case of fire, i would think.
November 26, 2013 at 1:19pm     
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Cancork Floor Inc.
I would prefer to see a beautiful chaise lounge in that spot - a high back will offer the look you want without demolition/extra work.

If the chaise isn't what you were looking for, you may have to have that window taken out, and another window fitted (with the space underneath filled in) to make the "window seat" a true window seat.
November 26, 2013 at 1:39pm     
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Stephanie Parker
Oh ok..I gotcha. Ya we had thought of that issue... there is anther window in the room so we figured that could be the emergency exit.

a chaise might work...I am just so bad at envisioning things. thanks for the opinions!!
November 26, 2013 at 7:41pm     
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Fred S
The glazing code that was incorrectly referenced is right here.

R308.4.3 Glazing in windows.
Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions shall be considered a hazardous location:
1. The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m2);
2. The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor;
3. The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor;
4. One or more walking surfaces are within 36 inches (914 mm), measured horizontally
and in a straight line, of the glazing.

As the glazing is already less than 18" from the floor, it should already be safety glass. You do not have to change the glazing to put in a window seat even if it wasn't unless you were planning on changing it anyway. A window seat is generally 18" off the floor, so safety glass above it would not be necessary at all.
November 26, 2013 at 10:46pm     
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HERE Design and Architecture
Irrespective of the letter of the law, the reason that safety glazing is a good idea where you have a window seat is that when it breaks (which it is more likely to do than other windows because of its proximity to moving bodies) it breaks into smaller squarer pieces as opposed to more dangerous shards.

Aside from that, I would not want a window seat right up against the glass because the space between the seat and the window will be impossible to clean, full of dust and spiders, and it will be visible.
November 26, 2013 at 11:00pm     
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Fred S
1. Decorative glazing.
2. When a horizontal rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing
34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable
of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without
contacting the glass and be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm)
in cross sectional height.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to add a guard rail into the design of the seat. And it doesn't have to be closed off underneath for cleaning purposes. But, I would agree that a chaise or other furniture would look better. FYI, those light wicker chairs provide absolutely no more protection than a window seat would. Neither does a chaise.
November 26, 2013 at 11:18pm     
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Me. Uggh. Me have seat in bay but me no like as butt got wet.
November 27, 2013 at 1:42am     
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