SAVE $100 Expand
Sign up for promos, new house
plans and building info!


Save $100 Off Any House Plan!

See terms opt out anytime

By voluntarily opting into The House Designers' text alerts, in addition to receiving information about our e-pubs, building information and special offers, you agree to receive automated marketing text messages to the phone number provided above inviting you to join The House Designers' mobile marketing alerts. You also agree to receive marketing emails to the email address you provided above. Number of messages received may vary. Text HELP for info. Text STOP to cancel. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Message and data rates may apply. For more details, review our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If you do not wish to receive any marketing emails from The House Designers, you may unsubscribe at any time.



An email has been sent with details!
Chat   |   Email   |   866-214-2242
Please sign-in or register to save plans

What Picture Windows Can Do for You

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers

No matter where you live, if you have beautiful scenery outside your walls, invite it in! Any window can catch a glimpse, but picture windows make the most of views with their expansive sizes, variety of shapes, and flexible design options that allow you to tailor them to your style. It’s like choosing the perfect frame for the art that is your surroundings! Here’s what you should know if you’re interested in adding picture windows to your home.

Pella Lifestyle Series Wood Picture Windows

Floor-to-ceiling Pella® Lifestyle Series Wood Picture Windows add dramatic flair to this space and help make natural surroundings part of the décor. This home sticks to rectangles, but these windows come in a variety of unique curved and angular shapes, too!

Picture Window Basics

If you aren’t sure what picture window means, you aren’t alone! This category typically describes larger than average windows that are placed to frame views; they are often found in mountain, lake, and beach homes, where the scenery is an important part of the experience. You’ll also find them featured in two-story foyers, where they help naturally brighten the space and might draw focus to a nice light fixture when seen from outside. Made in a variety of shapes, picture windows can be used to fill in space under unique rooflines and create custom designs in their own right.

More than size and shape, picture windows are defined by being fixed, stationary, or inoperable. They’re not just oversized casement or awning windows! This means they won’t count as a point of egress in a bedroom, but you can pair them with windows that open for that purpose. Because picture windows are often placed out of reach, well over ground level on sloped lots, or function more like a see-through portion of the wall, you won’t miss the lack of operability. And without the need for a screen, they provide crystal clear views—exactly what you want for framing great sights!

Pella Reserve - Contemporary Wood Picture Windows

Pella® Reserve™ - Contemporary Wood Picture Windows glaze glass into the frame to maximize efficiency and the breadth of the panes. You'll enjoy the rustic look of wood inside while durable aluminum-clad exterior frames weather the elements!

Practical Benefits

While aesthetics are usually the main goal, picture windows can actually deliver on the practical front, too. They let in tons of light, of course, and that will reduce the household’s need for electricity during the day. If that doesn’t seem like much, consider that natural light positively affects mood, inhibits mold and mildew growth, and reduces eyestrain compared to artificial lighting. And by relying on free sunlight rather than electricity, your home will contribute to a healthier world!

Did you know that windows can also help with climate control? And by their construction alone, not just opening and closing them at the right times? Manufacturers optimize windows for different climates by varying the U-factor—the rate heat is lost through a window pane—and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient—the amount of heat from the sun allowed in through the window—with different glazes. The right windows and correct placement can reflect heat in the summer and absorb it in the winter. Just imagine the energy savings across seasons, and how picture windows with their greater size can make an impact.

Almost half of the energy a home uses is for lighting and temperature control. Depending on your home’s characteristics—the tightness of its envelope, orientation to the sun, any surrounding topography/foliage, etc.—and your family’s lifestyle, you could see a much higher percentage of savings. Large, appropriately glazed picture windows could be the part of the equation you’ve been missing!

Pella Lifestyle Series Wood Picture Windows

Don't forget to add divided lites if your architecture calls for them! This lake house features Pella® Lifestyle Series Wood Picture Windows with grilles in the arched top windows to keep views clear and still add traditional interest.

How to Use Picture Windows

Picture windows are more adaptable than you might think! Although they came into prominence with the rise of modern architecture, these windows look great in homes of all styles. They work especially well with open floor plans, where they can share views with and naturally brighten more square footage. A good wall of picture windows definitely makes a statement in the great room, but don’t be afraid to look for other places you can integrate them to customize your home.

Perhaps beautiful sights lie beyond your master suite? Picture windows can give the room the feel of a resort. Have a staircase against an exterior wall? Brighten it up and make it interesting! What about the kitchen? Whether you have high ceilings or wall space between hanging cabinets and the countertop, you can use a long window to fill the gap. They even work well around corners, if you have your eye on 270-degree views. Bring up your ideas with a builder to see what’s possible!

If you’re looking for great windows for your home, check out what Pella® can do for you. They have a range of products in the picture window category suitable for traditional and modern designs—complete with different frame material, color, and divided lite options—so you can welcome in great sights in the style of your choice. Of course, they also offer lovely operational windows to use in tandem, or anywhere else in the house. Schedule a free consultation to discuss the possibilities for your home!