Problem Solving Hopper Windows - How to Add Style

December 31, 2009

Hopper windows are workhorse windows, not generally considered style setters. That's because hopper windows are typically found in the basement. They are hinged one piece windows that open at the top and fold down and into the building. Their purpose is to offer ventilation to the room while keeping out dirt and leaves. Although some hopper windows can be fully opened to allow maximum window access, typically they offer partial openings to keep out debris.

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Hopper windows have a rich tradition in American history. They were first used as transom windows in the Victorian architecture of the 19th Century. The transom is the beam that's located at the top of the window and transom windows are located above this beam.

In the 19th Century, Victorian homes were typically located along unpaved, dirt roads. The dust from horse drawn carriages was a major issue to city dwellers. Opening typical windows for ventilation also ushered in the dust from the road. The transom hopper window, because it was high and opened in and down, kept the road dust to a minimum in the home while offering some fresh air and much needed natural light.

More architects are discovering the benefits of hopper windows. In beach front locations where blowing sand can be an issue, the hopper window can slip right in to solve the problem. Not only does it solve the sand problem, but it does it in high style since it offers unobstructed views as well. Hopper windows have a rich tradition dating back to the 19th Century. They were used to solve problems then, and certainly can be used to solve similar issues in the 21st Century.


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