Looking to lighten up a small room in your house with new windows but aren’t too sure where to start? You’ve probably already figured out that some small spaces just aren’t meant to have big bay or double-hung windows—there isn’t enough room.
That’s ok because hopper windows can do what other windows cant. Fill the walls of your small spaces with hopper windows to let in those sun rays and allow airflow.
We’ve created a hopper windows guide to help you understand what exactly a hopper window is and where it’s best used.
A Brief Look Into History
Back in the 19th-century, people got around with horses and wagons and traveled mostly by dirt road. Often, this traffic would create clouds of dust in the air. When people would open windows in their home to let in the air—well, in came the dust too.
So they invented the transom hopper window to help ventilate this inside without letting in too much of the dust. They were very property with Victorian homes and were often placed over doors or windows.
Hopper Windows Design
Hopper windows come in all sizes, though they tend to be on the smaller side. They’re rectangular in shape and always open inward with a latch or crank. Hinges and latches on hopper windows can either be on the top or bottom of the window.
Unlike double-hung windows that slide up and down to open and close, hopper windows swing-out. They can either swing-out at a full 90° or half-way at 45°.
Windows that swing out at a full 90° will often open upwards, not to be a hazard to any unexpecting passerby. A window hinged from the bottom and left open completely could cause someone to hit their head accidentally.
Hopper Window vs. Awning Window
From a glance, you’d think these two windows are the same. They’re indeed very similar in their design. However, they do have a few differences.
As we mentioned, hopper windows can open from the top or the bottom and always open inward. On the other hand, an awning window opens outward and always from the top—this is where it gets its name.
Where to Use a Hopper Window
You can put a hopper window anywhere. However, typically they work best in rooms where there’s not a lot of wall space—like in a small bathroom or laundry room. They are also used in basements and garages and sometimes above doors and other windows.
Hopper windows in bathrooms are placed high up on the wall and allow these small natural light and airflow places. Because they are higher on the wall, they give ultimate privacy from the outside.
Though using hopper windows in basements is common, they shouldn’t replace egress windows completely. If a basement is habitable, egress windows are required by code. Bedrooms in basements must have an egress window or patio door as well.
Benefits of Hopper Windows
Our science teachers taught us that hot air rises and cold are falls. And we all know that bathrooms and laundry rooms can create a lot of hot air and moisture. Warm air plus moisture can cause humidity levels to rise and allow mold and mildew to grow.
In a bathroom or laundry room that needs proper ventilation, having a window high up that can fully open will circulate the air. Musty smelling basements can now air out as well.
And because you can latch them tight, they are very energy efficient. Having energy-efficient windows will help keep those monthly AC and heat bills to a minimum, allowing you to save money in the long run.
Cleaning windows have never been easier with hopper windows. Because they open forward, they allow easy access from the inside and outside. Also, smaller hopper windows give added security, as they make it hard for anyone trying to break in to get into your house.
Missouri Egress Codes
According to Missouri building codes, using hopper windows for openable emergency escape and rescue windows is completely acceptable. If a hopper window is used as a means of escape, then the sill itself can be no higher than 44 inches above the floor.
Hoppers used in basements as egress should have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. They should have a minimum opening height of 24 inches and a minimum opening width of 20 inches. If used as an emergency escape, hopper windows must be operational from the room’s inside without any need for keys or tools.
Windows can be customized to fit any shape or size—as long as you’re willing to pay the extra cost. That being said, standard sizes for hopper windows are 12″-24″ high by 30″-36″ long.
Hopper Windows Guide Summary
Adding light and ventilation in a room that otherwise wouldn’t have it can be done by installing a new hopper window. Placing hopper windows in laundry rooms and bathrooms that create a lot of moisture in the air will reduce humidity and keep mold and mildew at bay. Not every room is appropriate for a hopper window and typically are used in small places and high up on walls.
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