What is a Garden Window? And Why You May REALLY Want One!

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 08/02/22 •  6 min read

What is a Garden Window?

A garden window (also called a greenhouse window) is a box-shaped style of window that protrudes outward from the wall of your home. In addition to being a window, a garden window acts as a mini-greenhouse, with a glass front, sides and roof, as well as a shelf-like sill.

What Is the Difference Between a Bay Window and A Garden Window?

Though bay windows, bow windows, and garden windows all bump out from the exterior wall of a home garden windows are different as their side panes are set at 90 degree angles and feature a sloping top pane that allows light to come in from above. Garden windows are also often smaller, whereas modern bow windows and bay windows will often stretch almost from floor to ceiling.

Often installed above a kitchen countertop, they’re the ideal nook for growing culinary herbs all year round or for displaying some uber-fashionable succulents or tropical houseplants. Though they’re smaller than other types of window, their multiple panes help to brighten up gloomy spots.

Are Garden Windows a Good Idea?

For homeowners who love their garden as much as their interior, garden windows allow you to garden all year long, bringing the outdoors in.

A garden window’s generous sill makes the perfect spot for growing plants, including those that need a warmer environment to thrive. Also known as a greenhouse window, these sun and light traps really do achieve a mini-greenhouse effect for the plants that you place on them. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can still use this additional space for displaying decorative items or as storage space. Just make sure anything you place into a garden window isn’t light-sensitive.

Though they undoubtedly look at their most charming when housing pots of lush green plants, there are also practical reasons for adding a garden window. If you have a spot in your home that can’t house a bay window or a large flat window, the garden window helps you amp up the natural light, without taking up too much wall space. Even a small garden window offers ample, versatile ventilation, making it a great addition to a house that needs to be cooled effectively in the summer.

What Is the Average Cost for A Garden Window?

Garden windows cost between $1500 and $6000 to purchase and install. A higher price than some other styles, this reflects the complexity of installing this specialist window, along with the cost of additional labor and materials needed for structural alterations and for the generous shelving space within the window sill. 

Why Are Garden Windows so Expensive?

Garden windows are a more expensive window style thanks to their of four panes of glass. The cost of manufacturing a 3D garden window with four independent panes of glass is understandably higher than a flat, single-pane window.

Can You Install a Garden Window Yourself?

Thinking about saving money by installing your own garden windows? Make sure your carpentry skills are up to the job. You’ll need to remove any existing windows without damaging the wall, then frame in the new unit and produce a great finish on the sill or shelving. Go wrong here and you may end up spending more to rectify your mistake than it would have cost you to have the window professionally installed in the first place. 

Like anything, it can be done with a lot of research and planning, but you have to weigh your time and comfort level against the cost of installation.

Do Garden Windows Increase Home Value?

Yes, a good quality, expertly installed garden window will increase the value of your home. Garden windows can greatly enhance a room aesthetically, can improve your outlook onto the likes of an attractive garden or view, and they improve the functionality of a room – ticking all those boxes for boosting your home’s value. 

Less common than other types of window and utterly unique in their appearance and uses, the garden window is certainly an asset to a home. When they’re used as an attractive feature in a kitchen, bathroom or basement, or to solve lighting and ventilation problems elsewhere, they drive up a property’s value. 

Are Garden Windows Dated?

Though less popular than they have been previously, modern styles of garden windows definately don’t make your home look outdated. In fact, the way you choose to style them with greenery can create a trendy look thanks to the popularity of house plants in interior design right now.

Popular in the 1990’s, you may fear that installing a garden window might make your home look dated. However, within a contemporary build or as part of your preferred interior style, a garden window can look very bright, fresh and modern.

Do Garden Windows Leak?

One of the reasons why professional installation of a garden window is better is because incorrect fitting can lead to leaks. Their unique design means that they put stress on your exterior wall and therefore must be framed, aligned, fitted and sealed precisely to maintain a leak-proof finish.

A common issue with old or poorly installed garden windows is leakage at the top corners. This is a weak spot in this design of window, but with sufficient use of flashing and by sealing the corners well, leaks are not inevitable. Using a window fitter with experience in the installation of garden windows is a great idea. As a homeowner, you’ll also need to play your part by maintaining the window properly to guard against leaks in the future. 

How Big Can a Garden Window Be?

Unlike other outwardly protruding windows, garden windows tend to be quite small.  Their charm is that they offer a great view and plenty of light, all within a compact spot. Standard garden window units start at 36” by 36”, scaling up to a maximum of 72” by 60”.

Though these dimension may seem small compared to bay or bow windows, the smaller size suits the spots where these quirky windows are usually fitted. Think how cumbersome anything larger would look behind a kitchen sink or above a bathroom countertop.

So, are Garden Windows for You?

For some, the aesthetic provided by a garden window is an absolute winner. In fact, researching them opened my mind and I’m putting one in our new build home plan.

Be it the shelf laden with your prized plants, the improved outlook onto your garden or the burst of sunlight into a previously gloomy spot  — a garden window has much to offer.

If you’re still not sure if a garden window is what you’re looking for, click here to see our list of the 13 most popular window styles for your home, including bay and bow windows, which also add room to your space.

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.