The Property Brothers Have One Clever Hack To Fake Big Windows On A Budget

Letting natural light into a home is essential, providing benefits for both your health and stylish interior. There is evidence that sunlight helps produce serotonin, reduce anxiety and stress, and help improve sleep. And on the aesthetic side, sunlight illuminates a room, allowing you to see the true colors of paint, details in the architecture, and feel as though you're in a larger space.

With all the benefits, it's no wonder homeowners want to increase the amount of brightness in their homes. Of course, one of the best ways to increase natural light is with larger windows. Unfortunately, that can come at a price that's often out of range for most of us. "Installing a full 11-foot window would break the bank," Jonathan Scott explained on an episode of "Brother vs. Brother" (via HGTV). For this project, he wants floor-to-ceiling windows in the guest room to help illuminate the space.

Tall windows like this often mean larger panes of glass and more structural support, which can quickly raise the price point of a renovation. However, Jonathan Scott has a clever way to achieve the look without breaking the budget. "I'm going to get the same effect for a fraction of the price by using three windows stacked one on top of the other." The guest room, which features 12-foot ceilings, now has windows that stack up to a total of 11 feet. Using multiple smaller panes of glass helped to save on costs and improve the design.

The difference in cost

Floor-to-ceiling windows are a feature that most homeowners look for to bring in more natural light. However, installing them can be a major cost and often a hit to the renovation budget. Wall-style windows, which feature large panes of glass that are uninterrupted by panels or support structures, are often what most people think of. Also called picture windows, this style offers unobstructed views and is highly sought after. However, these large windows can cost between $700 and $1,600 per foot. With tall ceilings and wide wall space, the cost of floor-to-ceiling windows can quickly reach $10,000.

Instead, using multiple individual windows or sets of multi-paneled windows, as Jonathan Scott did in this episode of "Brother vs. Brother," can be more cost-effective while achieving a similar look. For example, the Triple Casement Window from Broga costs just under $500 and is 3 feet tall. Three of these windows stacked on top of each other, plus the space in-between, will equal out to a little over 9 feet of height for about $1,500. After factoring in the cost of installation and labor for both, the cost of multiple windows comes out to be much less than a large floor-to-ceiling version.

Transom windows are also an option

Another way to let in more natural light and make windows look larger is with transom windows. These are a great option for those with minimal wall space because they are typically smaller in size and are made to sit on top of main windows and patio doors. So, using a transom window will increase the amount of natural light in your space and create a visually larger design without costing you thousands. 

Transom windows are also ideal for older homes. In many cases, contractors or window experts can install this feature to existing windows by simply cutting a hole in the wall, eliminating the need for a major renovation. With plenty of window styles and customization options, you'll be able to match your existing windows and your interior style. Transom windows can also be curved or arched to add decorative detail, and the cost typically starts at about $100 per window.