I’m in the process of installing new kitchen windows. For the last few years there have been some ugly recycled windows in the holes, put there mostly because I was tired of looking at “hippie window”, the clear PVC sheeting often used around here as a temporary measure until real windows can be installed. I got the used windows at Urban Ore in Berkeley and tacked them in as-is, lead paint, flaking glazing putty and all. I thought they’d be there six months at most.
Now that I have the “real” windows here, I’ve realized I have a design decision to make: to put the jambs flush with the outside wall or flush with the inside wall. The wall itself is over 8″ thick, so this is, uncharacteristically, an option. I should note that, due to the overall design, the window location within the wall space doesn’t really affect weatherability. They’re safe from rain either way, so that’s not a deciding factor. Aesthetically, they look fine either way as well. It’s really a functionality issue.
Flush with the outside gives me a nice 4″ interior window sill. This seems the obvious choice until I consider that kitchen window sills will be magnets for dead flies, spider webs, clutter, wine corks, jars of dead flowers that have been there so long that mosquitos are breeding in them and whatever other clutter doesn’t have a ready home. Add to that things like pasta sauce splashes or blender disasters and cleaning smoothie-caked window-sill clutter becomes a hassle. Or another item on the procrastination list.
In both my childhood homes, we had a “junk drawer”, the place for random clutter. Both kitchens only had one small window upon which to collect crap and my mom kept a neat house, so kitchen clutter wasn’t really a problem. I’ve got four big windows along the entire counter and no one has ever accused me of being a neat-freak. The clutter-magnet potential is extreme.
So, what to do? Sills or no sills? I have to decide by tomorrow. Above is a photo of one of my 3-year-old “temporary” windows, 2×4 sill and what’s on it now. At least the flowers are fresh.