- There is no doubt that eyebrow windows look like eyebrows.
- Attics and top floors of homes receive natural light and ventilation from them.
- There are some “brows” that are charming, and there are some that are downright creepy.
- A window can be added without creating an entirely new hole.
Many details in home architecture are easily recognizable, even if you don’t know the exact name. Case in point: You’ve definitely seen an eyebrow window, even though you might not have known it by name. Keep reading and we’ll catch you up with this interesting type of window.
The Advantages of Eyebrow Windows
It might not be the right look for every home to have eyebrow windows. The installation of these small but unique dormer windows has some distinct advantages.
Even though these windows cannot provide egress, they can provide ventilation. You’ll see some of these in the sloped roof of homes where the attic might be. As attics are notoriously stuffy—heat rises, after all—the ability to open even a little sliver of a window is helpful.
Natural light is also allowed through windows. Eyebrow windows act as a sort of skylight, though instead of them being flat like a traditional skylight, the roof is raised to permit the row of windows to peep out rather than up.
Characteristics that are affordable
The eyebrow window has long been a part of architecture, but its quirky appearance still raises eyebrows. Whereas a larger flat dormer might be too big to add to your home—and possibly too expensive (building a “bump-out” can cost up to $30,000)—it only costs around $4,000 to add an eyebrow dormer. Thanks to the “bump” in curb appeal, you’ll get plenty of double-takes from neighbors and passersby.
The Disadvantages of Eyebrow Windows
It’s hard to unsee why eyebrow windows are so aptly named once you see them. And while it’s often been said that the windows are the “eyes” of a home, eyebrow windows might indeed be a bit too on the nose for some people’s liking. Here’s why you might want to look toward other types of dormers for your home:
They’re Not as Useful as Standard-Sized Windows
Though eyebrow windows can open and let in light like any other window, they do so in very small doses. They can’t serve as a form of egress, so they can only be used as accents to living spaces, not as the main window.
They Can Be Creepy
There are some eyebrow dormers who take their roles very seriously. For example, there are famous eyebrow dormers in Sibiu, a town in Transylvania, Romania, that are quite unsettling. Sure, they’re just dormers—but they really do look like eyes with furrowed brows. Couple that with the fact that Dracula hails from Transylvania, and well, it’s understandable that the Eyes of Sibiu, as they are called, are indeed haunting.
In American architecture, some eyebrow windows are not dormers but rather curved rows of windows high up on the second floor of a home. And even though there’s no “brow,” they can still be quite foreboding. If you’re a classic horror movie fan, you might have arched your own eyebrow recalling one of the most famous—or rather infamous—eyebrow-style windows on the home that featured prominently in the 1979 film, The Amityville Horror.
We’ll skip most of the scary stuff and get to the architectural details: The home had two flat eyebrow windows set on an angle on the top story of the home. It made the house appear to be staring at you— and if you know the movie, it was!
Eyebrow Windows Alternative
If you like the look of the eyebrow arch but don’t want to build a dormer or add a new window to your home, you’re in luck. Window accents called eyebrow crossheads can be installed at the top of a window frame, like molding to a window or door on the interior of a home. These accents are typically made from wood, polyurethane, or other sturdy, rigid materials that can stand up to the elements, providing a gentle or more pronounced arch, depending on the style you choose.
While this last alternative is more DIY friendly, if you want a true eyebrow window or dormer added to your home, it’s better to leave it to the pros. Call a window company near you and get advice on what an eyebrow window will “look” like for your home.
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