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 Any real reason why windows open inwards 
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Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 16:09
Posts: 253
Location: Bognor&Bucquoy 62
What is the reason why the windows in our french house open inwards? as opposed to the majority in the UK that open outwards?

I am looking at replacing some and just cant see a real benefit?

it cant be for cleaning??

20 Mar 2010, 16:51
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Joined: 07 Feb 2009, 11:28
Posts: 13649
Location: 23. Creuse. Limousin.
Most French windows open inwards.

I've always assumed it's so that in the Summer you can have the windows open when the Shutters are shut to keep the heat of the sun out but let fresh air in.

Regards Charlotte

We are how we treat each other - Nothing more.


20 Mar 2010, 16:54
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Joined: 25 Jun 2008, 08:20
Posts: 14384
Location: Here, there, everywhere, but always in France!
Ditto, Charlotte. :D

Also, the shutters help to conserve heat during the colder winter months, they're another 'layer'!

I think shutters are very sensible! :)

20 Mar 2010, 17:04

Joined: 11 Sep 2008, 13:26
Posts: 777
Location: 17
bucquoyorbust wrote:
What is the reason why the windows in our french house open inwards? as opposed to the majority in the UK that open outwards?

I am looking at replacing some and just cant see a real benefit?

it cant be for cleaning??

so sensible, no need for a ladder to clean upstair windows, no fear of the wind breaking a window that opens inwards as against outwards.

20 Mar 2010, 17:08

Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 11:10
Posts: 8158
Location: Now Hereford previously 33 & 87
House walls say 80 cms thick, Window then window sill, then work surface how do you reach outside for windows ?

Shutter outside you cannot fully open outward opening windows unless they are mounted proud of the wall.

Have seen sash / Gillotine windows on a French house

20 Mar 2010, 17:46
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Joined: 15 Nov 2006, 19:43
Posts: 712
Location: Charente Department 16
you cant shut the shutters if the window opens outwards unless they are roller shutters lol :D :D :D :D :D

20 Mar 2010, 18:16
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Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 16:09
Posts: 253
Location: Bognor&Bucquoy 62
Thks everyone for responses so far,

I get the cleaning one and the access that i think Mandrake is suggesting ie that you couldnt reach to open a window outwards with thick walls,worktops etc which i have experianced.

But on the whole walls are 30/45cm deep as they are in the UK and they still do it on all the modern builds.
In the UK we have window-sills inside (with no real purpose) and then cant/coud'nt easily have window boxes etc??

It just looks strange having windows hanging open into a room

The external roller shutters i dont get in northern france although as things warm up it may be diferent but the work installing them and maintaining dosent seem to balance in the Nord? I also have them on my north facing windows? they appear more for security although they fail unless u add locking devices at the bottom for which you would need the windows to open inwards Again they still install shutters on new builds with high performance upvc so it can be for insulation?? I agree they are common place across europe other than the UK.

20 Mar 2010, 18:17

Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 11:10
Posts: 8158
Location: Now Hereford previously 33 & 87
I think one reason for the prevalence of Shutters in Europe is the protection they provide to 2mm glass which would have been expensive when houses were first glazed.

20 Mar 2010, 18:29

Joined: 16 Sep 2008, 10:57
Posts: 1164
Location: Oxfordshire and Manche (50)
It is probably because they drive on the wrong side of the road .... er, have I got the right thread :shock:

20 Mar 2010, 18:37
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Joined: 04 May 2008, 04:46
Posts: 10858
Location: Central Brittany
If they open inwards you can have more elaborate and fully grown window boxes.
Talking of flowers this next piece may be a bit flowery:-
There is a psychological benefit because when you open an inward opening French style window you are effectively "pulling" the fresh air into the room and welcoming the new day with open arms.
You are refreshing the stale air that exists in the room and as you open the windows inward you breathe in the new air and the promising potential of new day.
In the outward opening style you are pushing the new day away and still breathing in the stale air as it escapes past you, almost as though you are reluctant to let go of the old and embrace the new.
With a sash style vertical opener you are being disinterested and surreptitious at the same time by saying "you'd better come in or go out then I don't care which".

So you see there is much more to it than the practicalities (very sensible as they are regards shutters and window boxes) it is about your own psychological wellbeing and whether you welcome most days with open arms of reluctantly let the old one go.

:wink: :wink:

Only dead fish go with the flow

20 Mar 2010, 19:01

Joined: 05 Dec 2008, 00:21
Posts: 1288
Location: Near Vire (14)
Ever since I discovered, many years ago, the practicalities of continental inward opening windows I've often wondered the opposite question to the OP - why does the UK have outward opening windows? The advantages of inward opening far outweighs any perceived disadvantages.

To add one further point; on the (mercifully few) occasions that I'm in the UK I now really notice how ugly outward opening windows make a building. I've got so used to the lines of a façade not being broken up by flappy bits of glass & frame that it comes as a shock.

Jonathan Badger - St Germain de Tallevende 14500

21 Mar 2010, 10:55
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Joined: 31 Jul 2003, 07:36
Posts: 8706
Practical for firemen too, they don't have to worry about putting a ladder in front of an inner opening window to rescue folks and hence the reason for zinc guttering as it does not melt like plastic so they can put their ladders against it.

21 Mar 2010, 11:24

Joined: 20 Mar 2005, 12:27
Posts: 7982
When we first moved in to our place about 5 years ago, we couldn't work out how to keep the windows open to allow fresh air in but with out them slamming and banging in the breeze.

Then we discovered these things:

They are great, you can regulate how open the windows are and they hold the windows open enough to let in fresh air but without a gale coming in

We affectionately call them 'wiggly window things' because can never remember the French for them!!


21 Mar 2010, 11:42

Joined: 09 Dec 2004, 18:22
Posts: 1567
Location: Correze (19) France
Do you know of any of these things that will work with UPVC windows?

21 Mar 2010, 12:25
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Joined: 30 Oct 2008, 00:38
Posts: 4208
Location: 58 La Nièvre
With a sash style vertical opener you are being disinterested and surreptitious at the same time by saying "you'd better come in or go out then I don't care which".

:( They're usually sash style vertical nonopeners! Great idea that seldom works, especially if the wood has been painted.

Do not regret growing older; it's a privilege denied to many.

21 Mar 2010, 21:10
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