Title:
Window and window frame construction
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An openable window includes a window frame defining a window opening which is typically neither square nor rectangular and a window pane assembly which typically is square or rectangular, although the window opening and window pane assembly may have other shapes. The window allows for a window opening having curved portions or various complex shapes while eliminating some of the complex construction to achieve such shapes, such as eliminating the need for a window sash having curved portions when the window opening has curved portions. The window pane assembly preferably slides open and closed. A window sash may or may not circumscribe the window pane or panes. Standard dividers may be used or an adhesive layer may be adhered to the window pane to create the appearance of multiple window panes, stained glass or various other patterns.



Inventors:
Schlabach, Daniel M. (Berlin, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/545919
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
10/11/2006
Assignee:
Little Cottage Company (Berlin, OH, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C3/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KELLY, CATHERINE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SAND, SEBOLT & WERNOW CO., LPA (CANTON, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A window comprising: a window frame having an inner circumference of a first shape defining a window opening; and a window pane assembly mounted on the window frame and having an outer circumference which is greater than the inner circumference and has a second shape different than the first shape; the assembly comprising at least one window pane and being movable between open and closed positions.

2. The window of claim 1 wherein the first shape is neither square nor rectangular.

3. The window of claim 2 wherein the second shape is one of square and rectangular.

4. The window of claim 1 wherein the second shape is one of square and rectangular.

5. The window of claim 1 wherein the inner circumference comprises an arcuate portion.

6. The window of claim 5 wherein the assembly comprises a sash which comprises at least a portion of the outer circumference and is free of an arcuate portion having a mating configuration with the arcuate portion of the inner circumference.

7. The window of claim 5 wherein the sash comprises the entire outer circumference and is free of an arcuate portion.

8. The window of claim 1 wherein the inner circumference defines an inwardly-projecting angle.

9. The window of claim 1 wherein the outer circumference is formed entirely of straight surfaces.

10. The window of claim 1 wherein the assembly comprises a sash connected to the at least one window pane and comprising at least a portion of the outer circumference.

11. The window of claim 10 wherein the sash comprises the entire outer circumference.

12. The window of claim 1 wherein the at least one window pane has an outer circumference formed entirely of straight edges.

13. The window of claim 1 wherein the assembly is slidably movable between the open and closed positions.

14. The window of claim 13 wherein the assembly is slidably movable in a first direction between the open and closed positions; and the inner circumference comprises a portion which extends at an acute angle to the first direction.

15. The window of claim 1 wherein the assembly comprises a layer of material adhesively connected to the at least one window pane and forming a border which extends in a mating fashion adjacent at least a portion of the inner circumference of the window frame.

16. The window of claim 15 wherein the border extends adjacent the entire inner circumference of the window frame.

17. The window of claim 16 wherein the border comprises a portion which angles inwardly away from the outer circumference of the assembly.

18. The window of claim 1 further including a flexible layer of material adhered to the at least one window pane to form a pattern thereon.

19. The window of claim 18 wherein the flexible layer comprises at least one divider which creates an appearance that one window pane is a plurality of window panes; and the at least one divider has a free end disposed adjacent the inner circumference of the frame and spaced inwardly from the outer circumference of the assembly.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to windows and window frames. More particularly, the invention relates to an openable and closable window in which the window defines an opening which is typically not square or rectangular and a window pane assembly which is typically square or rectangular.

2. Background Information

A large number of windows are known in the art, some of which are openable and closable. Most windows have a square or rectangular shape although various other shapes are known as well. There are several problems related to the formation of a window in which these other shapes are involved. One of the problems that arises is the difficulty in cutting a piece of glass or similar transparent material to form a curved edge. In addition, it is difficult to cut glass so that the edges form an inwardly projecting angle. Another problem area that arises is the formation of sashes which border the window pane such that the sash has a curved portion or requires complex mitering in order to provide an aesthetic appearance to the sash. The window of the present invention addresses these and other problems.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A window comprising a window frame having an inner circumference of a first shape defining a window opening; and a window pane assembly mounted on the window frame and having an outer circumference which is greater than the inner circumference and has a second shape different than the first shape; the assembly comprising at least one window pane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a prior art arch window.

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the prior art arch window.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of a first embodiment of two of the arch windows of the present invention mounted on a wall.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged front elevational view of one of the windows and a portion of the wall shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the window taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is a rear elevational view of the window shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 10A is a rear elevational view similar to FIG. 10 showing the window in an open position.

FIG. 11 is a front elevational view of a second embodiment of the window of the present invention having a stained glass appearance.

FIG. 12 is a front elevational view of a third embodiment of the window of the present invention including four window panes and a sash surrounding the window panes.

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken on line 14-14 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 15 is a rear elevational view of the third embodiment.

FIG. 16 is a front elevational view of a fourth embodiment of the present invention showing a star-shaped window mounted on a wall.

Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A first embodiment of the window of the present invention is shown generally at 100 in FIGS. 6 and 10; a second embodiment of the window is shown generally at 200 in FIG. 11; a third embodiment of the window is shown generally at 300 in FIGS. 12 and 15; and a fourth embodiment is shown generally at 400 in FIG. 16. The openings of the windows of the present invention have shapes which are generally less common, and more particularly are neither rectangular nor square. The configuration of these windows eliminates various structures of the prior art and simplifies the ability to form such windows making it far easier to produce these less common shapes.

To put the invention in perspective, a prior art window 10 (FIGS. 1-4) is first described. Window 10 is mounted on a wall 12 shown in the figures as an outer panel which is typically mounted on various supporting structures (not shown). Window 10 includes a window frame 14 and a window pane assembly 16 hingedly mounted thereon by a pair of hinges 18 (FIG. 2). Frame 14 defines a window opening 20 which is neither rectangular nor square. More particularly, opening 20 may be thought of as an arch shape in which the lower section is generally square or rectangular and the upper section is in the form of an arch. Frame 14 includes three external pieces in the form of a horizontal baseboard 22, a left sideboard 24 and a right sideboard 26. Each of boards 22, 24 and 26 has inner surfaces forming an inner circumference 28 having an arch shape which defines opening 20. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, frame 14 may include intermediate members which define an inner circumference 30 of the same shape and size of inner circumference 28. More particularly, these intermediate members include a baseboard 32, a left sideboard 34 and a right sideboard 36. As shown in FIGS. 2-4, frame 14 further includes a horizontal inner baseboard 38, first and second sideboards 40 and 42 and an upper frame member or board 44. Each of boards 38, 40, 42 and 44 has an inner surface which together form an inner circumference 46 defining an arch shape opening or recess 48 having the same shape as opening 20 but somewhat larger. Thus, inner circumference 46 is larger than inner circumferences 28 and 30. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, frame 14 is thus stepped between inner circumference 30 and inner circumference 46 to form therebetween a vertical ledge 50.

Window pane assembly 16 includes a single window pane 52, a sash 54 which circumscribes pane 52 and a divider assembly 56 to provide the appearance of a plurality of window panes. Window pane 52 has an arch shape and is thus neither square nor rectangular. Pane 52 is typically made of glass, plexiglass or another suitable material which is either transparent or translucent. Sash 54 includes a horizontal base member 58, first and second vertical side members 60A and 60B extending upwardly therefrom, and first and second arcuate side members 62A and 62B extending respectively upwardly from members 60A and 60B and curving inwardly to a peak 64 of the arch shape of assembly 16. Divider assembly 56 includes a horizontal divider 66 spaced upwardly from base member 58, a vertical divider 68 which is centrally positioned and a pair of arcuate dividers 70A and 70B extending upwardly curving outwardly from the top of vertical divider 68. Divider 68 and dividers 70 together form a Y-shaped configuration. Divider assembly 56 is disposed entirely rearwardly of window pane 52 and entirely inwardly of sash 54, being rigidly connected to the latter. Assembly 56 is generally formed of wood and extends rearwardly from pane 52 about the same distance as does the rear portion of sash 54.

Sash 54 and thus assembly 16 has an outer circumference 72 having the same shape as inner circumferences 28, 30 and 46. Outer circumference 72 is only slightly smaller than that of inner circumference 46 so that sash 54 fits within recess 48 closely adjacent inner circumference 46 along the entire respective circumferences. When assembly 10 is in the closed position as shown in the figures, the front surface of sash 54 abuts or is closely adjacent to ledge 50. Assembly 16 is typically secured in the closed position by a latch having a first latch member 74 mounted on sash 54 and a second latch member 76 mounted on second sideboard 42. Assembly 16 is openable by opening the latch and pivoting the assembly on hinges 18, thus swinging inwardly to an open position (not shown) with respect to wall 12.

It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art that forming windows that do not have square or rectangular shapes are generally more difficult than those that do have square or rectangular shapes. Thus for instance, all of the pieces of frame 14 and assembly 16 which are arcuate are generally more difficult to form. Eliminating any one of these pieces which is more difficult to form would thus be an advantage in the art. In addition, the nature of glass and other translucent or transparent brittle materials typically used for window panes makes it difficult to form window panes having shapes other than with straight line edges. Thus, window panes having arcuate edges are relatively rare. Similarly, it is difficult to cut glass and similar materials even along straight lines such that two edges of the glass come together to form an internal or inwardly projecting angle therebetween which will be discussed in more detail further below.

With this in mind and with reference to FIGS. 5-10, the first embodiment of the present invention is now described. FIG. 5 shows a pair of windows 100 mounted on a wall 12 as shown from the outside. In short, window 100 has a window opening which is neither square nor rectangular and has a window pane which is rectangular to overcome some of the problems discussed above. More particularly, window 100 includes a window frame 102 and a window pane assembly 104 which is mounted on frame 102 and slidably moveable between a closed position (FIGS. 6 and 10) and open position (FIG. 10A). Although assembly 104 slides vertically, a window similar to window 100 may be configured to slide in other directions, most typically horizontally. Frame 102 includes a plurality of external frame members including a horizontal baseboard 106, a left sideboard 108 and a right sideboard 110 which together form an arch shaped window like that of window 10. In addition, frame 102 includes some thinner trim members in the form of an intermediate left sideboard 112 and intermediate right sideboard 114. Sideboards 112 and 114 respectively include vertical portion 116A and B and arcuate portions 118A and B which extend upwardly from portions 116 and curve inwardly toward one another to a peak 120. Baseboard 106, left sideboard 112 and right sideboard 114 each have inner surfaces which together form an arch-shaped inner circumference 122 of frame 102, with circumference 122 defining a window opening 124 which is generally arch shaped as opposed to rectangular or square.

Referring to FIGS. 7-10, frame 102 further includes a plurality of inner or rear frame members. More particularly, frame 102 includes a horizontal inner baseboard 126, first and second vertical sideboards 128 and 130 and a horizontal upper board 132. Boards 126-132 are commonly two-by-fours although other sizes may be used. Frame 102 further includes a horizontal lower molding strip 134 connected parallel to and extending upwardly from baseboard 126, first and second vertically extending molding strips 136 and 138 respectively connected parallel to and extending inwardly from sideboards 128 and 130 and an upper horizontal molding strip 140 connected parallel to and extending downwardly from upper board 132.

Lower molding strip 134 and baseboard 106 define therebetween a horizontally extending lower channel 142 (FIG. 9) which is bounded on its lower side by baseboard 126 and opens upwardly. First side molding strip 136 and wall 12 define therebetween a first side channel 144 which is bounded on the left side by sideboard 128. Likewise, second side molding strip 138 and wall 12 define therebetween a second side channel 146 which is bounded on the right side by sideboard 130. Each of channels 144 and 146 opens laterally inwardly toward one another. A horizontally elongated slot 148 (FIGS. 7 and 9) is formed between the back of wall 12 and the front surfaces of each of upper board 132 and upper molding strip 140. Slot 148 is a through opening which thus opens upwardly and downwardly. As shown in FIG. 7, slot 148 is bounded on its respective sides by sideboards 128 and 130 and is communication with each of channels 144 and 146. Slot 148 is vertically aligned with lower channel 142. Thus, slot 148 and each of channels 142, 144 and 146 are substantially coplanar.

Window pane assembly 104 is a sashless assembly and thus includes a window pane 150 and a divider assembly 152 without a sash such as sash 54 of prior art window 10. Like prior art window 10, window pane assembly 104 includes a single window pane which however has a rectangular shape. Divider assembly 152 has a similar shape as that of divider assembly 56 of window 10. However, assembly 152 is formed of a flexible layer of material such as an adhesive strip, film or tape which is adhered via an adhesive layer directly to the rear of window pane 150. Assembly 152 includes a horizontal divider 154, a vertical divider 156 and arcuate dividers 158A and 158B extending upwardly and outwardly from vertical divider 156. Because assembly 152 is adhered directly to pane 150, the ends of the various dividers thereof need only extend a short distance outwardly of inner circumference 122 of frame 102 in order to provide the appearance of divided panes from outside of window 100. Thus, for instance, arcuate dividers 158 may have free ends 160 (FIG. 10) which are disposed outwardly and adjacent inner circumference 122 without being connected to a sash which may be formed along the circumference of window pane 150. Free ends 160 are thus spaced inwardly from the outer circumference of pane 150.

Window pane 150 has a flat vertical front surface 162, a flat vertical rear surface 164, a straight horizontal bottom edge 166, first and second straight vertical side edges 168 and 170, and a straight horizontal top edge 172. Edges 166, 168, 170 and 172 thus form a rectangular outer circumference of window pane 150 and thus of assembly 104. Window pane is vertically slidable within slot 148 as well as within channels 142, 144 and 146. More particularly, window pane 150 along first side edge 168 is slidably disposed within side channel 144 and adjacent side edge 170 within side channel 146. In the closed position of window panel 50, bottom edge 166 of pane 150 is disposed atop baseboard 126 with a portion of pane 150 adjacent edge 166 disposed within channel 142. Assembly 104 further includes a handle 174 a portion of which is also disposed in lower channel 142 when pane 150 is in the closed position. As shown in FIG. 9, a portion of window pane 150 adjacent top edge 172 is disposed within slot 148 in the closed position. As window pane 150 is lifted as shown at Arrow A via handle 174 to the open position shown in FIG. 1A, top edge 172 moves substantially above frame 102 and will typically be disposed within a pocket (not shown) behind wall 12. Window 100 includes a retaining mechanism to retain window pane 150 in the raised position shown in FIG. 10A. This may take a variety of forms known in the art. One example is a suitable frictional engagement with the various members of frame 102 which bound channels 144 and 146. This frictional engagement may be overcome by sufficient force via handle 174 to slide window pane up and down while also providing sufficient frictional engagement to prevent window pane 150 from falling downwardly in the absence of such a force. FIG. 10A also shows that a portion of inner circumference 122 or a tangent T thereof defines an acute angle X with respect to the sliding direction of window pane assembly 104, sideboard 128, strip 136 and side channel 144.

With reference to FIG. 11, window 200 is now described. Window 200 is the same as window 100 except that it includes a window pane assembly 204 which is different than assembly 104 of window 100. Like window 100, window pane assembly 204 includes a window pane 150 which is rectangular. However, instead of a divider assembly like assembly 152 which utilizes relatively narrow strips of adhesive to produce the effect of window 100, assembly 204 includes a continuous sheet of flexible adhesive material which is adhered to window pane 150 to provide the appearance of a stained glass window. The adhesive sheet of material includes a plurality of divider lines 206 which are typically black or another relatively dark color so that lines 206 define a plurality of simulated stained glass window pane sections 208. Sections 208 come in a variety of colors to provide the stained glass appearance. The sheet of adhesive material further includes a border 210 which circumscribes pane sections 208 in a continuous manner and has the same shape as inner circumference 122 of window opening 124. Border 210 thus includes a horizontal bottom segment 212, first and second vertical segments 214A and B which extend upwardly from segment 212 and first and second arcuate segments 216A and B which extend upwardly from segments 214 and curve toward one another to a peak 218. Segments 216 angle inwardly away from the outer circumference of assembly 204.

Referring to FIGS. 12-15, window 300 is now described. Window 300 is similar to windows 100 and 200 except that it has a window frame 302 which is slightly modified and a window pane assembly 304 which is different than that of the previous two embodiments. The only substantial difference between frame 302 and the formerly described frames is that frame 302 defines a bottom channel 306, first and second side channels 308 and 310 and an upper slot 312 (FIGS. 13-14) all of which are wider than the analogous channels and slot of the previous embodiments. More particularly, each of molding strips 134, 136, 138 and 140 are spaced further rearwardly from wall 12 in order to produce these wider channels and slot. In addition, frame 302 includes a horizontal upper board 314 which is analogous to board 132 but which is also spaced further rearwardly from wall 12 to define a portion of slot 312.

Window pane assembly 304 includes four window panes 316A-D, each of which is rectangular in shape. Assembly 304 further includes a divider assembly 318 including a horizontal divider 320 and a vertical divider 322. Horizontal divider 320 defines upper and lower channel 324 and 326 and vertical divider 322 defines first and second vertical side channels 328 and 330. The lower edges of panes 316A and 316B are received in upper channel 324 and the upper edges of panes 316C and D are received in lower channel 326. Likewise, the inner lateral edges of panes 316A and C are received in side channel 328 and inner lateral edges of panes 316B and D are received in channel 330.

Window pane assembly 304 further includes a sash 332 which circumscribes window panes 316A-D and divider assembly 318. Sash 332 includes a horizontal lower segment 334, first and second vertical side segments 336 and 338 and a horizontal upper segment 340 which together form a rectangular outer circumference 343 of assembly 304. Lower segment 334 defines an upwardly opening channel 342 in which are received lower edges of window panes 316C and D. First and second side segments 336 and 338 respectively define first and second side channels 344 and 346 which open inwardly toward one another and receive respectively therein outer side edges of panes 316. Upper segment 340 defines a downwardly opening upper channel 348 which receives therein upper edges of window panes 316A and B. Horizontal divider 320 extends the entire distance between side segments 336 and 338 and is rigidly connected thereto. Likewise, vertical divider 322 extends the entire distance between lower and upper segments 334 and 340 and is attached rigidly thereto. Sash 332 and divider assembly 318 thus form a rigid window pane frame in which panes 316 are fixedly disposed.

Window 300 operates in the same fashion as windows 100 and 200 except that sash 332 is situated so that side segments 336 and 338 are respectively slidably received within first and second side channels 308 and 310 to allow for the vertical sliding movement of assembly 304. As earlier described, a frictional engagement may be created between sash 332 and various members of frame 302 defining channel 308 and 310 so that assembly 304 is slidable but also has sufficient frictional engagement to prevent assembly 304 from falling when in an open position. Other retaining mechanisms may be used to keep assembly 304 in the open position.

Referring to FIG. 16, window 400 is shown mounted on a wall 412 similar to wall 12 except for the opening defined therein is star shaped. The basic concept of window 400 is the same as windows 100, 200 and 300 in that the window opening is neither square nor rectangular while the window pane assembly is most typically square or rectangular. More particularly, window 400 includes a window frame 402 and a window pane assembly 404 which is similar to window pane assembly 104 and 204 without the adhesive material adhered to the window pane. A sash such as sash 332 of window 300 may or may not be used although assembly 404 includes at least one window pane 406. Frame 402 includes a plurality of frame members which define an inner circumference 408 which is star shaped to define a star shaped window opening 410 through which a star shaped portion of window pane 406 is visible from the outside. Window 400 thus illustrates a more complex shape of window opening which may be created by the particular configuration of the window frame while the window pane assembly remains in a more simple shape such as a square or rectangle.

In addition, the star shaped opening 410 illustrates the ease with which such a shape may be utilized without cutting a piece of glass or other brittle material to form a window pane having an inwardly projecting angle. By way of illustration, inner circumference 408 includes straight inner surfaces 413,414 and 416, with surfaces 413 and 414 forming an inwardly projecting angle B and surfaces 414 and 416 forming an outwardly projecting angle C.

In order to form a star-shaped window opening in keeping with the concept of prior art window 10 (FIGS. 1-4), either a single star-shaped window pane or a plurality of window panes together forming a star shape would be required. In the case of the single star shaped pane, it would need to be formed with outer edges analogous to surfaces 413 and 414 so that such straight outer edges would form an inwardly projecting angle B with respect to the window pane. Likewise, if surfaces 414 and 416 represent edges of a prior art window pane, such edges 414 and 416 would form an outwardly projecting angle C of such a window pane. Forming an outwardly projecting angle with a piece of glass or the like would not generally be overly problematic although an acute angle such as angle C may still be difficult to achieve without breaking off the related point of the star. However, it would be extremely difficult to form such a window pane of glass or of certain other brittle materials with an inwardly projecting angle B. The present invention overcomes this issue simply by maintaining a window pane assembly which uses window panes which are rectangular, square or which are formed only with straight edges which form only outwardly projecting angles.

It will be appreciated by one skilled in the art that various changes are within the scope of the present invention. Clearly, the shape of the inner circumference of the window frame and thus of the window opening may be of an infinite variety. In addition, while the figures show the window pane assemblies having a rectangular shape, the assemblies are likewise intended to represent either a square shape or an outer circumference formed only of straight lines. Particularly with regard to window panes formed of glass, the invention avoids the formation of an inwardly projecting angle as described above while allowing for a window opening which would appear to have a glass pane with such an inwardly projecting angle.

Thus, the various windows of the present invention provide a window which may be openable and closable and which allows for window openings having one shape and window pane assemblies having a different shape of a larger outer circumference which covers the window opening to more economically provide the desired shape of the window opening. Compared to the prior art window 10 described earlier with reference to FIGS. 1-4, the windows of the present invention eliminate the need for a sash which includes arcuate portions when the window opening includes arcuate portions. Similarly, the windows of the present invention are able to eliminate portions of the frame which have arcuate surfaces such as upper board 44 shown in FIG. 2. In addition, these various advantages may be achieved with a slidable window which may be received within a wall pocket in an open position as opposed to a hinged window which may be less desirable under various circumstances.

In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.

Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.