What is a Truth Window?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

In construction, a truth window is sometimes used to reveal the innards of a wall, or its true components. This type of structure is usually in the shape of a window or other small opening and may be covered or not. A truth window is most commonly used to identify straw-bale construction and other structures made from alternative mediums, often in sustainable building projects.


When a home is constructed from straw, grass, or other sustainable means rather than traditional lumber, it is still often encompassed in a traditional-looking enclosure with drywall or siding. To be able to reveal the home's true interior, a truth window is often installed. This window leaves a hole in the wall where homeowners and repair people can easily see the inside layers of the home. This is done to properly assess homes and their needs in terms of maintenance and repair.

Another reason people put in a truth window or an entire truth wall is simply for show. It can be a remarkable surprise to discover that a seemingly average home is actually built upon a straw structure. Builders and buyers may wish to have the truth window as an interesting home addition, an artistic element, or as proof that a home is sustainably designed.

Truth windows may be simple or elaborate, depending on the builder or homeowner. Many people choose to build their truth windows to reflect their own personalities and interests. They may be round and small, like a porthole of a ship, or wide and long, like a regular window. Some have intricate borders around them that make them appear to be another wall decoration, such as a clock, while others may simply be a plain square opening.

Some people choose to leave their truth windows open while others use coverings. Glass or hinged doors, much like shutters, may be fitted over the windows for this purpose. When glass is used, people sometimes adorn it with artistic decorations, such as paint or stained glass, for an additional attractive touch. Others may decorate the window as they would other windows in their home.

To construct a truth window, plaster is typically used to frame the structure. Neoprene is often used to finish a basic truth window. Many hardware stores and specialty plaster shops carry these materials. Wetness seeping into the window and the hay inside the home is sometimes a concern. Keeping the window covered and securing home structures around it can help prevent potential mold and other problems from developing.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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