There are many factors to consider when looking for a window for your home. Whether you want to replace your current windows or install them in newly-constructed buildings, energy efficiency and the numerous glazing options are essential elements to consider.
There are many types of windows, each with a different basic operating style. Some windows are modifications of other window types or a combination of several styles.
Many homeowners prefer installing different window types for various rooms in the house. Unfortunately, designers have advised against this. That’s because too many window designs in the same house create a confused look, making your home look unattractive.
House style is also an essential consideration when choosing suitable window designs. Read on to learn about the common types of windows.
Double and Single-Hung Windows
Double and single-hung windows are the most popular type of windows in many homes across the U.S. While most people may not notice this window’s official name, it features two frame units that border the glass panels. These frames are also known as sashes.
These windows have vertical tracks and slide from top to bottom, allowing them to open and shut. Hidden weights counterbalance the frames in the pockets behind the cast molds on the wall. However, in contemporary double and single-hung windows, the sashes are often offset by springs concealed in the tracks.
The pros of double and single-hung windows include:
- Manufactured by many companies, thus you will have a selection to choose from
- They are widely available
- They are priced reasonably and are pocket-friendly
- Thanks to the weights and springs, these types of windows can close and open effortlessly
- The tracks are vertical; thus, they don’t drench in dust and dirt
These types of windows are often installed in houses with traditional and classic styling. However, you can also find them in modern-traditional homes. Examples of houses that have these types of windows include bungalows, farmhouses, and classic rambler homes.
The most common disadvantage of having a double-hung window is its large opening, making it a break-in hazard. It also needs regular maintenance to ensure the springs and weights don’t wear out.
Casement windows have hinges attached to one side of the window. One hinge is placed at the bottom and the other at the top, allowing the window to open horizontally. The side with the hinges remains static, and the other edge swings ajar the way a door does.
Casement windows are the second most common type of window after double and single-hung windows. The pros of casement windows include:
- They are better at keeping out drafts than double and single-hung windows because of their tight window seal
- They are suitable for people who want a lot of fresh air in a room
- They have a narrow opening space
- They are very secure against break-ins and intruders
Casement windows give your home a modern feel. That’s because they are more modern than classic double and single-hung windows. If you position these windows correctly, they are perfect for directing fresh air and breeze into your house.
While there are numerous advantages of using casement windows, there are also some disadvantages. One of them is that a casement window can be easily broken down and damaged by blasts and powerful winds when fully opened. You can’t also use them as exit or emergency windows unless they are extremely large.
Awning windows work exactly like casement windows. They have hinges and mechanical cranks to open and shut. However, the only difference is that awning windows unlock from the base, while the topmost side is fixed with the mechanical cranks. The top edge is always stationary, while the base edge pivots outwards up when opened.
Check out my beautiful awning windows replacement guide to understand how they work. These types of windows are very secure against break-ins and intruders. They can also be left ajar when it’s raining because the opened glass will serve as a canopy to prevent the water from splashing into your house.
However, there are also numerous cons of awning windows. Unlike casement windows, awning windows don’t let through as much fresh air. Their mechanical cranks are also vulnerable to depreciation, and they have a very high chance of failing.
Double and Single-Hung Windows Fitted With Muntins
A double-hung window with muntins is a simpler variation of the double and single-hung window. Here the sashes are often subdivided into multiple smaller panes within one large frame. The smaller panes are divided using vertical and horizontal muntins.
The muntins may hold individual small glass panels for the expensive modern double and single-hung windows or the older ones. However, in cheaper modern double and single-hung windows with muntins, they only create an illusion of division using a grill of plastic or wood. The plastic and wood pieces are placed on the large window pane.
You can add muntins as an extra accessory on your double-hung window to make it look modern. Fitting the muntins on the larger panel gives your window an illusion of smaller glass panels. The muntins give your home a more ornate and classic look.
These types of windows are easy to install and operate. They consist of window panes that can move horizontally with a sliding track installed at the top of the window frame and the bottom. Depending on the style you prefer, both windows could slide, or you could install one stationary window with the other windowpane sliding from one side to the other to open.
These are the perfect windows for your home if you need to open and shut your windows constantly. People mostly used them in constructing homes throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, they are often found in mid-century modern houses.
The main advantage of using slider windows is that they are pretty durable due to the lack of mechanical cranks for closing and opening. Their design is also quite simple, making them less expensive than the other types of windows.
However, slider windows’ style is somehow outdated, and the shapes and sizes are limited. You will not have a lot of options to choose from. Another con of slider windows is that the slider tracks need frequent cleaning as they have an affinity to dust, debris, and dirt.
Fixed windows don’t open or close. They consist of a piece of glass that’s fastened on the frame. One of the most popular types of fixed windows is the classic picture window.
However, there are also other types of fixed windows. These types of windows are perfect for homes that don’t require egress or ventilation. They are often used to bring in light or a view of the outside.
The pros of fixed windows include:
- They are sealed indelibly and provide superior energy efficiency than other types of windows.
- They are simple window designs
- They are perfect for contemporary home designs
- They are also less expensive than the other window types
While there are numerous advantages of installing fixed windows, they also have their cons. Thanks to their static nature, they don’t provide your home with a means to let in the fresh air.
Fixed windows can also create too much warm energy in your home, especially during summer. They could also be hard to clean if you live on the top floor of a building.
Bay and Bay Window
Bow and bay windows are a blend of multiple windows that form a single-window unit stretching outwards from a house’s wall. These window styles are referred to as bow when the extension is curve-shaped and bay when the profile is square.
Bay and bow windows have a static center part window that’s edged by multiple pairs of casement or double and single-hung windows. These windows can be the centerpiece for large family rooms, living rooms, and parlors. The windows are often facing a scenic outlook or a beautiful landscape such as your front yard.
The pros of bow or bay windows include:
- They are ideal if you want to make a statement in your home
- They are a great option if you prefer an outlook of the environment
- Smaller bay windows can be greenhouse windows for gardening
- They offer a shelf space where you can display your décor or grow some plants
Bay and Bow windows are perfect for people looking for decorative windows. You can use it as a centerpiece for a room and place your decorative pieces or plant collections on the shelves.
However, bay and bow windows are more expensive than other types of windows. They are also quite challenging to install as they require too much framing work that includes roof coverings and headers. Bay and bow windows can also lead to a heat loss problem due to their large surface area.
Now You Know the Different Types of Windows
Windows are a significant investment for your house. They will keep away intruders and improve your home’s energy efficiency. Whether it’s a window replacement or a new installation, ensure you find the right window style for your home.
There are many types of windows in the market today. Our guide above has explored the best window styles for different kinds of homes. When installing or replacing windows, it’s essential to know as much as you can about windows to choose the best type of windows for your home.
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