When building or renovating home, windows are an important consideration. Windows are one of the most overlooked elements of the home but they perform a multitude of crucial functions. As a vented barrier in a wall opening, windows let in light and provide ventilation. But windows are more than portholes that bring in light and keep the weather out. Besides enhancing the beauty of your home, windows also provide the outside view. In short, the right type of windows can significantly improve the livability and functionality of your home.
If you are looking for new home windows, you may get overwhelmed with an array of available options. Windows come in several types to fit in different home styles and budgets. Each window type serves a different purpose and has attributes that distinguish it from other kinds of windows. Different window styles have different appearance and functionality. Some windows are more suited for ventilation, some are ideal for picturesque views, and some are easier to operate.
Whether you’re building a new home or starting a huge renovation, it’s important to do some research and get to know the different types or styles of windows. Knowing the different types of windows will help you in picking the right windows that will compliment your building’s architectural design, as well as offers great functionality. When looking for new windows, the catalog or website of window manufacturers will present before you a wide variety of the styles to choose from. But it’s not easy to choose a window simply by looking in a picture. Even if the style appeals to you, it’s important to know the attributes of each window style.
Different Window Types
The terms “window styles” and “window types” are often used interchangeably. However, the terms “window types” define its functionality whereas “window styles” refer to its aesthetic form. In this post, we’ve listed down the most common types of windows to help you understand why one type might be a better choice than another for your home. Read further to know the most popular window types to choose one that will work best for your space.
Hinged at the top, awning windows open outward by pivoting from the top of the window sash, operated by a crank. Also known as projected windows, these windows are quite similar to casement windows. The only difference here is that these swing out horizontally from the top, rather than vertically on the side like a casement. Awning windows allow light to enter the space and have a latch mechanism that locks the sash up tight against the seal. These windows are best suited for areas like kitchens which require more ventilation and privacy. Awning windows are best placed higher up on a wall or paired with large stationary windows to provide ventilation. Windows of this type are perfect if you want to keep the rain out while letting the air in.
Similar to awning windows, casement windows also open out. But these operate like a door, swinging out from one side or the other. It is hinged on the right- or left-hand side and opens outward with a turn of a crank handle or a push. Typically, casement windows come with large glass panes to allow the flow of ample light and air. Unlike single/double-hung windows, there is no sash frame in the middle of the window to obstruct the view. These are also energy-efficient because when closed and locked, casement windows make a very effective seal that prevents air seepage. This type of windows is available in a wide variety of sizes and can even be customized to suit your needs. Casement is the best option to get excellent ventilation and noise reduction. However, when opened, this window can take up space because of their swing-out design. Due to this reason, both casement and awning should not open out into traffic lanes. If you still want to install awning or casement windows near a walkway or a deck, consider in-swing options.
Double-Hung and Single-Hung Windows
Double-hung and single-hung windows are the most common window types. These are a popular choice in home renovations because they tend to be more affordable. The only difference between single-hung and double-hung is in regard to moveable sashes. A single-hung window has a movable lower sash and a fixed upper sash, while double-hung has two movable sashes. Both these windows can fit in most locations and provide a classic look. A single hung window has two separate frames but only the bottom window opens. The double-hung, on the other hand, can open wide from either the top or bottom, without protruding in or out. As compared to single-hung, double-hung windows offer more benefits. With both sashes opened, double-hung windows offer better ventilation and are easier to clean. But there are some drawbacks also of installing these windows. Double-hung windows are more prone to air leakage. Also, they offer a less open area and the horizontal rail in the middle can obstruct your view.
Bay & Bow Window
Bay windows and bow windows are used to create angles in a room. They both are quite similar, with little variations. Both bay and bow windows project outward from an exterior wall. As seen in castles, bay windows can be used as a window seat or shelf. Bay windows differ from bow windows in terms of the number of window panes used. A bay window typically comprises 3 window panes- a center window with two angled windows. Usually, the angle of the side windows is between 30 degrees and 45 degrees. Bow windows, on the other hand, are made up of 4 or more window units to create a circular area along the outside of the home. Both these windows allow light to enter at different angles and offer excellent ventilation. These offer great aesthetic appeal and can be used for plants or a window seat. If you’re looking for more ventilation, light, broader outside views, and extra interior space, bay and bow windows can be perfect for you. These may comprise one type or a combination of window types.
Picture windows are also known as stationary or fixed windows. This is the best type of window for areas where airflow is not needed. Picture windows are fixed and do not open. These are meant for areas that need ample lighting and broad views such as to brighten up a staircase. You won’t get any ventilation but that also means no air leakage. The major drawback of this type of window is the difficulty to clean because these don’t open. You may need a ladder to clean the exterior from the outside.