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Different Types of Windows

Different Types of Windows

You may not pay much attention to the windows in your home – especially if they aren’t leaking cold air in the winter and if they look good!  But, if you need to replace your windows, or if you you are building or remodeling your home, having a basic understand of the types of windows on the market is essential.  Read on for a brief overview of the types of windows you could choose for your home…

There are four basic types of windows available today, all of which can be found in both vinyl and wood construction options.  They can be bought unfinished, prepainted and vinyl-clad.  They can have grills for added style, or they can be plain.  Looking for frosted or stained glass?  You’ll find that, too.  But, just knowing the way a window operates is the first step to choosing new windows for your home.

double hung window

The first type of window is the “double-hung” window.  In this configuration, seen on the window above, the bottom pane of glass slides up in front of the upper pane of glass.  On some windows, the top pane can be lowered, too, giving you another option for ventilation and fresh air.  Double-hung windows have an old-fashioned appearance, and blend in well with more traditional home styles such as cottage or Victorian.

casement window

A more modern take on the window is the “casement” window, shown above.  This window cranks open at the sides, instead of sliding up and down.  Casement windows can be made in a traditional style, or they can look very modern, making them useful for nearly every style of home.

Marvin Awning window

Photo courtesy of Marvin Windows

“Awning” windows were popular in the 1970s, but are used less often today, having been replaced in popularity by the casement window.  Like the casement window, awning windows crank open, but from the bottom instead of the side.  They are still used in modern-style and Prairie-style homes, and are shown in the photo above as the lower, smaller windows.  The larger window panes above the awning windows are “stationary,” which is the last type of window.

Stationary windows are just that – stationary.  They don’t move or open at all.  Often used to flank doors or operable windows, stationary panes are typically large and offer the best view to the outdoors without insect screens and mullions (cross pieces of wood that divide panes of glass) in the way.

One advantage to the awning window is the ability to leave it open even during the rain, as it keeps most rain out except during high winds.  Casement and double-hung windows do not allow this flexibility, which is less relevant if you use air conditioning exclusively.

Conversely, double-hung windows can be easier to clean than their “cranky” counterparts.  New double-hung windows often allow the panes to be tilted into the room for cleaning, snapping back into place later.  This eliminates the need to stand outside your home on a ladder to get the spring cleaning accomplished – nice!

Casement windows can often offer the best ventilation, since the entire height of the window can be opened to the outdoors.  Double-hung windows can only open half-way, while awning windows can also restrict airflow.

Depending on the style of your home and the amount of ventilation you prefer, you will likely prefer one style of window over another.  Now that you know the basic types of windows available today, you can make a more informed choice.



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2 Responses to Different Types of Windows

  1. Don’t forget about bow & bay windows. They can be the ultimate addition to a home’s design and look. Great job covering the different types of windows!

  2. Thank you for sharing this information on different types of windows. My husband and I are in the process of renovating certain parts of the house. We would really like to replace our windows because we do not get enough sunlight in the house. Like you said, there are four basic types of windows, all of which can be found in both vinyl and wood construction options. We have not yet decided the type we would like, but this has been very helpful. Thanks!

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