What’s Right for Your Home and Budget? Understanding the Different Types of Windows

Different types of windows suit different functions such as light, security, ventilation, and airflow. There is no limit to what is right when it comes to windows, as long as it fits your requirements, complements the house design, and is within your budget.

What Determines the Window Type?

A suitable window selection depends on;

  • Room location
  • Room size
  • Room utility
  • Architectural point of view
  • The direction of weather elements, especially wind

What are the Different Types of Windows?

The mentioned factors guide your contractor on selecting the suitable window type for your house design and budget. However, filtering through the many options starts with identifying the most common types of windows.

1. Hung Windows

Widespread across the country, hung windows consist of sashes or shutters attached to a rigid frame. Single-hung windows have a movable upper section, and a fixed lower sash.

The double-hung type has a pair of shutters, each arranged on top of the other, and attached to one frame. By either pulling an attached cord or through manual effort, each sash slides along the frame vertically to open up space at the top or bottom to your required level.

Hung windows offer adequate airflow and ventilation. For the double-hung type, warm air flows out through the upper opening as fresh air gets into the house through the lower section. Also, you don’t need a ladder to clean the outside part. Just slide the sash and clean while inside.

However, the design is prone to air leakage and offers less open area than other window types. Also, if inadequately maintained, the movable stash sticks or slips on the frame, especially for the upper stash.

2. Casement Windows

Also common across the country, casement windows have shutters attached to a frame that opens and closes like regular door shutters. Rebates on the frame secure the shutters. You use an attached crank to open the window outwards from either the right or left side.

The hinge enables you to regulate how the extent the windows open outwards, depending on your required air circulation and light. When adequately sealed, casement windows are energy efficient.

However, you might need to clear nearby shrubs and trees. Engage your contractor on hinge placement, either right or left, depending on the house design to maximize air and light flow into the house.

3. Bay Windows

Bay windows are a darling of architects due to the angles and projections. The projection from the wall increases the surface area for air and light flow. Traditional bay window designs are triangular, rectangular, and polygonal.

Though fixed like the picture windows, two casement fixtures on the side allow airflow into the house from different angles. Common installation areas are the kitchen and family rooms, as the large sill from the arch suits plant placement or window seats.

4. Sliding Windows

Like hung windows, sliders have sliding sashes, though the movement is horizontal. Sliders are prevalent in contemporary and ranch style house designs, especially for egress windows in below-grade bedrooms and basements.

The sideways movements, simple locking mechanism, and basic seals make opening and closing easy and offer a handy emergency exit point. Also, the simplistic design and minimal mechanical parts make them durable, affordable, and low maintenance. You can open the windows as far as the sliding rail allows for fresh air and light. For bug-prone areas, a light screen fits in the opening to keep bugs out while letting in the fresh air.

However, cleaning the outside section of the sliders can be challenging, as the panes do not tilt or lift. Dirt and debris also accumulate on the railing, hindering practical functionality if not adequately cleaned. Also, especially during the winter months, cold air and wind get into the house through the gap between the center seam.

5. Louvered Windows

Also called jalousie windows, this type is similar to louvered doors and offers ventilation, vision, and light regulation while keeping the rain out. Common louver materials are metal, glass, or wood.

An attached cord alters the slope for airflow and privacy. Experts recommend a louver slant of 45 degrees during rain to cater for runoff. Typical applications for jalousie windows are bathrooms and outside-facing rooms that need privacy.

However, the louvers are easy to pry open, thus posing a security risk. For this reason, some building codes prohibit installation, especially in crime-prone areas. Consult your contractor on compliance before you settle on this window type.

6. Picture Windows

Picture windows are large single uninterrupted glass panes, overlooking broad views. The planes are fixed, thus applicable for areas requiring minimal airflow but ample light.

However, though less prone to air leakage than hung windows, temperature fluctuation is inevitable in extreme climates, even for the energy-efficient double-glazed variants.

Engage your contractor on a complimenting energy-saving installation, such as an efficient HVAC system. A handy recommendation is installing small casement windows on the side or top to improve airflow.

7. Awning Windows

Awning windows open outwards as the hinge is placed at the top. Common installation places are basements due to the limited above-ground space, bathrooms for privacy, and alongside picture windows for airflow.

However, due to the outward opening mechanism, do not install awning windows in high traffic areas or walkways.

8. Dormer Windows

By practice, dormer windows are custom made. Proportionality dictates the final results, such as curb appeal and balance with other house features.

Common benefits are energy efficiency, aesthetics, and improved airflow in the upper house sections. Professional installation of the dormer windows also opens up the attic area for extra living spaces and storage.

Installing dormer windows need a professional contractor. Avoid DIY attempts. Lack of the necessary technical skills and knowledge jeopardizes the roof’s integrity or culminates in an unbalanced final look.

Get in Touch

Other than the apparent functions such as energy savings, windows complement your house design. With informed advice, a fitting selection also adds value to your house at a fraction of the cost. Contact us for consultation, selection, sourcing, installation, and maintenance of the different types of windows.

Roofing Contractor Prince Frederick, MD