If you live in one house long enough, there comes a time when it becomes necessary to replace your windows. There’s nothing wrong with keeping the same style that was there before. However, if you are entertaining thoughts of going in a different direction, here is a breakdown of the most frequently-chosen window styles in homes today.
This style combines the classic look of a single-hung window with the added functionality of being able to open it from either the top or the bottom. For this reason, double-hung windows are great choices for children’s rooms (so kids can’t climb out through the lower part) or home offices (so wind doesn’t blow papers all over the place). Many double-hung windows have a “tilting” feature that lets you wash both sides of the window from the inside. But some homeowners don’t like double-hung windows because of their relative energy inefficiency, a center check rail that’s positioned right in their eyeline, or the inability to open the entire window at once for maximum ventilation.
For homeowners who want the most airflow possible, casement windows are the way to go. Since they rotate instead of slide, practically the entire windowpane space is available to allow fresh air and natural light to enter the home; and they do a great job of sealing out the elements when closed. Because they use a crank to open and close them, casement windows are often preferred in hard-to-reach spaces (like above a sink). On the other hand, casement windows are more expensive than some types of windows, and they can become unwieldy to operate if their hardware is old or of low quality.
Basically the horizontal equivalent of single-hung windows, gliding or sliding windows have one fixed panel and another that slides open to the side. Generally speaking, these are the least expensive on this list, and work well with openings that are more wide than tall. Gliders or sliders can be cleaned from the inside, but it can be difficult to lift out the sliding pane to accomplish this. Plus, they’re not as energy-efficient as a casement or hinged windows.
Picture & Combination Windows
A true picture window encompasses most or all of a wall of a room to maximize the natural light that flows into the home and provide a completely unobstructed view for its occupants. And it is really an energy-efficient window, especially if drapes or blinds are used inside. True picture windows do not open; however, a combination picture and slider or other window type can alleviate this issue. The big drawbacks are the significant expense of installing a large picture window and the increased susceptibility to breakage because of its sheer size. Also, because picture windows do not typically open, you may need to count on other nearby windows for airflow.
Bay and Bow Windows
These windows are three-dimensional; that is, they allow the window to extend outward, usually with multiple panes. Bay and bow windows offer more panoramic views of the outdoors than their flat counterparts, while adding character to the home’s exterior and greater natural light potential to its interior. They can be equipped with sliding panes to allow ventilation as well. However, insects could become an issue with bay or bow windows, because screens are generally not offered with this style.
Think of this as the “miscellaneous” category for home windows. Common choices include glass block, patterned, and different shapes, such as arched, circular, octagonal, oval, and circle top. Specialty windows allow the homeowner to add the perfect accent to a home and/or room, and combine specific paint and trim colors to create a unique look. But as the name suggests, specialty windows can be very expensive to install and replace, precisely because they are so rare and distinctive.
Some of these window styles can be installed by do-it-yourselfers; but the fancier and more expensive you want your window to be, the better it is to hire a window installer, like a trusted professional from Trusted Home Contractors. That said, changing your window style is a relatively simple way of altering the curb appeal of your home and/or making your rooms brighter and more functional. End
Chris Martin is a freelance writer who has written about many different home improvement topics ranging from roofing and siding to windows and paint colors.