When it comes to choosing what type of windows you will need for your home, consider more than just aesthetics. Windows add combinations of light, security, design, and sometimes even floor space to a room. The specifications of each type of window are important for custom projects. And cheaper windows may not be as energy efficient, so you might end up paying more in the long run. Different window types serve different purposes, so it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of their differences to choose the right windows for your space.
Check out our list of common window styles & specs to find what’s right for you.
Casement windows have hinges on one side. They can sit alone or double up with a second window “like a pair of barn doors opening up” (HGTV). Their simple design and low maintenance upkeep keep these traditional windows popular.
Pros: Great ventilation (ideal for warmer climates), quality insulation, easy cleaning & maintenance, energy efficient sealing minimizes air infiltration
Cons: Window stays (cranks) needed for adjustment/opening
DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS
Double-hung windows slide open from both the top and the bottom. They are great for ventilation; cool air flows in freely through the bottom opening while warm air simultaneously flows out the top. Single-hung windows simply have only one hung window
Pros: Easy screen removal/adding, easy to clean, energy efficient
Cons: More costly than single hung windows, less ventilation than other styles
These are generally large windows with no lines/openings to keep a view clear from clutter. Picture windows tend to have a fixed frame to display views, let in light, and connect indoor spaces with outdoor spaces.
Pros: Enhanced view, excellent weatherproofing, affordable
Cons: No ventilation results in potential heat gain, cannot be used as escape route
Bay windows extend or curve around an area to add an enhanced design element and add more light. Since they extend outward on a building, they must be placed strategically.
Pros: Enhanced view, increased floor space, more natural light
Cons: Not available for every room, can add extra exterior space, heat buildup from light
Sliding windows slide open horizontally (usually left to right) allowing half the window to open. They’re great for scenery without the restrictions of a non-opening picture window.
Pros: Great for short walls, simple design & maintenance, long-lasting performance, one or both sections are mobile
Cons: More difficult to weatherproof, less energy efficient
Awning windows open outward from hinges at the top. They are popular over kitchen sinks and similar spaces.
Pros: Weatherproof, great for views, improved insulation, enhanced security
Cons: Outward opening could block outdoor areas, higher maintenance, not ideal as escape route
Bow windows are similar to bay windows but typically follow a curve. Like bay windows, they can add floor space, light, and design elements to a room. They also offer wider views and sometimes ledge space.
Pros: Elegant design, spacious viewing areas, increased light exposure, added space
Cons: Window’s exterior projects outside of a structure, not ideal as escape route
Garden windows welcome light from three dimensions and open on two sides for great circulation. They are common in sunny areas of a home and often hold plants or other display items on shelves within the window.
Pros: Enhanced light exposure, shelf space, minimal maintenance
Cons: Extends into a home’s exterior, not ideal as escape route