Single Hung Windows
Single hung windows’ defining characteristic is the way that the sashes move. In this variety of window, the upper sash remains fixed, while the lower one opens and closes along frame grooves. Some single hung windows feature additional embellishments above the main fixed top sash (such as frame features or additional smaller square sections of window which we discuss below). But, again, these are fixed.
Double Hung Windows
Like single hung windows, double hung windows have vertical openings. However, in this case, both the lower and upper sashes move up and down. This allows owners to open them from the top, the bottom, or halfway each.
Many double hung windows come with tilt-out mechanisms, supported by a segment-shaped fitting or bracket. This feature makes cleaning easier and can improve aesthetics in some cases.
Double hung windows tend to be more expensive than single hung varieties. But, thanks to their versatility, they remain one of the most popular window styles available.
Interestingly, not all windows open. The ones that don’t are called fixed windows. Usually, people pair fixed windows with operable windows. So, for example, an owner might install a fixed panel flanked by openable windows to the top and sides. The central window provides ample space for light to enter the room, while the surrounding openings permit airflow.
Homeowners typically use fixed windows for small, decorative or awkwardly-shaped wall openings. However, they can be an affordable alternative to hung windows in some cases.
Casement windows are operable windows, just like hung windows. However, how they operate is different. Hung windows open and close by sliding vertically, like a car window. But casement windows are side-opening, meaning that they swing out like doors.
Casement windows are popular for the ventilation they provide and their ease of use. Outswing variants are popular among homeowners where there is no risk of obstruction. In-swing (where the window opens into the room) is helpful when owners want to eliminate obstructions or provide more space for neighbours.
Awning windows are top-opening windows, designed for locations that get regular, heavy rain. Here, the main panel swings out from the top of the frame (not the side, as in the case of casement windows), creating a shelter that prevents falling rain from entering through the opening. Water glides off the glass (just as it might a pitched roof), away from the sides of the building, onto the ground.
Traditional awning windows featured a single hinge with a hookable arm to hold it in place when open. Modern designs now use sprung-tension window operators that negate the need for separate support, holding it in place.
On double-glazed varieties, the opening mechanism causes the top of the window to move down and in slightly. This action prevents rain droplets from getting in through the hinge area.
Hopper windows are essentially awning windows in reverse. Instead of opening from the top, they fold out from the bottom. And instead of opening outwards, then open inwards.
Hopper windows are popular in compact spaces, such as basements or bathrooms. Installers usually place them close to the ceiling. Their height means that owners sometimes operate them with a special rod.
Hopper windows are popular because they provide excellent insulation, sealing completely with the frame when shut. Placing them higher on the wall helps improve privacy, while allowing natural light to enter a room.
Bay windows protrude from the rest of the building’s facade, creating an additional space that enlarges the interior of the host room. Usually, they feature three panels – two at around 30 to 40 degrees from the wall and one parallel with it – creating a rhombus-shaped alcove in the room.
Bay windows are popular because they bring a sense of lightness and spaciousness to homes. Most designs feature a central fixed window panel with two flanking casement windows that open outwardly. Hung designs are also available.
Just like bay windows, bow windows protrude externally from the surrounding wall. The name “bow” comes from their appearance. They flex out from the rest of the building in a semi-circular manner, with small windows filling in all the gaps.
Bow windows tend to be more luxurious than traditional bay windows, and contain more individual casement windows along their length. Typically, you would expect five individual openable windows along their length, though some larger designs might feature seven or even nine (some fixed, others not).
Egress windows are large openings that provide a secondary exit from a building in the event of an emergency. In many cases, building codes require them. Typically, builders install them in basements, improving the atmosphere while enhancing the overall safety of the home.
Egress windows come in several varieties:
- Casement, where the window opens similarly to a door, swinging out on hinges on the frame’s side.
- Sliding, where the egress window features a sash that moves horizontally
- Awning, where the egress window opens with a hinge fitted to the top of the frame
- Hung, where the window features upper and lower panels which slide up and down
Their defining feature of egress windows is their large size and placement in areas where escape routes are blocked in the event of a fire.
Garden windows are typically small versions of bay windows, primarily meant for plants. Usually, they are not a part of the property’s architectural elements but something that owners add later to improve utility. From the outside, they look like glass boxed, protruding from the rest of the home.
Accordion windows feature several glass panels that slide back and forth along a rail. In the closed position, each panel is flush to the wall. But in the open position, window panel sections fold on top of each other, like the bellows of an accordion.
Accordion windows are helpful for owners who want to use a functional space in multiple ways. Typically, they provide a transition from indoor to outdoor areas. They keep interiors warm during winter while allowing access to outdoor decking and patios in the summer.
Multi-Panel Glide Windows
Multi-panel glide windows work similarly to accordion windows, except that panels fold on top of each other, flush to the surrounding wall. This design allows owners to save on space and avoid impinging on garden features.
Glass Block Windows
Unlike the windows discussed so far, glass block windows don’t have a regular frame. Instead, they feature several inches of reinforced glass, interlaced with mortar.
Glass block windows are home accents designed to increase light flow. Blocks typically form part of the regular brickwork and have a translucent, patterned design which scrambles light, maintaining privacy. They are popular in bedrooms, porch areas and bathrooms.
Transom windows are decorative elements that help to break up space and fill in gaps left empty by the main window. Homeowners mainly use them in areas above doors, to the sides of windows, and even above other windows in some cases. Most examples of these are fixed, however, openable versions do exist.
Transom windows radically enhance the appearance of a window unit. The small-block design creates an elegant, classical aesthetic.
Storm windows, as the name suggests, are windows that people fit to protect their homes (and existing windows) from inclement weather.
Storm windows typically fit over the top of current windows, offering an additional layer of protection. The tight seal around the edge and reinforced glass prevents drafts and protects occupants from any flying objects, whipped into the air by bad weather.
Storm windows are usually a temporary fitting. However, because they offer insulation and easy opening, so owners leave them in place permanently.
Skylight windows provide more light to your interiors by fitting into your roof. They are common in attics, lean-tos, and single-storey extensions.
Most skylights open around a central axis mechanism, but still function like awning windows. Designers create them in such a way that allows rain to wash off in the event of a storm, without soaking your interiors, even when open. Skylights can also double up as roof vents.
Lastly, picture windows are large fixed windows, designed to help “frame” a beautiful view of the outdoors. Usually, they comprise a single panel glass looking out over flowers, hills, valleys, streams, or forests. Many examples do not have visible frames.
We specialize in replacement windows for your property and can advise you on the best style for your needs and situation.