Updated: Oct 15, 2020
The different types of windows used in homes can vary greatly: from stunning floor-to-ceiling picture windows to elegant bay windows that do far more than bring light light and ventilation into a home: they set the tone for the entire room.
Of course, we begin with safety. Based on your home’s location and risk of damaging weather conditions, impact-resistant windows may be required. Hurricane-proof building standards and your local building code can restrict the type of window you can use, so be sure to do your research before making your purchase.
According to energy.gov, certain window features can improve energy efficiency, as well as durability.
Seven of the most common types of windows used in home construction are:
1. Double-Hung and Single-Hung Windows. The most common type of windows: double-hung have upper and lower sashes that slide, while single-hung have lower sashes that slide and fixed upper sashes.
2. Picture Windows. The simplest of windows with panes that stay in a fixed position with greater energy efficiency as there are no moving sashes to cause gaps in the airtight seal.
3. Awning Windows. Using a crank, the sash opens by pivoting out from a top hinge. Because they open out, awning windows are not to be installed where they would obstruct safe movement.
4. Casement Windows. Also using a crank, the sash opens by pivoting out from a side hinge. Like awning windows, casement windows are not to be used where those outside could be obstructed.
5. Bow Windows. Multiple windows joined together to form an arch that curves out from the structure, providing a greater view of the area below, and more space inside the home. Bow windows usually use 4 or 5 panes.
6. Bay Windows. Three window panes joined together to form a curve, customarily forming a seating area in a living room or similar space.
7. Slider Windows. Opening sideways, sliders offer open views and plenty of ventilation, and are generally found opening out onto decks, balconies, and patios. They can be less airtight than other models, though.
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