Different Types of Windows
While you're looking to replace your old drafty windows, you got tons of options available in the market, from casement to sliding and from fixed to the awning. Besides, there’re number of materials available for the frame and the structure. With such, your decision for the design and style of windows is quite overwhelming. Each type of window serves a specific purpose, and all have their pros and cons. So, to make a well-informed decision, you have to learn about different types of windows. We can classify windows based on the open styles, materials, and location.
So, let's explore common types and styles of windows along with what function or purpose they generally serve:
By open styles
Single and double-hung windows
These two types are among the most common replacement windows homeowners love. These are timeless designs that go well for both old and new homes. Featuring two sashes – an upper and a lower sash, you got a visual separation line in the middle. They are available in a variety of different designs. The top panel remains fixed in single-hung while the lower sash moves up and down for opening or shutting. At the same time, the double-hung has both open and lower sash moveable.
If you're looking to cover a more realistic view of the outside world, this type of window offers a lot. It includes two sections, with each unit forming a single window, and one of the sections slides horizontally on track over the other for opening or closing. This type of window is generally much more significant than single or double-hung windows.
Casement windows are ideal for contemporary and stunning looks. They're hinged on one side and swing out to the other side or upward to open in a typical arrangement. They allow entire top or bottom ventilation and less obstructed overall view.
As the name suggests, these windows never open or close. They include fixed panes and are best in providing a high value of energy efficiency, and the air can't leak in or out. As they're larger, they offer a chance to floor your home with natural light. You can combine fixed and functional windows on either side to enjoy natural light and fresh air.
Bay or Bow Windows
If you're looking for a cozy reading retreat on one side of your room, a bay window is a perfect pick. They typically overhang from one of the exterior walls of a room and create a small shelf inside. An angled frame is provided along the wall, with flat windows built outside the room. They're good at providing ventilation and can uplift your home's value. However, the installation is difficult, and you need to hire a skilled handyman to have it properly installed for you.
Awning windows are ideal for climates with a lot of rain. These windows are hinged on the upper end and open outward from the bottom. Such an arrangement not only allows easy ventilation but also let you enjoy a rainy outside view without getting soaked. Homeowners sometimes provide awning windows on top of the large stationery or fixed windows for privacy and security.
An arched window also termed a radius window, creates a beautiful architectural appearance ideal for contemporary and traditional homes. They add soft curves that complement horizontal and vertical lines of conventional windows. The curved-top windows can be used in conventional homes to create a Victorian-like effect. Most arched windows do not open and are usually installed above standard windows with a ventilation system.
Windows are named transom because they're located over the top of a window's transom beam. Often they are just ornamental, but in some windows, they do serve the purpose of allowing more light into an entryway or a living space. Some transom windows can be opened, allowing both light and ventilation. Transom windows are sometimes used over doors to allow airflow even when doors are shut.
Along with different styles and types of window panes, there are also other materials for the window frames. So, you have to choose one type depending on your need and preferences. Here're some common types of window frame materials to choose from:
Wooden windows provide the best strength and rigidity, creating a beautiful and distinctive outlook. No other material can beat the timeless elegance of wooden windows. They have been a popular material for most houses and are still trendy because of their beauty and durability. However, wooden windows are liable to termite infestation and require regular maintenance. They are also expensive than uPVC and fiberglass windows.
Aluminum windows are best in offering a sleek and modern look to the architectural design of your home. They are considerably more resistant to the outside elements than other material types with a long-lasting powder-coated finish. When installed properly, they can last up to 30 years, and they're highly durable and are corrosion resistant.
So, if you're looking to keep your home maintenance-free, aluminum windows are the best. However, aluminum windows are not very energy-efficient as they still absorb cold and are not ideal for winters. Moreover, they are also costlier than vinyl and fiberglass windows.
Vinyl windows are high-quality and budget-friendly windows that never need painting, scraping, or refreshing. They are highly energy-efficient and are low-maintenance. They're made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVCs) and are available in a variety of different styles and designs. However, vinyl windows are not as durable as wood windows and can only last 20 years. They have a low resale value and thus is not a good choice for homeowners looking to boost their home's value.
Although fiberglass windows are not that common, they are still incredibly strong and durable; they are best in resisting dents and breaks. High-quality fiberglass windows have no expansion and contraction making them highly energy-efficient. They're stable, weatherproof, and dependable, making them an ideal material for window frames. They look similar to PVC window frames and can be easily repainted.
The Bottom Line
Whether you feel a draft of cold air in winter or heat coming through the window or you see cracks in the window casing or pane, you have to replace your windows sooner than later. No matter how sturdy and perfectly your windows are installed, they still have a life. You need to replace your windows after about 20 years or so.
Of many types, explained above, the most common replacement windows are double-hung, casement type, picture and bay windows. But before you can pick one, it is crucial to know your requirements, including your home's style, budget, energy-efficiency needs, and glass options.