Choosing the best windows for your home can elevate its appearance, save you money on bills, and strengthen the structure of your home through enhanced protection. But how do you know what window style is right for you? With all the options available, how can you make sure you’re picking the best match? When it comes time to pick the windows for your new home, how can you make sure to choose the right window style? The first step is to know what other homeowners are choosing and why. To help you make the most informed decision possible, here are a few of the most popular window styles to choose from.
Single Hung Windows
When it comes to a classic, beloved style, there’s nothing more traditional and time-honored than a single hung window. These window types use a single sash to open the top window vertically and stay in place when opened, creating a simple, easy way to clean and let the air in. Single hung windows are great for homes that don’t deal with a lot of dirt or mess. When single hung windows are on the first floor, they’re incredibly easy to clean and better than vinyl windows when it comes to durability. However, if you’re dealing with these windows higher up, the fact that they’re partially fixed makes them a lot harder to get at from the outside. If you live in a climate that doesn’t see a lot of snow or high-wind storm year-round, single windows can be a great, easy to install option with a lot of design possibilities.
Double Hung Windows
Unlike single hung windows, double hung windows use two sashes to move each panel vertically into place. They can also open outwardly to make cleaning the exterior a snap. Because no part of the window is fixed, homeowners have a lot more options in terms of airflow and maintenance. If a window is based high up on a dusty corner of the house, the convenience of a double hung style will make it much less of a pain to clean. However, double hung windows are still fairly rigid and don’t offer a ton of versatility when it comes to different grilles or patterns.
A fixed window is exactly what it sounds like: A window that doesn’t open, close or budge from its designated spot. These windows tend to be made of a thicker glass, and can be shaped in much more exciting, unusual, or inventive patterns with interesting grilles and detailing. For instance, picture windows, which are usually large windows that look out onto a view, are fixed without any sashes or frames to get in the way of the outlook. Because these windows are decorative and have to stay in place, they tend to be harder to clean. However, they create less of an opportunity for drafts or leaks. In older homes, fixed windows can be a huge asset, lending historical value to a home’s net worth and increasing curb value. They can also give a homeowner a chance to create an interesting visual detail or play around with style.
Casement windows, because of their opening method via a crank, are a popular choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and other less accessible areas of the home. These windows operate on a swinging sash, allowing them to pop open outwardly and catch a sideways breeze. When newly installed and properly secured from the inside, casement windows can offer superior protection against burglars. Their opening style creates a virtually unbreakable seal against the outdoors, which also helps protect against bad weather and drafts. However, as casement windows get older, their crank function can begin to weaken, leaving them vulnerable to attack. As long as homeowners keep on top of maintenance, casement windows can provide a safe, beautiful, and creative option for the home.
Bay windows may seem old-fashioned, but they’re one of the most versatile and beautiful window styles that can be found in older homes. Opening outwardly onto a view, bay windows consist of three separate fixed panes, often rectangular in style, structured by gables to create a reading nook or study. Bay windows are a fixture in the home that draws the eye from the outside and creates a more inviting, cozy-looking space on the inside. Although you’re most likely to see these window styles on older, turn of the century homes, they’re easy enough to install in newer ones as well. Bay windows can also be counted on to lock out drafts and create new opportunities for exciting, inspired types of window dressing.