In a recent newsletter I asked homeowners “… do you know how many windows you have? Do you know which window style is most common in your home?” Don't laugh as I had to count my windows and you will too unless you live in a simple box like this caboose (8 we can see).
Windows come in many sizes and shapes today but just how many different window styles are there? In fact there aren't that many window styles. The creativity comes in how windows are combined to create very large windows economically, as really big windows can get quite expensive.
First we'll review the basic window styles, and then common ways in which they're combined to create larger expanses of glass like bay windows.
Basic Window Styles
We're going to focus on basic windows that open to allow ventilation, meaning they help fresh air enter and circulate through your home … so yes, window styles have more to do with how they open versus how they look! These are different from fixed windows that don't open which includes most of your very large and unusually shaped windows.
After you've scanned (we realize people don't read every word) your basic window styles, we've got some companion articles to help you decorate your basic windows and combine them to create more styling for your home.
Single or Double Hung Windows
The most common window style is the double-hung window where the window sash which holds the glass panes, slides vertically. With a double-hung window, both the top and bottom sashes move. A single-hung window's top is permanently fixed and only the bottom sash moves. Screens for these windows are typically installed outside the window frame and can be ordered as full or half screen.
Sliding or Rolling Windows
Similar to patio doors, sliding or rolling windows have sashes that move horizontally. Like single and double-hung windows, either one or both sides of a sliding window will move to the other side. Screens are vertical and placed either inside or outside the window. Rolling windows are often used in bathrooms and are more common in contemporary homes
Casement windows have hinges on the side allowing the windows to be pushed or cranked outward. Because the windows open out, the screens are placed on the inside. As these windows stick out from the house, they can block breezes from blowing into the house and if left open when it rains, the wood and hardware can be damaged. Casement windows are popular in the kitchen when it's more difficult to reach the windows to open them.
Awning or Hopper Windows
Awning and hopper windows have hinges that are used to open the window similar to casement windows, but the hinges run horizontal. Awning window hinges are at the top of the window and the open window acts like an awning, screening the inside of your home from rain. Hopper windows have hinges at the bottom of the window and they open inward so their screens are on the outside. Awning and hopper windows are commonly used in basements.
Additional Window Styles Used Less Frequently
Skylights may be fixed or operable (right).
Bay or bow windows
Photo credits go to Harvey Building Products who I've worked with for years, i.e. the garden window is a Harvey product installed by my handyman team in Portsmouth NH. While I've got lots of photos, I found they didn't always illustrate the way a window operates and that was important for this article.