When you are looking to replace your windows it can often be a daunting task which is overshadowed by complex window terminology and endless choices. For this reason we’ve put together a list of the most commonly used replacement window types along with providing information about how they work and where they are most suited within your home.
These types can be further broken down into full frame and insert replacement windows, our guide on full frame versus insert windows covers the difference.
Sash windows are ones which have at least one window element (sash) which moves by usually sliding up and down, it can also tilt within the frame as well. Where the window has a single movable sash and a fixed sash it will be known as a single hung sash window. If the window has an upper and lower movable sash, in other words both parts of the window move, then the window will be known as a double hung sash window.
Double hung sash windows are more common than the single variety however you can still get single hung windows from certain manufacturers. In some cases the manufacturers can also provide just the window itself to fit into an existing frame, this will reduce the cost of replacing existing windows with sash style and is something you should always check with qualified window contractors prior to starting any replacements. In addition to that it’s also worth asking whether sash windows are suitable for the parts of your home you plan on having them installed in. If you’re thinking of having these in an upper floor of your home there will be some instances when it’s not suitable due to health and safety, in which case a fixed window may be the next best option.
Whilst single hung sash windows are somewhat less popular than the double version, they are also significantly cheaper and the cost is something that may likely sway your decision as to which one you choose. However, there are certain disadvantages with single over double hung sash windows. Single sashes only allow movement of the sash in one part, usually the bottom, this means that the outside of the upper section of the window is often hard to get to for cleaning and maintenance. People find this a particular problem when the window is located on an upper floor rather than the ground floor. However, one big advantage of sash windows is their attractiveness, good quality and good looking sash windows can positively influence the overall architectural design of the building.
A casement window is a style of window which has hinges to either the left and right sides or to the top of the window, allowing it to open inwards or sometimes outwards. The outward opening windows are more popular than the inward opening windows due to the fact that they’re easier to operate around usual home obstacles such as window shelf objects, blinds and curtains. This makes them ideal for locations such as over sink units and counter tops, meaning you don’t have to lean too far over to lift the window.
Out of the two the horizontally hung casement window is more popular than the vertically hung option in which the window is hinged at the top of the frame, horizontally hung windows are hinged from the side.
This type of window, like most other types, can be installed in a single unit or grouped together into a larger unit or series of windows. The handles of the casement windows are usually pretty simple and easy to operate, making them ideal installations for those harder to reach locations within the home.
They will usually come with a crank or a lever style opening mechanism, the lever style mechanisms can also contain a locking mechanism giving the windows that extra security. They can also be customized to match the look and feel of your own home with things like different color finishes, different handles and glazing finishes. One of the most popular types are those with the vinyl frame material, this is relatively maintenance free, available in a wide variety of colors and is resistant to most of the elements and will therefore stay looking good over time.
One thing to remember when installing casement windows is to make sure you’re careful about installing windows adjacent to one another, due to the angles the windows open out at there may not always be enough room for both windows to open comfortably at the same time.
Bow windows, also similar to bay windows, are windows which are installed with a slightly curved configuration. They are installed in line with the wall but they are arranged in a semi-circular format which projects out from the wall in a curved configuration. A bow setup is usually made from 4 or more individual casement windows, with two fixed and two opening windows, one to the far left and one to the far right. This can put some people off and if it puts you off then an alternative to consider is a standard bay window, you don’t get the same effect as with bow’s but you can have more than two opening windows which aren’t limited to just the far left and far right sides.
There are a couple of major benefits to using bow windows over other types of windows including bays, and that’s the overall architectural look as well as the amount of light they are able to let into your home. The gentle curves and lines allow lots of light into your home as well as adding a feeling of space overall, even when there is limited room or wall space.
Bow windows are not the easiest configurations to install by a mile and require careful measuring & preparation in order to ensure the best quality finish is achieved. For the best result should be fitted by a professional rather than you doing DIY window replacement. Before you go about having a replacement bow window installed you should also check whether or not you’re going to need a permit to do so, this is particularly applicable if your home faces directly onto a street where there maybe an overhang of the window onto the sidewalk.
Find out the price of bow windows.
Bay windows, like bow windows, are ones which will provide a great overall view of the outside as well as add to the light and space to the room they are fitted within. Bay windows particularly are found within Victorian style homes, Alamo Square in San Francisco (Painted Ladies) being a prime example of houses which have bays.
Usually the bay setup will consist of 3 main sides, the angled left side, the angled right side and the front, which is directly adjacent to the front wall. The installation can add quite a bit of space to a room and depending on the size of the bays and the angle that the windows are fitted at, it can add 2-5 feet to a room’s length. A bay can also reduce space from a room, a recessed bay window configuration actually points inward rather than outward, these are usually added in cases where people want to add more light to their room but can’t get a permit to install a forward pointing bay due to building restrictions.
A bay window configuration will usually be made up from a set or mixture of casement windows or double/single hung windows and can have opening windows at any location in the bay. in contrast to bow windows which will generally only have opening windows on the far left and far right of the installation.
Bay windows can cost a little more to install, particularly where you don’t already have the building infrastructure in place to handle the window configuration. However, bay’s can add a lot of extra light and space to a room, they are particularly beneficial where you want to make the most of the views outside as well as get extra air and light into the room.
Just like bow windows, bay windows are not te easiest to install and will require careful measuring & preparation to ensure the best quality finish is achieved. Whilst you can have a go at a little DIY window installation it’s really recommended that you employ a window contractor to install them for you. Our bay window costs list gives an overview of the average window pricing.
Awning windows are windows which swing outwards or inwards from the frame, hinged above the window. These types of window are usually common in commercial buildings and schools, you won’t usually find them installed in homes. This type of window allows plenty of air to enter the room due to it’s size and the way in which it opens and the fact they are usually constructed from a single piece of glass, forming a single sash.
Awning windows aren’t particularity aesthetically pleasing and casement windows are far more attractive, awnings will only generally be used in areas where the look of the window isn’t really important such as on the side of the house in an upper room such as the lavatory. So if you’re looking at replacement windows then it maybe that you want to look at a suitable alternative to your current awning windows rather than replacing them like for like.
Fixed frame windows, also known as picture windows, have a single fixed pane of glass which, unlike casement and hung windows, doesn’t offer any type of movement. For this reason fixed frame windows are only usually recommended when ventilation is not on your top list of priorities and you’re more interested in getting a good view of the outside space.
This type of window can be used in any style of home which can accommodate for a large feature window to the outside. They are best used in conjunction with movable windows and patio doors, when used appropriately they will provide and very nice open feel to the room. This makes operating this particular type of window much easier since there are no cranks to operate.
What’s the cost of fixed frame windows?
Sliding windows, also known as gliding windows are similar to casement windows except with slider windows the single sash slides across the fixed sash rather than opening outwards, inwards or upwards on hinges. The most common sliding windows contain just two sashes, one fixed and one sliding, although you can get multiple pane sliding windows which are greater than two panes but they are obviously a lot more expensive.
The sliding style window is usually better looking on more modern homes. They are also idea for spaces where you are imited for space outside the window and you don’t want the windows to project outwards.
Find out the likely price for sliding windows.
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