Choosing the Right Window Style for Your Space

April 14, 2014
Window styles

Many double-hung windows feature sashes that tilt in or can be easily removed for cleaning. (Simonton Windows, HANDOUT / April 7, 2014)

If you’re considering new windows to personalize a new-construction home or to revitalize existing rooms, it’s important to know the variety of styles and the benefits they offer.

To gain a better understanding of windows and how they can complement the architecture of your home, we turned to two industry experts for a quick primer.

Matt Minerd, marketing director for Simonton Windows, and Doug Johannson, a regional sales manager for Marvin Windows and Doors, discuss the advantages of each window style and where you might want to use them in your home.

Casement. Minerd’s favorite windows feature a sash hinged on the side, and the windows crank open 90 degrees for maximum ventilation. They are a good option for older homeowners who don’t want to push up or pull down double-hung windows.

“A scenario where these would be ideal would be over a kitchen sink, where it’s hard to operate a sash,” Minerd explains. “You can use the crank and easily open the window without having to lean over the sink.”

Single-hung. Very basic, they open from the bottom upward, with the top sash inoperable. Their heyday was from the 1940s to the ’70s, before double-hung windows took over, but they’re still used as a way to save a little money, Johannson says. They can be difficult to clean from the inside.

Double-hung. These are the most popular style of window on the market, with top and bottom sashes operating independently.

Double-hungs allow maximum air ventilation into rooms, and they are an excellent option if there are young children or pets in the house.

The bottom stays closed so they can’t get out, and the top is opened for ventilation.

Most double-hung windows feature sashes that tilt in or can be easily removed for cleaning. They used to almost always come with storm windows, Johannson says, but that is not the case anymore.

Sliders. This style has multiple window panels that slide open on a track, or there can be a middle panel fixed with two side windows sliding inward. This is another option for elderly homeowners because the sliding option is easy to operate and doesn’t require lifting. The slider, very popular on the West Coast, also allows for maximum ventilation and views with its large openings.

Picture. The name says it all, a large window that allows a full picture of your view. A picture window can also be combined with a double-hung or casement window on an end.

Bay. These are created by attaching three windows at 35- or 45-degree angles. They can be fixed windows, picture windows or operable, such as double-hung or casements. They’re often used in living rooms or large master bedrooms, Minerd says, and they’re often installed with a seat bench below. “A bay window maximizes a lot of light because of those angles that work together,” he says.

Bow. They’re more rounded than a bay window and are made by putting three, five, seven or nine windows at 10-degree angles. They create a focal point and maximize views. They can be fixed or operable.

Awning. The sash is hinged at the top, and the window opens up and outward. They’re generally ideal in high locations of a home, Minerd says, and can also be above a fixed or operable window. Johannson says they lend themselves to more traditional or historic designs.

Geometrics. Used by themselves as an accent or with other windows or doors, they are fixed units that come in a variety of shapes.

The windows add style and allow more light into a large foyer or hallway area. They often sit above a large single- or double-hung window.

Basement hopper. This style is similar to an awning, but with the sash hinged at the bottom and the window opening from the top out. Typically, they’re installed in the basement, allowing light and air into a low-ground setting.

This article originally appeared on ChicagoTribune.com on April 13, 2014. To view the original story, click here.

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