Window Woe No More
Choosing windows is no small feat, so save yourself time and money by being informed before you start shopping. Knowing what you want is the first step, knowing how to ask for it is the next. We’ve put together a quick into to the window styles and materials available to you.
Window Style Options
Single-Hung and Double-Hung
Single hung windows are the most common type of window. They are comprised of two separate sash units, and open by sliding the lower unit up. These are available in a variety of prices and looks which can be tailored to almost any architectural style. The addition of grills
Double hung are very similar in style, but have a dual sash system which open from either the top or the bottom. Created hundred of years ago as a rudimentary air-conditing system, double hung windows are still popular today for their energy conservation. Opening a double-hung window three inches for both the upper and lower sash will pull all of the heat and humidity out of the top opening while drawing in cool, fresh air through the bottom. It’s a great way to avoid the air conditioning bills for an extra month.
Casement windows are a single full pane with a hinged sash that swings out, usually operated by a crank or motor. The large opening encourages air movement in a home, though not to the level of double-hung. Casements give a clean, uncluttered view but are best loved because they are easy to clean and operate. They also provide the best seal for an operable window because the window seal directly meets the casement sash. Combined with dual paned, low-e glass, these windows are favored for their energy conservation.
Similar to casements, awnings are a single pane with a hinged sash that open out. They differ by being hinged at the top of the window, resembling awnings when open. (Hence the name.) They are usually combined with other windows or doors for greater light and ventilation.
Sliding windows are good options when there isn’t room for a window to open out. Sometimes found by consumers to be easer than cranking open a window, sliders are usually two single sash units that slide open horizontally. These are most frequently used in modern and contemporary homes.
Usually large, picture windows let in the maximum amount of light and views. The lack of operation means more freedom for sizes and shapes, since there isn’t any hardware to account for. They do not open, which makes them technically very energy efficient. The downside is that they’ll let in all of the light you want, with no option for fresh air.
Bow and Bay Windows
Both of these styles will get you a little more interior space, as they jut out from the exterior of the home. Usually a stationary or picture window flanked by two operable windows, these are both a functional addition and an aesthetic statement. Can’t remember the difference? Bow windows are a curved collection of windows forming a smooth arc, much like an archery bow. Bay windows have corners -simple as that!
Unique shapes are available in limitless configurations. Usually inoperable, these windows provide a lot of visual interest and can be combined with operable windows so you don’t lose out on air movement. Whether a small corner or a large empty wall, the sky is the limit on your freedom to imagine.
Distinguished by its location, transoms are set above windows, doors and doorways. They can either be operable awnings or stylized picture windows, but transoms always improve the look of a space.
Wood has been used in windows for centuries with success. Wood looks gorgeous and also has insulating properties, but the look comes with maintenance. The use of this natural material means there is a need for periodic painting or staining, plus extra treatment to prevent movement and rot.
Vinyl windows have spiked in popularity due to the low maintenance and high performance of this material. Once they are installed, there isn’t much fr a homeowner to do but keep them clean. Downsides to vinyl are the environmental impact of the production process and limitations for the look.
Fiberglass windows are comparatively new technologies that are gaining in popularity. The nature of fiberglass keeps it from expanding and contracting, a guarantee with wood or vinyl and the number one reason for seal failure.
Low Emissivity Glass (Low-E) is a type of glass with a microscopically thin layer of metallic material, which reflects heat waves. This extra coating helps keep heat on the side where it originated- keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Impact resistant glass is very popular in regions with frequent hurricane warnings, so it’ll absolutely stand up to your brood of five baseball-playing boys. This type of window is created by sandwiching multiple layers of polyvinyl butyral between two sheets of glass after which it’s fired to temper the glass. When impacted, the class will buckle and crack but not shatter.
A little research goes a long way, and we’d love to share our wisdom if you have more questions. Reach how, and see how we can bring even more light into your home.