Home windows come in many styles. They can be used in combinations of the same window replacement, such as a bank of casement windows, or you can mix it up, such as a picture window flanked by two casement windows.
No one home window is perfect for every application. Some are more suitable for capturing light or fresh air. Others lend themselves well to designing with shapes, using a variety of replacement windows to make an interesting configuration.
Whether considering windows for replacement or new construction, you will probably discover that you need different types. Use this section of our site to get a better idea of the advantages of each window style and where you might want to use it in your home.
Single Hung Window
Traditional in appearance, a single hung window slides vertically, reminiscent of a classic-style sash window. Since it opens without using any interior or exterior space, it’s an excellent choice for small rooms or next to walkways, porches or patios where you don’t want a window to protrude.
On a single hung window, only the bottom sash slides upward—the top sash is permanently fixed. Screens are usually installed on the outside of the window. On single hung tilt windows, the bottom sash tilts inward to enable cleaning of the exterior face.
Single hung windows can be an effective design element for ventilation when combined with picture or arch/radius windows. They’re frequently used in bedrooms, bathrooms and many other rooms in a house.
Double Hung Window
You can’t get more traditional than this classic window style. Both top and bottom sashes open. To encourage lots of air circulation, open both sashes halfway. On double hung tilt windows, the sashes tilt inward to enable easy cleaning of the exterior faces of both the top and bottom sash.
Since double hung windows open without using any interior or exterior space, they’re an excellent choice for small rooms or next to walkways, porches or patios where you don’t want a window to protrude.
Double hung windows can be an effective design element for ventilation when combined with picture or arch/radius windows. They’re frequently used in bedrooms, bathrooms and many other rooms in a house.
Horizontal Sliding Window
Popular for satisfying bedroom egress requirements, a horizontal sliding window is a favorite style for contemporary and modern homes. Single sliders only have one side that slides open, whereas both sashes open in double sliders. Double sliding windows are a good choice in rooms where you want good air circulation, particularly if they are the only window in the room.
A horizontal sliding window makes an easy-opening window over kitchen counters and sinks. Some people find sliding windows easier and faster to open than crank-style awning or casement windows. What’s more, because sliding windows open without using any exterior or interior space, they work well in areas next to walkways, patios or other places where you wouldn’t want a window (such as an awning or casement window) to protrude.
For unobstructed views where ventilation is not a concern, picture windows are an ideal choice. They maximize views, as well as bring in the most available light. This makes them popular for living rooms, dining rooms and master bedrooms.
Picture windows are appropriate for any home style, from traditional to modern. They create a portrait-like space on walls—hence the word “picture” in their name. Picture windows turn your view into a living painting and, when large enough, make the outdoors feel like another room.
Want view and ventilation? Combine picture windows with one or more operating windows.
Arch Window/Radius Window
An arch window (also known as a radius window) creates a dramatic effect in both contemporary and traditional homes. You can add an arch window to nearly any other window style to create a window configuration with more flair or elegance. Or you can use an arch window to make a striking door transom that lets more natural light into an entry.
An arch window can be tall like a casement window or wide like an awning window. While some manufacturers offer an operable arch window, others can be combined with an operating window to enable both flair and ventilation. Particularly dramatic effects for contemporary or modern homes can be achieved by banks of arch windows. In traditional homes, arch windows can be used to create a Victorian-like effect.
A casement window is hinged at the side and opens outward. It provides excellent ventilation—at times literally reaching out and catching the breeze. It looks like a narrow picture window because, unlike double hung or sliding windows, it has no rail to obstruct the view.
Some casement windows are simply pushed open, but most have a hand crank. Screens are placed on the inside of the window, where they’re more protected from the elements. If you’re installing windows over a sink, countertop or appliance, a casement window with a crank can be the perfect solution.
One of the things to look for in a casement window is how far it opens. The best open up perfectly perpendicular to the house for maximum ventilation.
An awning window is hinged at the top and opens outward. The glass protects the opening like an awning, enabling ventilation even during rainy weather. Awning windows are ideal accents above or below picture windows, giving them a place in nearly any style of home.
Awning windows are often used for basements because they can be placed high on the wall to let in both light and air.
Awning windows generally are opened with a hand crank. Screens are on the inside of the window, where they’re more protected from the elements.
Bring sunshine, outdoor views and a little greenhouse into your kitchen. With a garden window, you can add a window greenhouse to almost any room. Think how it might look in a home office or to bring an element of the outdoors into a bathroom.
Garden windows extend out from the house and generally have an interior shelf for plants and herbs. Side vents provide ventilation. Because the window extends beyond the house, you won’t want to put a garden window in a place where it would interfere with sidewalks, patios or other exterior features.
A bay window is a combination of three or more windows that dramatically extend from your home. Very similar to bow windows, bay windows make a great addition to a living room or master bedroom. They accentuate the view by dividing it into different planes. They also bring in more light and give a feeling of spaciousness to a room.
Bay windows can be used in many different architectural settings. Their dramatic extension from a home adds an architectural accent that brings welcome interest to an exterior wall. A bay window can be flanked with casement or single hung windows for ventilation and additional light.
A bow window is very similar to a bay window, except it’s composed of four or more windows joined at equal angles to form a more even curve. Like a bay window, a bow window makes a great addition to a living room or master bedroom. It accentuates the view by dividing it into different planes. It also brings in more light and gives a feeling of spaciousness to a room.
Bow windows can be used in many different architectural settings. Their dramatic extension from a home adds an architectural accent that brings welcome interest to an exterior wall. A bow window can be flanked with casement or single hung windows for ventilation and additional light.
Let the light pour in from the sky. A skylight is a window in the roof that enables you to look up at blue sky from the comfort of your home. Skylights can bring in a tremendous amount of daylight and are a perfect way to add natural light to a dark room. At night, you can use them to enjoy the stars and catch some moonlight.
In cold climates, skylights can actually help warm a room. In warmer climates, they bring welcome ventilation to an upstairs or attic room.
It is important that a skylight is well made. Skylights get the most exposure of any window. The sun beats down on them all day and they bear the brunt of any storm that passes by. Vinyl frames hold up well, but the clear plastic part of a skylight loses clarity over time and gets scratched by the elements. A quality glass skylight will provide years of carefree star gazing.