10 Most Popular Window Styles Loved by Architects

There is always more to windows than to improve the usability and efficiency your home. Installing windows is the perfect way to increase your curb appeal. There are many different types of windows that you use in the construction of your house. The main purpose of windows is to allow natural light into your rooms during the day and also let in air to keep the room fresh.

The windows also help in defining the style of your house as to whether it is traditional or modern. The architect can help customize nearly any window to suit a client’s changing tastes and needs. In collaboration with Portella, a company that manufactures high quality handcrafted custom steel doors and windows, we explore some of the most popular and loved window styles by architects around the world for both residential homes and other types of establishments.

1.     Awning window

Image courtesy of Sky Windows

The awning window is mounted vertically, with the hinge at the top and they swing outward from the bottom, that is, the window pushes outside. Many homeowners use this type of window especially for allowing air to flow without the seasonal debris, for example, falling leaves or even rainfall. Some homeowners use this design to add an interesting decoration to their home’s exterior. The construction of these awning windows will also allow more natural light into your house.

2.     Casement window

Image courtesy of Worthview

These casement windows were popular in the UK just before the invention of the sash window and are still popular in many European countries. In this type of window, the operable panel which is either installed in pairs or in singles, hangs on a hinge. These side hinges allow the window to swing outwards, opening and closing with the turn of a handle. This operable panel enables the window to be opened like a door.

This window construction is perfect for those spots that are hard to reach around your home, like over the kitchen sink or even the fireplace mantle. The design of these casement windows is aesthetically neutral, making it a good fit for most homes.

3.     Sliding window

Image courtesy of Indiamart

Sliding windows consist of two horizontally mounted sashes which open and close very easily by sliding horizontally on a track. These type of windows are favorable for large windows and are an excellent choice of windows to mount over a counter or sink or in any circumstance where there are obstacles to access.

Sliding windows work perfectly in modern or contemporary homes. Many of these sliding designs have removable sashes that make it easy to clean.

4.     Bay window

Image courtesy of Freshome

Bay windows consist of a large window surrounded by casement. The bay design particularly pairs well with traditional and rustic designs. Installing these bay windows can require additional construction and structural upgrades. Talk to a professional before adding the bay windows to your home.

Today bay windows are commonly used in mansions and modest homes. Bay windows are favorable because they allow maximum light to enter a room, as the sun moves across the sky over the course of a day.

5.     Double Hung windows

Image courtesy of Marvin

Double Hung windows are very common. This type has two main sashes that slide vertically up and down in the frame. These sashes can easily open wide either from the top or the bottom, although they remain inside the frame so that they don’t protrude out to the exterior or the interior of the house.

The movable upper and lower portions of double-hung windows allow for easy operation and improved ventilation. The sashes lean inward, which makes their cleaning and replacement easier. The difference between the double and single hung window, is that in the single hung window only the bottom part of the window operates while the top part remains fixed.

6.     Transom window

Image courtesy of Portella

Transom windows are usually located above or below the primary windows. Many homeowners tend to use transoms to enlarge the existing smaller windows. These windows come in vented and fixed models. This window can either be operable or not. They are usually mounted above a door or a window just to let in more light.

7.     Single Hung

Image courtesy of Pellabranch

Single-hung windows are raised from the bottom to allow air into your home. Single-hung sashes are stationary, which can make cleaning more difficult. The single-hung aesthetic will give any home a classic look.

The sash window consists of two panels arranged vertically. This type of window is attributed to the English inventor Robert Hooke, its use caught on quickly due to the design’s simplicity. In the single hung sash, the bottom panel moves up to allow the flow of air, while the top panel stays fixed.

8.     Bow window

Image courtesy of Deavita

Bow windows are four or more windows joined together in an arc or semi-circle. They can be a combination of windows often with a fixed window in the middle bound by either double-hung windows or casements. They depend on a curved architecture and use more glass panels than bay windows do. They provide you with more interior space, as they protrude out from the exterior of the house.

Like bay windows, installing bow windows will require more construction than other designs and that is why it’s best to talk to a professional before installation. Bow windows are popular in breakfast nooks and additional seating areas.

9.     Fixed/stationary window

Image courtesy of Portella

Fixed windows cannot be opened but they can be easily customized in nearly any shape you desire according to your needs and wants. They can either be located on exterior walls to admit natural light or set into interior walls, are often found in modern or contemporary houses and are mostly in conjunction with windows that are operating. This type of window comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and of course custom options.

10. Custom and special shapes windows

Image courtesy of Marvin

Custom designs are always ideal for unusual architectural features or home designs. Most window manufacturers will help you develop the perfect design and construction of windows for your home. These windows are considerably more expensive than the other options.

Specially shaped windows will add your visual interest to your home, but they are not likely to open. Installing this oddly shaped windows can be more expensive than installing the other designs and it might also take a very long completion timeline.

Do you have any questions about windows or something you would like to add to this story? Let us know in the comments section or by chatting up with the window experts at Portella.

Ian Mutuli
Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.