There is always more to windows than improving the usability and efficiency of your home. Installing windows is the perfect way to increase your curb appeal. You use many different types of windows in the construction of your house. The main purpose of windows is to allow natural light into your room during the day and let in air to keep the room fresh.
Studies show that new windows are one of the most profitable home renovations to make your house value skyrocket, with ROI going as high as 72%.
The windows also help define your house's traditional or modern style. 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 window styles - which come in varying designs, with different frame types and glass types - by architects like Architect Chester worldwide for residential homes and other types of establishments.
1. Awning Window
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 rainfall.
In addition, 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
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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, either installed in pairs or 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. In addition, the design of these casement windows is aesthetically neutral, making them a good fit for most homes.
Casements are also one of just several windows that may be used for egress purposes, so if you plan to renovate your basement or bedroom, where egress windows are required, installing casement windows will definitely be a good choice. But since egress windows have to meet special building requirements, make sure to read more about all available egress window types, sizes, and your building code rules before buying any egress units.
3. Sliding Window
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Sliding windows consist of two horizontally mounted sashes that open and close very easily by sliding horizontally on a track. These windows are favorable for large windows and are an excellent choice of windows to mount over a counter or sink or in any circumstance with obstacles to access.
Sliding windows work perfectly in modern or contemporary homes. In addition, many of these sliding designs have removable sashes that make them easy to clean.
4. Bay Window
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Bay windows consist of a large window surrounded by casement. The bay design particularly pairs well with traditional and rustic designs. However, installing these bay windows can require additional construction and structural upgrades. Talk to a professional before adding 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 a day.
5. Double Hung Windows
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Double Hung windows are very common. This double-hung window style has two main sashes that slide vertically up and down in the frame. These sashes can easily open wide from the top or the bottom, although they remain inside the frame so that they don't protrude out to the house's exterior or interior.
The movable upper and lower portions of double-hung windows allow for easy operation and improved ventilation. In addition, the sashes lean inward, which makes their cleaning and replacement easier. The difference between double and single-hung windows is that in the single-hung window, only the bottom part of the window operates while the top part remains fixed.
6. Transom Window
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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 window to let in more light.
7. Single Hung
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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. However, the single-hung aesthetic will give any home a classic look.
The sash window consists of two panels arranged vertically. Although 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 airflow while the top panel stays fixed.
8. Bow Window
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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 the curved architecture and use more glass panels than bay windows. As a result, they provide more interior space as they protrude from the house's exterior.
Like bay windows, installing bow windows will require more construction than other designs, so 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
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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 be located on exterior walls to admit natural light or into interior walls. They are often found in modern or contemporary houses and are mostly in conjunction with operating windows. This type of window comes in all shapes and sizes and, of course, custom options.
10. Custom And Special Shapes Windows
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Custom designs are always ideal for unusual architectural features or home designs. For example, most window manufacturers will help you develop the perfect design and construction of windows for your home. Unfortunately, these windows are considerably more expensive than the other options.
Specially shaped windows will add visual interest to your home, but they are not likely to open. In addition, installing these oddly shaped windows can be more expensive than installing the other designs, and it might also take a very long completion timeline.
11. Picture Windows
Picture window types are fixed and typically installed in the center of the room's wall to improve aesthetics and natural lighting. These huge flat square or rectangular windows are common among homeowners who want to optimize their view of the outdoors. Besides, they are perfect for use in hard-to-reach spaces where opening the window would be challenging.
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Picture windows are versatile; you can install them alone or in combination with other types of windows to create a spectacular focal point and improve ventilation. Besides, you can pair picture windows of various shapes and sizes to create a large viewing area.
Furthermore, they are stationary and do not open, enhancing their overall energy efficiency.
12. Skylight Windows
Skylight or roof windows are installed in the ceiling rather than the wall, providing the full benefits of an open sky without risking rain or snow falling into the house. They can either be fixed, meaning they don't open, or they can have a crank mechanism or a remote control to operate the window for ventilation.
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Therefore, homeowners can install electric skylight windows that open and close at the press of a button instead of in manual operation. Another good thing about these popular window styles is that they can be used as an emergency exit route. Besides, they're an excellent way to provide natural light to small spaces without taking up wall space.
Additionally, skylight window types are often used in high front halls or foyers to enhance the lighting at a home's entrance.
13. Glass Block Windows
Though glass block window types were trendy in the 1980s, modern homes don't look hideous with them. These windows are made of numerous cubic blocks. The blocks are partially translucent and have a patterned design that adds a decorative aspect. Furthermore, they are ideally suited for private areas such as the shower or bathroom. But you can install them anywhere.
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The glass blocks usually allow natural light to enter the space. Besides, the patterned design adds a decorative accent to any space. However, glass block windows cannot be opened for ventilation.
14. Garden Windows
Garden windows are mini bay windows designed specifically for plants. They extend outward from your home, adding space and visual appeal. They also provide sun exposure from three sides, allowing more natural light to enter your home and enhance the interior.
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These windows are perfect for a year-round greenhouse for growing plants and herbs. They are also an excellent place to display your favorite decorative pieces.
Moreover, they are extremely versatile, making them suitable for home design. You can install them over the sink in your kitchen or the breakfast nook to offer an eye-catching accent. The windows make a room feel bigger.
15. Hopper Windows
Hopper windows are ideal for rooms with limited wall space to accommodate a new window. They normally open from the top and crank open to tip down, swinging inwards at 45-90 degrees. Since they use compact spaces, they are used in basements, attics, or bathrooms.
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Basement hopper windows, unlike egress windows, are generally used for ventilation because they are smaller and cannot be used as an emergency exit. Furthermore, these windows provide good insulation since they seal against the frame.
How to Pick the Best Window Style for Your Home
1. Identify the Intended Purpose of the Window
The primary function of windows is to allow natural light and air while also connecting with the outdoors. Besides, windows serve as a doorway, such as a sliding glass door to access the porch. They can be operable to access spaces or fixed as an ornamental element for aesthetic purposes.
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Conversely, the right window style will depend on the available space and the light or view priorities in that area. Therefore, before investing in different window types, we recommend considering which rooms the window will serve and if a view is important or natural light is essential.
2. Go for Window Styles that Reflect your House’s Architectural Style
Most homes, if not all, have an architectural design that makes them stand out from the rest. So when choosing the right window style for your home, ensure it complements its architectural design. This is regardless of your house, whether it's a traditional or a modern one.
3. Go for a Window Style that Complements the Interior
Although the exterior appearance of your windows is crucial, it's also important to keep in mind how the window will appear in interiors. For instance, we recommend going for a window style that allows light in the bathroom but doesn't give direct views from the outside.
4. Make the windows the focal point of your interior.
Windows usually allow you to stare out into the lovely view formed by natural elements. Their design, shape, color, and window details can serve as the main focus of attention on the exteriors. We recommend going for windows with unique mullions and frame elements to add details to your interior.
5. Go for the Best Accent Colors for the Window Frames
We recommend choosing an accent color that you can use on your home and on the window frames to enhance the exterior aesthetics. However, these two can still have different colors that complement the entire composition and improve the exterior's appearance.
6. Look for Colorful window frames & mullions.
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Choosing window frames and mullions will depend on the architectural style of your home. Whether you choose wooden or metallic frames, a color tint can be applied to improve the appearance of the house's exterior. And if you decide to give your exterior home a makeover and paint your frames and mullions, consult a paint professional for the best exterior paints to use for your application.
7. Consider the amount of ventilation needed.
As mentioned earlier, ventilation is one of the primary roles of windows. And most popular window styles offer a range of operable or fixed windows. However, both sets can be used in the design depending on the demands of different spaces. Operable windows ensure enough airflow in the space, while fixed windows cannot be opened.
8. Pay attention to the orientation of the sun.
When choosing a window style, paying attention to the sun's orientation based on your location is important. A careful assessment of the orientation can help in choosing energy-efficient windows. Consequently, planning the window type and placement can ensure your home is warm or cool depending on the season and save power expenses.
9. Windows are an excellent remodeling project.
If you are considering a makeover, window replacement is one of the things you need to consider. The new window types offer better energy efficiency and lower energy and money expenses with updated shapes and enhanced features.
10. Choose Different Operable Window Styles for your unique application.
Choose the one that meets the requirements with the many operations of each window type. Base your decision on weighing the benefits and drawbacks of various operable windows.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Window Styles
1. What’s a mullion window?
A mullion is a vertical piece of wood separating the glass panes, not the vertical and horizontal stile parts. Nowadays, mullions are the vertical bars that run between the panes of glass in a window. Their function, like that of muntins, is decorative.
2. Should all windows in a house match?
Though every window does not have to have the same materials or style, we recommend choosing similar or complimentary options for all window types to create a cohesive look. Grilles are an excellent approach to establishing a consistent look across the most popular window styles.
3. What should the height of a window be from the floor?
If you are looking for a general rule of thumb, the bottom of the window should start roughly 2 to 3 feet from the floor, and the top should end no less than 16 to 18 inches from the ceiling.
4. Can a house actually have black and white windows?
The most common colors to consider are black and white. They are both timeless hues that will still look great now and in the future. They will not go out of style or out of date, making your home look antiquated. When deciding between the two, keep in mind that each has advantages and disadvantages.