16 Types of Windows to Consider for Your Home
Single- and Double-Hung Windows
Perhaps the two most popular types of windows, single- and double-hung windows have two sashes that fit inside the frame. Single-hung windows allow only the bottom sash to slide open and closed while the upper portion of the window remains fixed. In the double-hung version, both sashes can slide up and down to provide airflow and make cleaning easier.
Casement windows open outward instead of sliding up and down. This type of window usually features a hinge on one side and a cranking mechanism that helps you easily swing the window open. Commonly seen above kitchen sinks, they're great for areas where it might be difficult to physically push the window open.
The primary goal of picture windows is to bring in natural light and views of the outdoors. These large stationary windows are often used to create a visual frame around a view of the surrounding area, such as a wooded backyard or a city skyline. To maintain an unobstructed view, this window style typically includes a single pane of glass without any grilles.
Transom windows are built directly over another window or door. Typically inoperable, this window style primarily serves to let in additional light. Available in many shapes and sizes, they can also add to the room's architectural appeal.
Entry Door Windows
A well-designed entryway makes a positive first impression and reveals the tone of the rest of the house. Windows can add drama to your home's entrance while providing a smooth transition between interior and exterior spaces. Entryway window designs, including sidelights and transoms, provide views, light, and architectural character around the front door.
A bay window combines three or more windows that angle out from the home. Compared to standard window designs, they provide wider views and more natural light as the sun moves across the sky. Bay windows can create cozy alcoves, such as breakfast areas or reading nooks, and boost storage and floor space.
If your home's exterior suffers from an expansive block of roofing, consider breaking it up by adding dormer windows. Dormer windows can be used to balance your home's exterior elements, bring attention to certain areas of the facade, and add height and light to your home's interior. They're often found on house styles including Craftsman, Cape Cod, and ranch-style homes.
Skylights and High Windows
Skylights and other high windows are great ways to add natural light to a room without sacrificing privacy and wall or storage space. Skylights can be used to show off a ceiling's striking pitch, bring the outdoors in, and offer sky and treetop views. Additionally, if operable, high windows can provide a valuable source of ventilation in bathrooms or kitchens.
Usually located below one roof and above another, clerestory windows serve many functions. They define rooflines, bring light into spaces without compromising privacy and wall space, highlight certain architectural details or areas of the ceiling, and offer views of passing clouds. Here, clerestory windows flood the kitchen with natural light, ensure ample wall space for storage, and maintain the integrity of the home's exterior.
If maximizing views and light is your goal, how better to accomplish it than with a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass? Window walls offer the airy openness of a sunroom and connect indoors and out. In this cozy sitting area, the wood window frames and paneled ceiling help maintain a warm feel despite all the glass.
The clean lines and open spaces of modern architecture call for windows with a contemporary edge. Thanks to new technology that provides both style and energy efficiency, modern window design is limited only by the imagination. This window style typically showcases large glass panels with few grilles and minimal decoration.
Stained glass is an easy way to bring character and color to a neutral room. The tinted glass also helps admit light without surrendering privacy. This home's classic Victorian detailing is strongest in the foyer, where stained glass holds court with a grand staircase.
Distinctive window designs can make windows a focal point of your home. The shape, proportion, arrangement, trim, and grillework can be used to design windows that match your unique style. Create a charming accent with a single well-placed window, or make a bold statement with a series of distinctive window designs.
Unusual Window Shapes
Besides the standard rectangular design, windows come in all sorts of shapes, including squares, circles, arches, and keyholes. A beautifully shaped window functions as a work of art and can be designed to match a certain historical style. Unusual window shapes are often used to emphasize or work around specific architectural details.
Perhaps you want the windows in your home to make a specific architectural statement. Or maybe your windows need to match the level of trim and detail seen elsewhere in your home. If so, custom windows might be for you. Through custom muntins and trim, a variety of window shapes, and clever arrangements, your windows can be uniquely tailored to your home's look.
Replacing old windows with more efficient options is one way to significantly reduce your utility costs. Many leading window manufacturers now offer energy-efficient choices, including low-E glass, glazing options, and environmentally friendly materials. With a wide variety of styles and materials, you're sure to find a good match for your home.