Window Worries: What Windows Are Best for a House?

New windows are easily one of the most preferred home improvement investments due to their impressive ROI of 85 percent. The right residential windows can dramatically improve the appearance and functionality of your home. In addition, these home updates can notably boost your home’s energy efficiency, saving you a fortune in energy costs over time.  

If you’ve been considering a home window replacement project, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many window types and styles are on offer today. Each of these options has its strengths and drawbacks. Once you know what each of these window types has to offer, selecting the right one for your needs becomes easier.

In today’s post, we take a closer look at America’s most popular residential window types. Read on to learn more.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are also commonly referred to as crank windows because of the method you use to open them. The windows typically swing from hinges, the same way most doors do. 

Due to the strong seal around them, casement windows tend to be weathertight. Thus, these home windows are well known for their energy efficiency benefits. 

The swing feature of these windows allows for excellent airflow when you need it. You can fit screens inside the window securely, which means cleaning the window isn’t a problem. 

Perhaps the biggest drawback of casement windows is that they do a poor job securing window ACs. Thus, if you use that type of cooling, you’ll most likely need to consider a different kind of residential window. 

Single-Hung or Double-Hung Windows

Single-hung or double-hung windows are arguably the most typical window style in the US today. Open or close these windows by sliding them along vertical tracks.

While the two residential window types look similar, there’s an essential distinction between them. That distinction is that single-hung windows open from the bottom half only.

One of the strengths of these single- and double-hung windows is that they don’t swing outward to open, as casement windows do. Thus, there’s no danger of these windows ever bumping into something on your home’s exterior. 

Single-hung and double-hung windows provide excellent ventilation, which is essential to maintaining good indoor air quality. They’re also easier to replace and clean than other complex window styles.  Besides, these windows are quite budget-friendly.

But the fact that these windows operate against gravity can be a drawback. Unless you properly maintain them, these windows may develop slipping problems over time. 

Picture Windows

Picture windows are typically locked in place. These windows provide you with an obstructed view of the outside, which offers a wow factor. 

Of course, the biggest drawback with picture windows is that since they’re unmoving, picture windows don’t provide any airflow. But because of their lack of opening mechanisms, it means that their upkeep is simple.

Picture windows also offer lots of natural sunlight. In addition, compared to mechanical windows, these windows are more affordable.  

Bay Windows

Bay windows are a group of windows joined together and extending from the house. Because of their design, these windows create what looks like a shelf or bay on the inside.

The separate windows within a bay group meet at angles. Bow windows aren’t different, except that the design is curved without angles between the windows.  

Bay windows are quite architecturally interesting, which makes your home more beautiful. In addition, these windows allow lots of natural light to your home, besides adding your home interior’s square footage.   

The main drawback with these windows is that they tend to be pricy and require expert installation. Bay windows may also block exterior space or walkways. 

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows operate just like their name implies. One section of the window slides over another, much like sliding glass doors do. Sliding glass windows thus allow for a great deal of airflow, besides offering special sealing. 

In most homes, sliders are used for egress windows in the basement. However, these windows don’t offer the sophisticated appearance needed for homes where curb appeal is a huge concern.

Besides a lock, sliding windows seldom have other mechanical components. Thus, these windows tend to be affordable and aren’t very demanding in terms of upkeep. 

Awning Windows

Awning windows offer awning-like protection when open, hence their name. These windows are perfect for homeowners who love to leave windows open when it’s raining. 

Awning windows typically have window hinges at the top. In many cases, these windows are paired above or below picture windows. 

When not open, awning windows create a tight seal. Once you open them, there’s decent airflow within the house. 

Perhaps the main drawback of awning windows is that they may obstruct walkways when open as they tend to protrude outward. However, this is not an issue when installing the windows higher up on walls or the second floor.

Decorative Glass Windows

Decorative glass windows generally come in a wide array of styles, including stained glass and glass blocks. You can find these windows in shops that sell glass products, particularly replacement windows. 

Typically, decorative glass windows have a two-fold purpose. First, they’re excellent design points and can significantly improve a home’s curb appeal. Second, these windows offer a considerable amount of privacy.  

While decorative glass windows can provide a decent degree of natural light, they aren’t ideal if having an exterior view is vital.  

Find the Right Residential Windows for You

Windows are a significant part of any home, so it’s only reasonable that you’d want to get the right ones for you. As you’ve seen, different windows have different qualities. By considering the strengths and drawbacks of a window type, as well as your preferences and home’s design, you can make an informed decision as to which you should install.

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