What’s Your Type? Navigating Window Replacement Options
For those new to the window replacement process, the variety of window types available can be overwhelming if you’re not armed with the right vocabulary. Here’s your terminology guide to aid in making the right match for your home.
Windows can crank, lift, glide, tilt and turn, move up, down and sideways. For homeowners who need to replace windows in their home, it can seem that options for the look and functionality to replace your old windows are endless. The type of product you choose and how it operates will help you determine the ideal function and look of the windows for your project, so it is important to understand terminology your contractor or building professional might use to describe the options available to you.
Double Hung Window
The most popular type of window, the double hung, has previously been associated with more traditional homes, but is making a resurgence in transitional and even modern projects. Two sections of framed glass offer ventilation by sliding bottom up and top down.
This window is hinged on the side, and swings inward or outward like a door, letting air flow freely. You might hear the term “crank-out casement,” which refers to the motion of the hardware when you’re opening and closing the window.
Designed specifically for horizontal operation, gliders have glass-framed panels that slide open on tracks, meaning no lifting is involved.
This type of window is hinged on top and swings outward, so you can leave it open when it rains. Awnings are often placed higher in a home for added privacy and natural light.
When choosing replacement windows, it’s important to keep in mind the window location and how often you might need to access it. Keep in mind that you may choose to replace an existing window with a different type that is better suited for the space—you’re not locked into choosing the same type of window you had before. For instance, you might choose to use a casement to replace an existing double hung window in your home.
Certain window types can be better for certain areas of your home. For example, consider casements for hard to reach places, like over a sink. Tilt turns might be an alternative to a balcony door or for an emergency exit option. Double hungs are easy to clean from the inside with a tilt-in wash mode, and gliders might be a good choice when space doesn’t allow for swinging windows, such as windows overlooking an outdoor patio or deck.
Armed with a new understanding of the language of windows, you and your building professional can have an informed conversation about what type of window replacement is the right fit for you and your home.