20 Types of Windows + Pros, Cons, and Average Installation Cost
This might sound unexpected, but there are more types of windows that you think. You may notice that as soon as you start renovating your house and replacing your old windows with the new ones – with tons of options, it’s sometimes difficult to opt for the ideal one.
However, it’s important to mention that each window type serves a different purpose and that their prices vary. The average cost of the window usually depends on its type, frame material, and the glass, but there are also the installation costs that you shouldn’t forget. It’s vital to find a credible and trained team of glass repair technicians that will do the work properly – otherwise, even the best windows will be a waste of money.
This article will deliver the most important information about window styles and their strengths and weaknesses. That way, you’ll learn more about the topic and choose your replacement windows more wisely.
Main Types of Residential Windows
Before you start looking for a specific type of window, you should know whether you need one designated for new construction or replacement. Windows for new structures have a nailing fin, which is a rim that allows you to secure the windows in an existing frame in the rough wall opening.
Replacement windows, on the other hand, are secured in an existing frame with fasteners that run through the window assembly. That way, you can install them much easier. Windows can also be operable (you can open them) and fixed (you can’t open them).
A Window’s Anatomy
The jargon used in the windows industry may sound intimidating if you haven’t had the opportunity to use it before. Therefore, we’re going to present the basics of the window’s anatomy so that you can have it much clearer:
- Head jamb: The main vertical part that forms the very top of the window frame.
- Grilles between the glass (GBG): These are color-matched grids installed between glass panes. They are attractive and easy-to-clean options.
- Glazing: It’s a part of a window that’s made of glass.
- Sash: It’s a movable part of a window that holds the glass panes together.
- Stile: It is the main vertical member in the framework of a sash.
- Rail: Rail is the horizontal piece of a sash, and it comes as the upper rail and the lower rail.
- Sill: A window sill is a surface at the bottom of a window.
You’ll find other window-related terms depending on the window type that you choose, but the words mentioned above are the most common ones, and you’ll see them quite frequently.
We can move on to the specific windows types and their features.
20 Different Types of Windows: Specs, Pros, and Cons
Each house window type has its own specs and purposes, and you should choose one based on its appearance and primary functions. Think about whether you want them to be operable or fixed, the amount of light they let in, and if they are easy to be maintained and cleaned.
Here are the 20 most common types of windows you may consider:
1. Single-Hung Windows
Single-hung windows come with a movable lower sash and a fixed upper sash. They are convenient for those that want low-maintenance windows that are easy to clean. They are ideal for patios and walkways.
- Convenient for any home design
- Easy to install
- You have to clean them from the outside since only the lower sash is operable
- Since only one part of the window can be opened, the ventilation may be limited.
2. Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows are similar to the single-hung type. Still, the big difference between them is that both upper and lower sash are operable in double-hung windows, which may be their biggest advantage. These windows are easy to clean and provide better ventilation than the single-hung type. They are more expensive, though.
- Perfect for narrow outside spaces
- Comes in a variety of designs
- Double-hung windows are not as airtight as some other windows types you may find on the market
- Although they may be more convenient than the single-hung windows, the ventilation can still be limited.
3. Casement Windows
Casement windows are those that swing out to the side or up to open. They are in the category of single-sash windows installed vertically, and you can open them inwards or outward from the sides, depending on their design.
- Excellent ventilation
- They are often high-quality
- They come in different designs and materials
- Adaptable to almost every architectural design.
- It’s not considered very secure
- Size limitations.
4. Arched Windows
Arched windows come with rounded tops, which makes them convenient for every home design that needs to be enhanced by a dose of style. Most arched windows cannot be open or close, but some of them can be open the same way casement windows do. Homeowners often decide to install arched windows above the standard ones that provide ventilation.
- They provide a unique architectural style
- Versatile and adaptable design
- They bring a lot of light into the room.
- No ventilation
- Do not provide ideal escape routes during emergencies.
5. Awning Windows
Awning windows are designed to tilt outwards, which is usually the reason why people love or hate them. However, such a mechanism brings many advantages, such as water-resistance and the ability to prevent it from limiting the size of the room.
- They provide excellent insulation
- They prevent rain and snow from entering the room.
- The outer portion of the window pane is a bit difficult to clean
- Not convenient if you keep plants or have other barriers of the space outside of the wall.
6. Hopper Windows
Hopper windows are similar to awning windows, but the only difference is that hopper windows tilt inwards. They are suitable for smaller spaces, such as basements or bathrooms, and although they’re pretty compact, they provide excellent insulation since they seal up against the frame when you close them all the way.
- Easy to operate and access
- Top-notch insulation
- Convenient for narrow rooms
- Possibility of water entry
- Limited privacy.
7. Sliding Windows
Sliding windows come in different sizes, designs, and styles. The most popular type of a sliding window is a two-panel slider – it has two panels where both of them slide left and right, allowing a lot of ventilation. There is also a three-panel slider that comes with a lot of benefits.
- Easy to install
- Convenient for narrow outside spaces
- They match almost any architectural style
- Durable and long-lasting.
- Their cleaning may be challenging since they don’t swivel inwards or outwards, especially if you have them on the upper floor.
8. Skylight Windows
You will see skylight windows mostly on the roof of vacation houses or cabins because they are excellent at conserving energy and providing a stunning view of the sky from the outside. They can also be a suitable choice for your home if you like natural daylight.
- Excellent for dark areas that need a bit of a natural daylight
- They provide indirect solar light
- They bring a dose of style to any interior.
- Expensive to install
- Can cause roof leaks
- They can damage the roof structure.
9. Bay Windows
Apart from being quite extravagant, bay windows add space to the room and bring a lot of daylight. They often have an outer frame, and they’re hexagonal. They are installed out of the home, and they consist of a center window from which two sides are angled at 30 to 40 degrees. Therefore, their installation is pretty expensive.
- Pretty aesthetic and wide
- They provide a panoramic view of the outside
- They take your home’s design to the next level.
- Pricey installation and replacement
10. Bow Windows
Bow windows create a circular area along the outside of your home, providing it with a stunning and classy design. These windows are a variation of bay windows, but unlike bay windows that have hexagonal and straight edges, bow windows have curved edges that deliver a bit different look that may remind you of the arch.
- Exquisite window design
- They provide a lot of natural daylight
- They add space to the interior.
- Difficult to clean
- Not for people who don’t prefer bright rooms.
11. Oriel Windows
Oriel windows are a type of bay windows, and they are frequently used in the upper floors supported by brackets, corbels, or similar. This house window type extends the room, but it’s not convenient for those that don’t like extra light in their home.
- Ornamental and elegant
- They provide more natural light
- Panoramic view of the outside
- They add space to your room, and make it look more luxurious.
- The extra cost for customizing the window decoration
- People who don’t like extra sunlight in their room won’t like these house windows.
12. Cottage Windows
Similar to double-hung windows, cottage windows feature the upper sash that’s shorter than the lower one. They are commonly known as a “front window type,” the “Georgian,” and “Tudor” window types. Their design is classy and evergreen, which is why they never go out of style.
- They match any house design.
- It may be challenging to clean them due to the smaller upper sash.
13. Picture Windows
Picture windows are incredibly large and don’t have any breaks or visible frames, which is why the view it provides is quite flawless and beautiful. These windows are fixed and cannot be opened, but they provide a significant dose of daylight.
- Extremely energy-efficient
- Beautiful view from your room.
- They provide no ventilation.
14. Round Circle Windows
Round circle windows are excellent for homeowners that want to enhance their home décor with a dose of sophistication and style. They may remind you of some historical eras, such as Victorian or Gothic, and their styles, which serve as inspiration for many contemporary structures. Circle windows aren’t always round, but you can find elliptical, oval, or half-round.
- They come in different styles and designs that match your home design
- Classic and unique
- They allow more natural light.
- Most round windows cannot be opened or closed
- No ventilation.
15. Jalousie Windows
Jalousie windows are classy and evergreen window type that comes in different designs that match your home’s architectural style. These windows open like a set of blinds that you can adjust to suit you the best. They are affordable and meet most homeowners’ needs.
- Parallel glass
- Excellent ventilation
- They maintain airflow during storms.
- They are not considered as secure as other window types.
16. Storm Windows
Storm windows are exterior windows that come with an additional layer of protection from storms and cold weather. They will keep your home warm during cold winter and cool during hot summer days. These window options are suitable for coastal areas.
- Low costs of installation
- Improved home insulation
- Convenient throughout the year.
- Wooden areas can be easily damaged due to condensation between two layers.
17. Glass Block Windows
Glass block windows are incredibly convenient for all the homeowners who want to enhance their privacy and security with a dose of style and slight elegance. These house windows come in different designs, and the most common are frosted and adorned, which allow both light and privacy. People often use them in bathrooms, basements, and other spaces where they want to feel secure.
- Improved privacy
- Plenty of different designs
- They feature a thick and durable finish that provides an excellent dose of security for both homes and offices.
- They may distort light and images
- No natural ventilation.
18. Transom Windows
Transom windows are a type of decorative windows suitable for breaking up space and adding a dose of a unique design. You may see these windows above doors or other windows in homes, and you’ll notice a beautiful home accent they provide. Although they often come in a semicircle shape, you may see some other equally stunning designs.
- Beautiful decorative windows for house
- They provide improved insulation and ventilation.
- These windows may be difficult to clean.
19. Garden Windows
Garden windows are mini bay windows that are specifically designed for plants. They are called “garden windows” because they act like small greenhouses that come from the inside of your home. They are in the form of a four-sided window that is able to provide enough amount of sunlight that plants need, and they are convenient for exhibiting your colorful and healthy flowers right from your living room.
- Stunning and aesthetically pleasant design
- Act like a small greenhouse
- Very durable.
- If not correctly installed, these windows can interfere with any objects that you keep outdoors.
20. Egress Windows
Egress windows are excellent for those who claim that safety comes first. They make a convenient escape route due to emergencies such as fire when you’re unable to exit through the door. These types of windows are typically installed in basements, and some counties even require you to have them for safety laws. You may also need to excavate a particular area so that egress windows can be installed properly.
- They can serve as an excellent escape route due to emergencies such as fire
- Convenient for brightening dark rooms, especially basements
- They bring a lot of ventilation
- They can be very attractive.
- Their installation can be quite exhausting.
- If not properly installed, they can cause moisture problems.