A Look at Some Different Kinds of Windows


If you're thinking about installing new windows then have a look a some of the different types of windows here and maybe they'll help you with some ideas you hadn't yet thought of.

Fixed aka Picture

This is the simplest type of window which is simply one that can't be opened. You would typically install these in places where ventilation isn't required, or you have other means of ventilating the space.

fixed window


Although slightly less common today due to sliding windows, these were once the most common type found in homes. They typically open outwards (although sometimes inwards) by being hinged at the sides. Although they usually come in pairs I previously lived in a house which had sets of three in a row which all opened on the left with hinges on the right.

casement windows


These are essentially the same as Casement windows except that the hinges are placed at the top of the frame so the open upwards rather than sideways. These can be a handy option for lofts where you have a sloped ceiling and the walls aren't tall enough for a regular window.

awning window


These are basically full sized Casement windows that reach all the way down to the floor and are used as doors - often these will open out onto a deck or patio area.

french windows

Single Hung Sash

These are usually made from two panels, which can include multiple frames, and only one of the panels slides open - usually by sliding the bottom panel up. We had these types of windows at my high school however due to poor maintenance the cords holding the sash weights were often broken resulting in the occasional drop of the open window giving rise to a loud bang and sometimes broken glass - my chemistry teacher nearly had a heart attack one day when I opened the bottom window and it fell down. If you're going to install these types of windows just remember they do require a little maintenance every few years.

Single Hung Sash Window

Double Hung Sash

These are similar to the Single Hung Sash windows above except that both panels can slide open. One benefit is that during the summer you can open both the top and bottom halves which allows warmer air to exit the top side while cooler air circulates in from the bottom half.

Double Hung Sash Window


These consist of at least 3 frames which are placed at angles protruding from the inside of the home. The produce a feeling of increased space in the room and they are excellent for allowing more light to enter the room throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.

Bay Window

Sliding or Gliding

These are one of the most common types of windows today. There are generally two panes and one slides open across the fixed pane making half the total window size open to the outside. The most common type are made with aluminum frames and require very little maintenance. Large ones are often used as sliding doors.

sliding windows


These are installed in the roof and are fantastic for getting light into an interior part of the home that doesn't have a great deal of external light sources and the traditional ones great for bringing in light and ventilating at the same time allowing warm air to escape through the roof. They come in a wide variety of styles including some which use fiber optic cables to bring the light down from the roof to the ceiling through an attic - some of the more advanced types even have light collectors which track the sun throughout the day.

1. Traditional skylight: 2. Fiber optic solar collector: 3. Fiber optic light fixture

Bricked Windows

You probably wouldn't want to install these, but they are rather common in old buildings in England. These bizarre sights are the result of a 1696 property tax based on the number of windows a building had - it became known as the "Window Tax". Many building owners were so incensed at the tax that they chose to brick up many windows in what was one of the more interesting tax avoidance schemes throughout history. The British Government finally came to their senses 156 years later and repealed the tax.

bricked up window

All of these different kinds of windows can also come with different treatments such as double glazing for better insulation, tinted to reflect heat while allowing some light in, and stained glass like the type you see at churches to add color and art.

You might also like to read:
How to Protect Your Double Pane Windows from Condensation