Spring is the perfect time to do exterior work on your home; especially if you need to replace windows and doors. If you’re in the market for new windows, I suggest you educate yourself on the types of windows available.  This will help establish your window requirements and preferences so that you can make the best window selection for your home.

Types of Windows

Single Hung (SH):  A fixed top sash that does not operate. The lower sash can be operated vertically. These windows are commonly used in new construction. The operable sash will often tilt in to allow for easy cleaning of the exterior glass surface.

Double Hung (DH):  Both sashes in a frame are operable. Often both sashes will tilt in to allow for easy cleaning of the glass. These windows are commonly used in remodeling.

Awning:  A window that opens from a top hinge and projects outward.

Hopper:  A hopper window is the reverse of an awning window in that it pivots at the bottom and opens inward.

Casement (CA):  A window containing one or more side-hinged openings that open either outward or inward. A conventional casement window has a sash that projects outward. They are opened with a crank or lever, which is placed around hand height or at the bottom and serves as a window lock.Most casement windows will allow the sash to open 90 degrees with the sash sliding away from the vertical jamb or side of the window. This allows for cleaning of the exterior glass from the interior. Casement windows are very energy efficient.

Horizontal Sliding (HS):  A side-by-side pair of windows that slide side-to-side rather than opening outward or upward. Single sliders have one fixed sash, while double sliders have two movable sash. Slider sashes in many window designs will either tilt in or lift out to facilitate cleaning of the exterior surfaces of the glass.

Picture (PW):  Non-venting or non-operable window. Also know as a fixed window. They are used to let in a lot of light and to take advantage of a view. Picture windows are often used in combination with operating windows.

Bays & Bows:  Bays and bows are a combination of windows that project outward from a building wall. A bay window has a fixed centre window parallel to the wall flanked by two operating windows (casement or double hung windows) attached at an angle (usually 45 degrees). Bow windows have more than three sections set at gentle angles (usually 10 degrees) that give the window a curved appearance (like a bow).

Garden Window:  A window unit that consists of a three-dimensional, five-sided structure generally protruding from the wall in which it is installed. The window may or may not open.

Egress Window:  A window that opens wide enough to allow escape from inside (and entrance for rescue workers). Many building codes require egress windows in all bedrooms that do not have doors that exit the building. For example, a basement room can not be described as a “bedroom” unless there is an egress window (and large enough window well) or door to the exterior of the building. Please check your local codes for additional requirements.

Tilt & Turn (Dual Action):  A window that operates in two different ways — typically, the window consists of a sash that may tilt from the top or may swing inward from the side.

Storm Window:  A glazed window attachment product designed to be mounted to the inside or outside of a window to create an air space between the window and the storm window. This is sometimes called an “energy panel.”


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