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5 Common Types of Windows Builders Use

Sep 27 2021

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A home builder at work

Whether you are looking to hire a home builder or thinking of purchasing a constructed home from a developer, it is important for you to know the quality and types of windows that are about to be installed.

For a structure that is about to be built, you usually have the option to make adjustments if the original plan was to use builder-grade windows. However, if you are purchasing an already-constructed home from a builder, knowing the quality and types of windows will help you decide if the price given to you is worth it.

To help you make the right decisions, we at Ontario Window Reviews, have put together a guide in which we talk about the different kinds of builder-grade windows there are. We will also discuss the different types of windows builders use, along with their pros and cons.

Let’s get started!

A single-storey house under construction with different types of windows to be installed

Builder-Grade Windows Vs. Premium-Grade Windows

From the outside, there are no glaringly obvious differences between brand new builder-grade windows and brand new premium-grade windows. However, time will expose how far apart they are in terms of quality.

Builder-Grade Windows

Builder-grade windows, also known as contractor windows, are usually stripped down to the bare necessities. They are also made using low-grade materials. Typically, these are the default types of windows installed by builders and developers, no matter what shape they take on – whether they are casement windows, slider windows, awning windows, and so on. It’s no surprise that builder-grade windows have a lifespan of only five to 10 years and their warranties are just as short-lived.

Premium-Grade Windows

On the other side of the spectrum are premium-grade windows. These are windows that are built to last. They are made of high-quality materials, which is typically vinyl. Unlike builder-grade windows, most premium-grade windows meet or even exceed the Energy Star criteria. They also tend to boast other benefits such as:

Premium-grade windows are also made by trusted window manufacturers who offer longer warranty periods; some even have a factory lifetime warranty.

How Can You Tell Which is Which?

Oftentimes, finding out who the window manufacturer is gives you a good idea whether the windows are builder-grade or premium-grade. Whether you are looking to purchase a home or have one that is already being constructed by a builder, it pays to ask.

After you’ve ascertained that your home-to-be can have premium-grade windows, it’s time to take a closer look at the types of windows that builders use. In the next section, we talk about these types of windows, as well as their pros and cons that will affect your home experience.

Homebuilders installing a slider window to a constructed house

Types of Windows Builders Use

1. Slider Windows

Slider windows, whether builder-grade or premium-grade, are relatively more affordable when compared to hinged windows. Many builders and developers opt for this type of window.

Pros Cons
  • Do not obstruct the space in front of the home, ideal for patios and window boxes
  • Relatively cheaper than hinged windows
  • Contemporary look
  • Do not fully open like hinged windows
  • Builder-grade windows of this type are particularly prone to air leakages

2. Casement Windows

Casement windows are usually installed in higher-priced homes with a contemporary design. Casement windows are typically more costly than slider windows and hung windows. They open like a door, having a hinge on the side that allows the window panel to swing open.

Pros Cons
  • Opens fully, allowing for full ventilation
  • The best choice for egress windows
  • Contemporary look
  • Builder-grade windows of this type are particularly prone to hardware failure due to subpar materials
  • Obstructs the front space, cannot be used for patios or with window boxes

3. Awning Windows

Awning windows are like casement windows turned on their side. These windows have a hinge at the top that allows the window to open outward from the bottom. Typically, they are used in the attic. When installed on a sloped roof, these windows keep out raindrops even when fully open thanks to the window panel that swings up.

Pros Cons
  • Opens completely allowing for full ventilation
  • When open, it can keep out light rain, even on a sloped roof
  • Contemporary look
  • Builder-grade windows of this type are particularly prone to hardware failure due to subpar materials
  • Obstructs the front space, cannot be used for patios or with window boxes
  • Cannot be used as an egress window for the basement

4. Single Hung Windows

Single-hung windows are cheaper than their double-hung counterparts, which is why they are commonly chosen by builders and developers. These windows have a panel that slides up, and a top panel that stays fixed in place.

Pros Cons
  • Does not obstruct the space in front of the home, perfect for patios and window boxes
  • More affordable than hinged windows or double-hung counterparts
  • Traditional look
  • Does not fully open like hinged windows
  • Builder-grade windows of this type are particularly prone to air leakages
  • Cannot be used as an egress window

5. Fixed or Picture Windows

These windows are designed to let in more natural light, thereby making the home brighter and more appealing. However, these windows do not open. They can be placed in areas that are typically poorly lit, such as staircase landings, doorways, corners, and hallways.

They are a popular choice for builders who want to extend the glass area of windows. Because of extension purposes, picture windows are typically incorporated into a window combination. For example, they can be placed between two sliders or two casement windows.

Pros Cons
  • More affordable than operable windows of the same size
  • Can effectively showcase a view and let in more sunlight
  • Can be part of any window combination
  • By design, it does not give added ventilation

Trusted Window Companies That You Can Count On

Now that you know all about the types of windows builders use, what are your next steps?

If you’ve found out that your home-to-be has (or will have) builder-grade windows, you can take the next step and upgrade by getting premium-grade windows today. Check out our list of the top-rated and most trusted window companies in Ontario!

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