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7 Replacement Window Styles: Pros and Cons

Nov 19 2021

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If you’re reading this article, you may be considering getting replacement windows for your home sometime soon. This guide dives deep into the pros and cons of each window type. We’ll also talk about ideal placements for each type of window. 

Let’s get started!

A Quick Reminder Before Proceeding

Replacement window styles, along with their pros and cons, are just some parts of the equation that you need to consider. The following aspects are also equally important: 

Now that we’ve covered these important points, let’s move on to the pros and cons of various replacement window styles. 

A contractor installing windows

The Pros and Cons of Different Replacement Window Styles

1. Casement Windows Pros and Cons

Casement windows have hinged window sashes that open outwards, similar to how doors operate. These windows usually have an easy-to-use crank that opens or locks the window sashes. The window sashes typically open to a full 90 degrees, allowing plenty of ventilation.

 

Casement Windows 
Pros Cons
  • Opens fully to give maximum ventilation
  • Looks great in virtually any home design
  • Relatively easy to clean when compared to non-tilting hung/sliding windows
  • The window’s capacity to fully open can be a danger for wandering pets or small children
  • The window’s operation makes it obstructive and unsuitable if you want to grow plants on window boxes or for areas like walkways or patios  


Applications:

  • Great for virtually any room in the house except walkways and patios. 
  • Particularly beneficial in rooms that need added ventilation. 
  • The perfect basement bedroom egress window, since it opens like a door.

2. Awning Windows Pros and Cons

Awning windows can be thought of as casement windows in landscape orientation. The window sash of awning windows is also hinged, but instead of being hinged on the side, they are hinged at the top. This means that the window sash of awning windows opens outwards from the bottom. When fully open, the window sashes of awning windows are parallel with the sky.

 

Awning Windows 
Pros Cons
  • Opens fully to give maximum ventilation
  • Looks great in virtually any home design
  • Unique advantage: awning windows can be left open in the midst of light rain because the horizontally opened sash can block droplets
  • The window’s capacity to fully open can be a danger for wandering pets or small children
  • The window’s operation makes it obstructive and unsuitable if you want to grow plants on window boxes or for areas like walkways or patios 
  • Relatively harder to clean than casement windows

 

Applications:

  • The perfect window for showers. The horizontally opened window sash (especially if tinted) will give added privacy from higher neighbouring floors. 
  • The perfect window for sloped roofs in attics. In case of rain, the horizontally opened sash will keep the first drops from entering the window opening on the sloped roof.

3. Hung Windows Pros and Cons

Hung windows have a window sash that slides up and down. If one sash moves and the other is fixed, that is what’s known as a single-hung window. If both window sashes can move up and down, that is what’s known as a double-hung window. If you see the word “tilt” added, as in “double-hung tilt windows,” it means that the two movable window sashes can also be tilted inwards for easier cleaning. 

Hung Windows 
Pros Cons
  • Easy to clean if the window sashes tilt
  • Double-hung windows can be opened at the top and locked at the bottom to keep pets and small children safe
  • Unobstructed opening mechanism 
  • Can be difficult to clean if without the tilting feature
  • The window opening cannot be fully open at any given time, meaning less ventilation
  • Without superior weather stripping, this window design is prone to leaks


Applications:

  • Great for bedrooms, home offices, living rooms, and other similar spaces.
  • Perfect for walls adjacent to walkways and patios.

4. Slider/Sliding Windows Pros and Cons

The slider or sliding windows can be thought of as hung windows oriented horizontally. The window sashes of sliding windows move from side to side. Just like hung windows, slider windows can be single or double. A single-slider window would have one fixed sash and one that slides. Meanwhile, a double-slider window means that both window sashes can move. In addition, slider or sliding windows also have a “tilt” variant, which indicates that a window sash can be tilted for easier cleaning. 

Slider/Sliding Windows 
Pros Cons
  • Easy to clean if the window sashes tilt
  • An opening unobstructed mechanism 
  • Can be difficult to clean without the tilting feature
  • The window opening cannot be fully open at any given time, meaning ventilation is relatively less 
  • Without superior weatherstripping, this window design can be prone to leaks


Applications:

  • Looks sleek and contemporary in virtually any room in the house.
  • With the right size, slider windows can also be a basement egress window.
  • Perfect for walls adjacent to walkways and patios.

5. Bay Windows Pros and Cons

As a projection window, bay windows stick out from the home’s exterior wall, thereby allowing for additional interior space. Bay windows are made up of three window components; some of these may be fixed while others may be operable. 

Bay Windows 
Pros Cons
  • An immersive view of the outside
  • More sunlight
  • Added interior space for sitting, reading, storage, growing plants, and more!
  • A particularly bold architectural element
  • Relatively more expensive to install
  • You may need to have bay windows in pairs or more, depending on your home’s design


Applications:

  • Bay windows are perfect for practically any space except the basement or areas of the home with a sloped roof.

6. Bow Windows Pros and Cons 

Bow windows also count as a “projection window.” What differentiates bow windows from bay windows is the number of window components. Typically, bow windows could have four or more window components that are arranged in a convex shape or bow. 

Bow Windows 
Pros Cons
  • More sunlight
  • Added interior space for sitting or having a small storage
  • A luxurious architectural element
  • Relatively more expensive
  • Not as much additional interior space as bay windows


Applications:

  • Like bay windows, bow windows are perfect for practically any space except the basement or areas of the home with a sloped roof.

7. Fixed Windows or Picture Windows Pros and Cons 

True to their name, fixed windows, also known as picture windows, do not open. These windows are designed to provide ventilation. Instead, they are meant for allowing additional sunlight to come into the internal space. 

Fixed Windows 
Pros Cons
  • Great for showcasing a view or lighting up a room
  • Relatively more affordable than operable windows
  • Available in more diverse and customizable shapes
  • Fixed windows are relatively more energy-efficient than its operable counterparts
  • Not designed to give ventilation

 

Applications:

  • Can be used to create a window combination with an operable window, hence allowing for more sunlight.
  • Also works wonderfully in room corners, around doors, along hallways, along an entire gable, and near staircase landings.

A contractor installs a window

Get the Best Options From Trusted Manufacturers 

As we’ve discussed in this guide, different replacement window styles have their own pros and cons. To enjoy more of the benefits of each window type, it is important to purchase your windows from trusted manufacturers.

Check out our guide for more information on how to choose the right window design for your home. If you’re in the process of building a new home, check out these common types of windows builders use before getting started.
To help you along with your next steps, check out our list of trusted window companies with genuine reviews from past customers.

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