Learn the Different Types of Windows
Do your old windows feel drafty? Then it’s time to get replacements, but with the many types of windows available, you might not know where to start.
There are a couple ways to classify a window – the material it’s made from and its style. Every window material and style has its own set of features.
Feldco is here to help you find the windows of your dreams. We’ll go over all of the types of windows so you can find the perfect replacement windows for your home.
What Your Windows Are Made From
Your windows can be made from a handful of different materials. Each window material has it’s own set of benefits but not every one is right for Midwestern homes.
Below, you can read about each window material and determine which one you like best.
There aren’t many types of windows that can match the beauty and elegance of wood windows. They’ll become the centerpiece of any room in your home and they’ll improve your curb appeal. However, their gorgeous and traditional looks come at a hefty cost.
The price for a wood window is much higher than every other window material. They can be upwards of $1,000 per window. You better get your checkbook ready because you’re about to break the bank.
Don’t think you’re done spending money on your windows after the initial payment. Wood windows need to be painted and stained every few years. Plus, they’re prone to warping and rotting when exposed to moisture. That’s a lot of time and money spent on the maintenance of your wood windows.
Wood windows do have the benefit of being energy efficient, but there are more energy efficient alternatives on the market. With their beauty being the#1 selling point, can you justify that hefty price tag?
Aluminum windows are much more durable than wood windows. Warping and rotting aren’t a problem and they can withstand heavy rain, snow, hail and wind. Plus, they have a much lower price tag than wood windows.
Wow! It sure sounds like aluminum windows are perfect for Midwest homeowners, but they’re not. They have their fair share of major problems.
Where aluminum windows slip up is how they absorb heat. Since aluminum is a strong conductor of heat, your windows will be hot to the touch during the spring and summer. This will transfer into your home, forcing your air conditioner to work hard to achieve your desired temperature. That will cost you a lot of money on your energy bills.
As far as aesthetics, aluminum doesn’t have the beauty or customization options of other window styles. Windows that aren’t beautiful will take away from your home’s curb appeal.
Another strong, durable window option is fiberglass. Fiberglass windows are built to withstand the elements. However, over time, fiberglass windows begin to deteriorate. They aren’t as long lasting as other window styles.
Also, the colors will fade through the years – especially with darker colors. You’ll need to paint them frequently to keep them looking their best. Like wood windows, you’ll be spending a lot of money on maintenance with fiberglass windows.
Not only that, but fiberglass windows are more expensive than many other window styles. While they don’t hit the outrageous prices of wood windows, they don’t seem to have the same quality either. There are better types of windows for homeowners in the Midwest.
Much like fiberglass and aluminum windows, steel windows are way more durable than wood windows – they can handle the Midwest’s erratic weather conditions. They’re also low maintenance and won’t need to be painted or stained ever.
They sound like the perfect windows right? Wrong! Steel windows are not energy efficient and will easily allow outside temperatures into your home. This is awful for Midwest homeowners who endure some of the coldest winters and hottest summers.
This blatant disregard for energy efficiency will also cost you financially. Your furnace and air conditioner will be under stress to try and maintain a comfortable temperature. They’ll end up using more power and you’ll see this in the cost of your energy bills.
Even with their flaws, steel windows are rather expensive. You’re paying initially for their durability, but you’ll be paying for years for their lack of energy efficiency.
If you took the looks of wood, the durability of steel, the cost of aluminum and added energy efficiency year round, what do you get? Vinyl windows!
Vinyl windows are perfect for Midwest homes. They’re durable enough to handle the weather and won’t warp, rot or expand when exposed to moisture. Plus, since the colors are baked into them when they’re manufactured, the colors will never fade.
With double or triple pane, argon gas-filled glass and foam insulated frames, your vinyl windows will make your home air tight and prevent heated or cooled air (depending on the season) from escaping. Your house will be comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside.
With all of these benefits, you’d probably think vinyl windows cost an arm and a leg. Quite the opposite! They’re extremely affordable and offer more to Midwest homeowners than any other window material.
Get the Perfect Window Style for Every Room in You Home
Now that you’ve picked the perfect window material, it’s time to choose a window style. There are many different window styles available. Some can go anywhere in your home while others are often found in certain rooms. We’ll go over the different window styles available below.
Check out our window styles video:
Double Hung Windows
The most popular window style in America is the double hung window and with good reason – they look great in any room of your home. It has two operating sashes (a top and a bottom sash) that move up and down to give you complete control over the air flow in your home.
Double hung windows are also extremely easy to clean. This is because they have tilt latches on the top corners of both sashes. When compressed you can tilt the sashes inwards so you can clean both sides from inside your home. No longer will you have to wash second story windows from a ladder outside.
There are child safety latches to prevent your double hung window from opening too far. They’re found at 3 inches and 5 inches for each sash. Now you can keep your pets and children safe around your windows without sacrificing fresh air.
Like double hung windows, casement windows are an extremely popular window style and can be installed anywhere in your home. They open using a hand crank so you have great control over how much fresh air enters your home.
You can also clean both sides of your casement window from inside. If you crank your window to the furthest it can open, you’ll notice that the back end starts moving towards the middle and the window runs perpendicular to the frame. You’re now able to reach both sides of your window from inside your home.
One feature specific to Feldco casement windows is the hand crank can lay flush against the frame. When you’re not using your window, the hand crank folds into the frame so you don’t snag anything on it. Fill out the form here for a free quote on Feldco casement windows.
You should think of a sliding window like a sideways double hung window. It has two sashes (both can be operable or only one) that open side to side on a sliding track. Since the sashes move along a track, they’re extremely easy to operate.
Sliding windows also have child safety locks like double hung windows. They’re at 3 and 5 inches and prevent children and small pets from getting out of your home through the window.
While sliding windows are becoming more popular and can be found anywhere in your home, they’re most often installed in hard to reach areas like above sinks. You usually find them in kitchens but don’t be afraid to install a sliding window in your bedroom or family room.
Awning windows allow you to enjoy fresh air during any weather condition. This is because they’re hinged at the top and open outwards from your home, creating an awning effect. Rain and snow slide off the window and away from your home.
There are several areas of your home that would look great with a sliding window. Bedrooms and family rooms where you spend a lot of time are perfect for enjoying the fresh air. They’re also great for basements.
Picture windows are one of the few types of windows that don’t open. You may be wondering, “why would I want an inoperable window?” One reason is because picture windows allow more light in to your home. You’ll be able to enjoy natural light during the day.
Picture windows are often found in living rooms and family rooms because they blur the line between the inside and the outside. This ends up making the room they’re in feel much larger and open.
You don’t have to feel limited with picture windows though. If they’re paired with operable windows such as double hung or casement windows, they’re perfect for any room in your home.
The opposite of an awning window is a hopper window. It’s hinged at the bottom and opens into your home. The handle also doubles as a strong lock that prevent people from easily opening your window.
Hopper windows are often found in basements because of the way they open. Since it opens into your home, it won’t disrupt any plants, flowers or displays you may have outside. Hopper windows allow you to shine a little light inside and control air circulation in your basement.
Bay and Bow Windows
If you have the space, bay or bow windows are beautiful types of windows. They’re large configurations of windows that extend past the facade of your home, improving its curb appeal. Plus, you’ll enjoy more natural light in your home.
Bay windows consist of 3 windows – a picture window in the middle flanked by double hung or casement windows on each side. This gives you the control over air flow of a double hung or casement window and the natural light of a picture window.
Bow windows are constructed a little differently. They’re made up of 3-5 casement or picture windows arranged in a custom order.
Both bay and bow windows also create a little window seat inside your home. This is perfect for adding an additional place to sit or window displays. Either way, adding extra space to your room makes it feel larger with bay and bow windows.
Bay and bow windows aren’t the only types of windows that go beyond your home’s exterior – garden windows jet out from your home as well. They are made up of a small box of windows with shelves perfect for housing knick-knacks.
Garden windows are often found in kitchens near the sink. They allow you to grow plants during any time of the year guaranteeing they’ll get acquitted sunlight.
You’re still able to control the air flow in your home with a garden window. The side windows on your garden window crank out like a casement window. So if your kitchen is ever getting stuffy, you’re able to fix that with a garden window.
All of the types of windows you’ve read about so far are vertical rectangles. What do you do if you want a window that’s a different shape? You get an architectural window!
Architectural windows are uniquely shaped, inoperable windows. They can go anywhere in your home but are best paired with other window styles – especially operable windows so you can control the air flow in that room.
You’re probably wondering what shapes are available. There are squares, horizontal rectangles, triangles, octagons, circles and semi-circles. All of these window shapes change how light enters your home as well.
Window Panes and Gas
Windows can also be classified by their window panes. There are single, double and triple pane windows available. The more window panes you have, the more energy efficient your windows will be.
There are also several types of gas that can be between your window panes. There’s argon gas, krypton gas and a mixture between the two. We’ve written an article all about window gases that you should check out to learn more.
Make Sure You Know the Different Types of Windows
There are many types of windows to consider before buying replacement windows. You need to know the benefits of each window material and what window style goes best in certain rooms in your home.
This article should help you determine what windows you want. Vinyl windows are the obvious choice for homeowners in the Midwest. They’re the perfect combination of durable, strong, beautiful and energy efficient. You can find that with other window materials.
You can get a free quote from Feldco for vinyl windows. We offer all the different window styles so you can get the perfect window for your home. Plus, you can rest assured knowing they’re being installed by professionals so you’ll be able to enjoy their benefits.