Explaining All the Major Types of Windows

Open window

Windows can create a beautiful aesthetic for your home while lowering your energy bills. However, if you’re in the market for new windows, it can be challenging to know where to start as there are many different window types out there. So, let’s look at the various window types and then how to get the best window contractor for the job.

Window Design Basic Terms

Before we go any further, let’s define terms used when looking at windows.

Fixed and Operable. Operable windows can be opened, and fixed windows cannot.
Pane. A sheet of glass.
Sashes. A sash holds the glass panes together. It can move. It fits inside the window frame.
Frame. The framework surrounds and supports the entire window system. Frame materials include wood, vinyl, aluminum, or a combination of these.
Rails. The horizontal top and bottom of a sash.

What Are the Different Window Types?

There are many window types, which can be confusing. The best window type depends on various factors and desires. For example, if you live in a cold environment, you might want to invest in double-pane windows to insulate the interior from the freezing temperatures outside. Here are different window types and a few pros and cons of each.


These windows consist of a fixed upper sash and an operable lower sash. The lower sash may tilt inward for easy cleaning.


  • Less expensive than double-hung windows.
  • Most popular windows used in new construction.


  • Fewer ventilation options because only the lower sash can be opened.
  • Center rail can obstruct the view.
  • The exterior glass is hard to clean if the lower sash doesn’t tilt.


With double-hung windows, both upper and lower sashes are operable.


  • Both sashes tilt for easy cleaning.
  • Excellent ventilation because both sashes can open.


  • More expensive than other options.
  • Center rail can obstruct the view.


A single pane of glass without any rails obstructing the view. Picture windows are fixed.


  • Designed to let in a lot of light.
  • They are airtight, so no drafts.


  • They are fixed so, no ventilation.
  • They have to be cleaned from the outside as well as inside.

Bay Windows

Bay windows are a type of window that projects outward from the side of a building. The window is angular or curved made up of multiple sections. Window sections can be fixed or operable.


  • Take up a large portion of the wall to allow in more light.
  • Increased airflow facilitates increased ventilation.


  • They can be expensive due to requiring a customized fit.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are operable with hinges on one side. Windows are opened using a hand crank.


  • There are no rails to obstruct the view.
  • Excellent ventilation.


  • The crank mechanism can wear out.

How to Choose the Best Window Type

The best window for your home is the one that will provide you with the most benefits, such as natural lighting and ventilation. Don’t be afraid to mix it up depending on the room.

How Can a Window Contractor Help?

A good window contractor can help you with your window needs. Whether it’s a new window installation, repair, or replacement, a good contractor can recommend options that will meet your needs and budget.

Carolina Home Remodeling

Are you confused by the types of windows available for your home? Carolina Home Remodeling can help. Our team of professional window contractors will help you select the windows and then expertly install them. Call 704-714-5744 and see what we can do for you.

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