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Window Types: Pros and Cons


The fun thing about windows is that you don’t have to stick with a single-window type in your home. While we don’t suggest using a different type of window for each room in your home, mixing it up between 2 -3 types could give your house a certain flair.

Furthermore, each window type is great for a specific purpose. Large sliding windows fit well in areas overlooking a great view, especially when opening it up can give you a nice airy breeze at certain times of the day. In areas where you might need more privacy, maybe a casement-type window with opaque glass would be a better option.

Before deciding on which windows you want for your home, it’s best to be sure that they are the exact ones you want and are the best type for the area. You wouldn’t want to have your new windows installed just to have to take them out because they don’t fit the house well; that would cost too much.

So, American Construction has compiled this quick guide on the pros and cons of different window types to give you a better idea of what each type can offer.

Single or Double Hung Windows

A single or double-hung window has 2 panels, one on top and another below, usually of equal size, that you can slide up or down to open and close. Depending on whether you can slide just one panel or both panels, they are identified as being either single or double-hung. These windows provide excellent ventilation as they can be opened at both the top and bottom, allowing cool air to enter your home from the bottom while warm air escapes from the top. Also, they are easy to clean as the panes can be slanted inward. However, the parallel rail in the middle can obstruct the view.


  • Provides good ventilation
  • Easy to clean
  • Nice appearance
  • Fit in well with most rooms


  • Parallel rail in the middle blocks a good view
  • Not energy efficient
  • Only 1 side opens at a time
  • Limited ventilation
  • Need to open manually
  • Hard for small children to open

Casement Windows

Casement windows have a simple frame and form. Depending on the size of the window, one or two hinges on one side allow it to swing open much like a door. When opening a casement window, you only need to unlock it from the inside and swing it outward.


  • Easy to open
  • Provides great view
  • Great ventilation because it can open fully
  • Easy to clean on the inside


  • If not balanced properly by the manufacturer, can be difficult to close
  • Difficult to clean the exterior side of the glass when on a higher story
  • The whole window hangs out of your deck

Awning/Hopper Windows

Awning or Hopper windows are sometimes considered the same as casement windows. However, unlike casement windows, these do not open sideways and often do not open fully. Awning windows open outward. The hinge is usually at the top of the frame. Whereas, hoppers open inward and, depending on the manufacturer, can open either from the top or bottom.

Both windows share the same general pros and cons because of a very similar form. When both are closed, it is often difficult to identify one from the other.


  • Safe against intruders
  • Awning windows can stay open during the rain since the raised panel prevents the rainwater from going in


  • Minimal ventilation
  • Difficult to open securely for children
  • The latch system is prone to wear and tear

Sliding Windows

The easiest way to describe a sliding window is to picture out a sliding door; only smaller. Sliding windows have a panel that you can slide open. Usually, both sides can be slid left or right, but there are somewhere only one panel is movable. Whether both sides are movable or not, you can still only have half the window open at a time.


  • The window is open from top to bottom
  • This window type is a space saver
  • Very easy to slide open


  • Difficult to open or close when dirt or debris gets stuck in the tracking
  • Locks are usually prone to damage

Picture Windows

Also known as fixed windows, these are windows that cannot be opened. Instead, you have a frame and a large glass pane that allows you to get a good view of the outside.


  • Gives your house a good aesthetic and design
  • Frames a nice view of the outdoors


  • Cannot be opened
  • Does not provide ventilation

The styles above are some of the more common options available. You can actually custom-design your own windows to fit your exact needs. However, this would also be at an added cost. Using standard windows can be lighter on your budget, especially with the costs also depending on the size and frame materials among other factors.

Ultimately, choosing the right window type also depends on where the window will be located. Proper placement is as important as having the right materials and style. But, one important thing to note is that whatever the type of window you decide on, a proper installation by a skilled team will ensure that you get a strong, durable, and long-lasting window.

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