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As with most home improvement projects, window replacement involves making careful decisions. This goes beyond choosing durable, long-lasting framing material and energy-efficient glass, or hiring a trusted window company for the job (although both are crucial factors to keep in mind). You’ll need to take into account something as simple as window style, as well.
Replacement windows come in many options, including two of the most popular–casement and double-hung. If you need to decide between one or the other, it helps to learn each style’s distinctive features. Both windows, after all, offer a number of advantages which can address you and your home’s specific needs. Before making your choice, take a closer look at these exceptional window styles:
This window style has been around for centuries, gracing homes across the country with its clean and simple appearance. In fact, the classic styling offered by double-hung windows make them the most widely used type of window today. They are recognizable by their two operable sashes, which slide vertically. Between the frames lies a large glass area which helps provide extended outdoor views and access to considerable natural light.
Why Should You Choose Double-Hung Windows?
Homeowners know that when it comes to style and functionality, double-hung windows can definitely deliver. They are:
- Highly versatile, allowing them to match most architectural styles. They look excellent in traditional Colonial, Craftsman, Victorian, or French Tudor homes. They are also gaining traction in contemporary-modern homes, where you can create a “wall of light” by having a premier window company install a row of large double-hung windows on one side. This allows for a brighter, more spacious-looking home.
- Fully customizable, available in both contemporary check rail, which is elegantly curved, and traditional check rail, which has sharper edges. You’ll also have the chance to equip them with your choice of hardware and finish, exterior-interior color, grille pattern, and glass.
- Extremely functional, since they are available with tilt-in or removable sash options, which makes cleaning them from inside your home a breeze. Unlike casement windows, they can easily be adapted to accept air conditioners and screens because they slide up and down instead of cranking out or sliding to the side. Screens can also be added and removed as necessary. Additionally, double-hung windows are safe–they don’t get in the way because their panes don’t protrude into adjoining walkways, or out onto your patio, or porch.
While replacement window installation of any kind can already provide a boost to home value, double-hung windows guarantee it because they’re both stylish and functional.
Why Shouldn’t You Choose Double-Hung Windows?
This window style isn’t as airtight as other options. It requires precise measurements for its window installation to reduce the potential for moisture and air leaks. Getting quadruple weatherstripping for double-hung windows is also recommended to prevent heating energy from escaping and cold air from entering. This way, they can be as insulated as casement or fixed windows. Limited ventilation is one other reason to maybe forego double-hung windows. Because they work by sliding the top or bottom sash, the ventilation area is equal only to half of the window’s total area at a time.
Before sash windows were introduced, casements had been the go-to choice for many homeowners. This window style is attached to the frame via side hinges, which also allow the panes to swing outward.
Why Should You Choose Casement Windows?
Like double-hung, casement windows offer many rewarding features, including:
- Extensive design choices, from French, flat top, pushout, top down grille, colonial grille, prairie grille, and sans grille. Variants of casement windows, in fact, are still the norm in many European countries. You can also customize them for your desired size and color. Casement windows can perfectly match traditional Cape Cod, Cottage, and Cabin-style homes, which is pretty convenient for homeowners who’re aiming for historical accuracy.
- Superior insulating value that’s rivaled only by fixed windows. Casement replacement units are extremely weather-tight because their sashes press firmly against the frame when closed. This prevents air entry and leakage, helping you avoid significant energy loss in your home.
- Smooth, worry-free operation with their single-lever or tandem latches. Casement windows can also be fitted with automatic openers for even easier operation.
- Great natural ventilation, since you can open these windows all the way outward. You can even angle their panes to better catch cool breezes and direct them into your home, allowing for better airflow. This helps keep your home thermally comfortable in the warmer months, minus the high cooling costs.
Because casement windows offer better access to natural ventilation, you can enjoy better indoor air quality, meaning the reduced potential for mold growth due to high levels of indoor moisture. For this reason, casement windows are a good option in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Many homeowners also place them over sinks, countertops, and appliances–narrow spots where lifting or sliding open a window would be difficult.
Why Shouldn’t You Choose Casement Windows?
Unlike double-hung, casement units don’t accept air conditioners because they crank outward. They also can’t use storm windows or screens for the same reason. Casement windows have size limitations–they can’t be too large or heavy. The opening must be strong enough to support the window unit, so when changing out the old for a newer model, a smaller and lighter replacement is usually recommended.
Now that you know the pros and cons of each window style, all you need to do is consider your home’s needs so you can make the most suitable and sensible choice. Hiring a reliable window company in your area to help you with this and to ensure a safe and worry-free process won’t hurt either.
Renewal by Andersen is the window replacement subsidiary of Andersen Corporation, a company that has revolutionized the window and door business for more than 110 years.