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Window Types by Operation

Owning a home can be exciting, especially when it comes time to shop for the most essential products that can define your home’s style – such as windows. There are various types of windows according to operation, and all of them have unique benefits that should be carefully considered, based on your specific tastes, style preferences, as well as your needs. In preparation for your shopping, it’s also important that you learn the disadvantages of the different window types, so you don’t make any wrong choices and end up suffering from buyer’s remorse. After all, once installed, windows aren’t something that you can just up and decide to replace at the snap of a finger.

In this post, we give you the lowdown on each of the most common window types available on the market today.


This type of window has two sashes that typically slide vertically up and down the frame.

The Good: You can open either the top or bottom sash, giving you more freedom in the aspects of operation and ventilation. The sashes remain within the frame, thus, they don’t protrude out to the exterior or in towards the interior of the house. Many models have sashes that tilt inward, making cleaning easier and safer as well.

The Bad: The horizontal rail in the middle may be an issue if you are after an unobstructed view of the outdoors.


This type of window is similar to double-hung, but as its name suggests, only one of the sashes – the bottom one – can be opened and closed. The top part remains stationary.

The Good: It offers great energy efficiency benefits, as the lower sash seals to the frame when closed, reducing the likelihood of energy escaping. Single-hung windows are also generally cheaper than most window types.

The Bad: Single-hung windows limit ventilation, as only the bottom sash can be opened. Cleaning the top sash may also be more challenging since only the bottom sash can be tilted inward.


This type of window has hinges either on the left or right side; it’s designed to open outward by turning a crank handle.

The Good: No other window can be opened as wide as a casement window, thus, it offers excellent ventilation. It also promises reduced noise and air and energy leakage, because it seals all the way around when shut.

The Bad: Because it swings out, it is not a very safe choice of window to install in a high-traffic area. If not properly and regularly maintained, its operation can also be easily compromised.

Gliding or Sliding

This type of window has at least one operating sash that slides horizontally over and/or past the other sash.

The Good: Sliding windows are easy to operate and are suitable for high-traffic areas such as walkways and patios. The opening is usually big enough for emergency evacuation. You can also add fixed screens without problem.

The Bad: You can open only one side of a sliding window at a time.

Bay or Bow

These windows are easily recognizable as they protrude outwards from the exterior of the house. They can be a combination of fixed, double-hung, and casement windows.

The Good: They allow plenty of light and ventilation into a room, expand living spaces, and can open up a room to make it look bigger. They add great dollar value to the home.

The Bad: Adding window treatments to a bow or bay window can be quite a challenge. Furthermore, they are relatively more expensive than other types of windows; it could be risky to opt for low-budget or cheaper versions/options.

Picture or Fixed

This type of window cannot be opened but can provide unobstructed views of the outdoors; it frames a pretty “picture.” Thus, the name.

The Good: It comes in a variety of styles and design, making it ideal for decorative purposes. It can also let in adequate natural lighting. It is completely air- and water-tight.

The Bad: It won’t give you any ventilation, and you’ll need to clean the external parts from the outside.


This type of window is similar to a casement window, only that it is hinged on top.

The Good: The sash is sloped downwards when opened, thus, it can be left open even if it is raining. It can also let hot air out when installed near the top of a wall. It can allow privacy even when open.

The Bad: Offers limited ventilation and cannot be used for emergency evacuation.


Windows that need to be customized to fit a specific shape and dimensions are characterized as specialty windows.

The Good: It gives homeowners the freedom to have their desired windows designed according to their liking. You can choose every specification, from the color or finish to the frame and glass material, allowing you to have the most stylish and energy-efficient window.

The Bad: Initial costs may be higher than regular window options.

By learning about the window options available for you to choose from, we hope that you can select the products that best suit your needs, as well as the look and style of your home.


Author Bio:

Todd Wenberg is Southard Corporation/Renewal by Andersen’s Vice President. Specializing in sales management, he knows what their client homeowners are looking for and thus, aside from striving to provide them with products and services of superior quality, he works to share what he learns in the field by writing blog and guest posts.


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