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Types of Windows: Full Window Replacement Buying Guide

Replacing the windows in your home can help bring new life to each room and enhance the overall curb appeal of your property. However, with that being said, when it comes to home renovation projects, many homeowners are unaware of what various types of windows are available and what the styles of windows can offer each room in terms of functionality and design.

Luckily, we’ve put together a complete window replacement buying guide that will help you determine what window type may look best in your home, depending on the overall design goal you are searching for, so you can streamline your window replacement renovation process from start to finish before making a purchase.

Window Styles and Designs to Enhance Your Home

Take a look at our list of top window replacement types, along with some pros and cons of each that you may not already be aware of to help you make the right choice for your home:

1. Bay Windows

Unlike other windows available on the market, bay windows are strategically placed at an angle that protrudes away from the exterior of your home to create a hexagonal “bay.” Not only does this create more interior square footage in your home, but it also serves a functional purpose that can add seating, a reading nook, or extra storage.


· Add a design aesthetic to the interior and exterior of your home.

· Provides you with a large, unobstructed view of your property.

· Adds more natural light and ventilation to your space, depending on the style of windows you choose.


· Bay windows can be pretty costly as you will need more than one window frame to complete the design element.

2. Bow Windows

Similar to bay windows, bow windows are used to create an elegant arch extension that protrudes outwards from your home rather than a straight-edged hexagonal extension. Again, bow windows help create more square footage in your room and can create more seating, storage, or reading nook should you wish.


· Can add a beautiful design aesthetic to your home.

· Offers lots of natural light and ventilation.

· Provides you with a panoramic view outside.


· Bow windows are also costly and require more than one window to achieve the desired look.

3. Casement Windows

Casement windows are a type of hinge window that are typically taller vertically than they are wide. These types of windows feature a crank that allows homeowners to open outwards, like a door.


· Provides lots of ventilation for warmer weather and quality insulation during the colder months.

· Requires very little maintenance year-round.


· Unable to use window screens due to the nature of the design crank.

· You may be limited to size depending on your design requirements.

4. Awning Windows

Like casement windows, awning windows are a type of crank window that features a hinge at the top that allows homeowners to open the bottom outwards lie a door. However, awning windows are longer horizontally than they are vertical,


· Provides lots of ventilation and insulation throughout each season.

· Do not allow rain or snow into your home while open due to its upwards design.


· Unable to use window screens.

· You may be limited with sizing.

· Difficult to clean the outside of the window.

6. Double-Hung Windows

A popular choice amongst homeowners, double-hung windows are designed with two panes of glass, both open from the bottom and top to create ventilation.


· Easy to clean.

· Provides plenty of ventilation and insulation all year round.


· More expensive for homeowners to purchase and install.

· It can be heavy to open, depending on the size of the window itself.

7. Sliding Windows

Sliding windows stay true to their name, opening from the left or right to create lots of fresh air in your home.


· Easy to maintain over time.

· Allow for window screens without obstructing the view.

· Provides lots of ventilation.


· Cleaning the exterior glass can be difficult. This is because it does not open outwards or inwards to provide direct access to the outer pane.

8. Picture Windows

Picture windows are often more oversized windows that feature a single-paned glass fixed in place and do not open.


· Offers a largely unobstructed view to the outside of your home.

· An affordable option for homeowners.

· Low maintenance choice.


· Do not provide any ventilation.

· Due to the large size, it does not provide as much privacy into your home without blinds or curtains.

9. Garden Windows

For homeowners who enjoy maintaining plants and flowers, garden windows are a unique window design that allows you to nourish your own home garden from the comfort of your home’s interior. With four sides that protrude outwards like bay windows, this can add a stylish element to your home.


· Creates a unique aesthetic in your home.

· It can be used as a greenhouse or extra space.


· Extra cost to build depending on the size desired.

· Does not provide any ventilation into your home.

What Types of Materials Are Used?

Common window materials used in today’s homes include:

1. Vinyl

2. Wood

3. Aluminum

4. Fiberglass

5. Composite

6. Wood-Clad

Keep in mind that the type of material can affect the overall cost of the window style and the amount of maintenance required throughout the year.

What Types of Windows Do I Need?

Now that you have a good sense of the different types of styles and window designs popular amongst American homeowners, you should now have a better understanding of what each window style has to offer in your home.

If you want to maintain a modern design throughout your home, stick to window frames such as casement or awning windows with sleek grid patterns to achieve a minimalistic finish. For homes that are more farmhouse homes, double-hung windows and bay windows are your best choice. On the other hand, more traditional homes in style work well with picture framed windows, sliding, and double-hung.

Regardless of the design style, remember to factor in the cost and how much ventilation and natural light you are looking to bring into each room, and you will be well on your way!

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