What are the different styles of windows?

Gliding windows – Gliding windows have one or two sashes that slide horizontally to open.

Windows with one sash filling half the width of the window frame are generally referred to as “half vent” gliding or sliding windows (sometimes indicated as “XO” or “OX” windows where the “X” denotes the operable half of the window viewed from the exterior and “O” symbolizes the stationary half).

Windows with one sash that is less than half the width of the frame are called “single vent” gliding windows.

Windows with two sashes that are operable are generally referred to as “XOX” windows.

Hung windows – Hung windows refer to a style of window that slid vertically to open. Windows with only the bottom sash operable are referred to as “single hung” whereas windows with both sashes operable are considered “double hung.”

Casement windows – Casement windows have hinges on one side of their frame and open outward.  Window operation can be performed manually (pushing or pulling), mechanically (with a crank operator), or electronically (with a built-in motor).  Casement windows do not have rails like gliding and hung windows, so you will not have something blocking your view. They are also typically more weather-tight than gliding or hung windows.

Casement operator hardware to open and close the window is available in a variety of styles and finishes, and many manufacturers now use a nesting style that folds away to avoid interference with blinds.

The term “French casement windows” refers to two casement windows in the same frame, with one left hand-hinge and one right hand-hinge.

Awning windows – Awning windows swing open via top hinges. They operate with manual, mechanical, or electrical operating options. With sash hinges at the top of the frame, and the operator on the bottom of the frame, locks are most often located on both sides of the frame.

Awning windows share the ability of casement windows to resist strong weather. However, they generally cannot be used in an egress situation because they do not open wide enough.

Tilt Turn Windows – Tilt turn windows have the convenience of two window styles built into one frame: they can be used as a tilt-in hopper window (hinged at the bottom), or you can swing the window open into your house, just like a door (hinged at the side). The “hopper” function allows you to have increased ventilation with added security, because it limits the opening distance of the window; while the side hinges allow the window to be opened wide, making it a great option for emergency exits, and allowing easy cleaning.

Geometric Windows – When your design requirements call for more than a rectangular window, you can employ the use of geometric windows. Most window manufacturers produce a bevy of shapes and sizes both in geometric shapes (e.g. triangles and trapezoids) and radius style (e.g. windows with curves on some or all sides).

Vinyl and aluminum manufacturers refer to standard rectangular windows as “picture windows.”  These windows consist of an insulated glass unit set directly in a frame. Wood manufacturers more often use a standard operating frame (such as a casement or double hung frame), and affix a sash into it.