A clear view of home windows
Windows are among the most immediately visible and important exterior features of your home. The right windows can mean the difference between a home that looks good and one that looks great, not to mention thousands more dollars in your pocket when it comes time to sell your house. When it comes to window sizes and styles, you have practically endless possibilities at your disposal. Use the opportunity to put your creativity to work!
An Overview of the Different Types of Windows
In the broadest sense, windows can be one of two types: fixed windows (which don't open), or operable windows (which do). Typically, your average North American home will use both types, though fixed windows are frequently used as architectural accentuations rather than prominently featured.
Operable windows appear in countless variations, but there are a few major styles that have been around for a long time and continue to be popular. Double-hung windows are one of them. These windows are horizontally divided in two halves: the upper half is framed on the exterior side of the home and usually remains stationary. The inner half is framed on the interior side of the home and can be opened.
Horizontal slider windows are like double-hung windows turned the other way, sliding horizontally across a track rather than opening vertically. These sliding windows are most common in bathrooms and bedrooms, though they can be used in just about any room in your home. On the outside of the house, shutters may be used to accentuate both horizontal slider windows and double-hung windows.
Casement windows are also a mainstay in many different architectural styles. These windows take up the entire frame and are usually side-mounted on hinges. In most cases, you'll use a crank to open or close the window, and it will be paired with a screen to keep bugs out.
Hopper windows and awning windows are also popular. These windows are much like casement windows, except that they open from the top or bottom out rather than the side. If the hinge is at the bottom, they're called hopper windows; if it's at the top, it's called an awning window.
If you're looking to cover a large area with a single window, you have three basic options: bay windows, bow windows or seamless bent glass windows. Bay windows jut out from the wall and are typically arranged in three sections: each of the two side sections projects out at even, symmetrical angles, and an adjoining third section sits flat, connecting the side sections. They are majestic, elegant and a classic touch in any home. Bow windows are, in essence, bay windows with more than three sections that do not necessarily flatten out in the center.
Seamless bent glass windows can be used in corners to allow an unobstructed view. Essentially, they wrap around the corner of the building, but the glass is not paned. They're a relative newcomer on the market and remain fairly expensive.
Of course, these are just a few of the most commonly seen types of home windows. There are many, many others to consider. When shopping around, keep your home's architectural style in mind and do your best to be creative while finding a good stylistic match.