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What's in a Window?

Arched, single-hung, double-hung, picture, casement… the list is nearly endless. There are a lot of questions to answer when choosing the perfect window for your space and home. What’s the right style? What’s the best material for your home? How do you want them to open? Will they hold up against the weather? So, let’s get into it and answer the ultimate question, what’s in a window? 

Style

Single Hung

Single hung windows open strictly from the bottom and slide upward. Single hung windows are typically the most affordable, coming in around $100-$300 per window on average. 

Double Hung

Double hung windows are very similar in look to single hung, but both the upper and the lower panels move vertically up and down. Double hung windows are notoriously easy to clean but are also the most commonly replaced window. 

Awning

Awning windows are named for what they create when opened, an awning. They are similar to casement windows with their crank system to open. They are great for climates that have a lot of rain, you can open that window without soaking your home. 

Casement

Like awning, casement windows open with a handle that cranks the window open. Casement windows are popular with modern style home because of their large, unobstructed view. They can bring the feeling of a picture window while still being functional. 

Picture

Do you have a view that just needs to be seen? A picture window may just be the perfect solution. These windows take up long sections of your wall to offer an incredible view. Picture windows are fixed, so they do not open and are often times mixed with other styles of windows to offer the fresh air addition. 

Jalousie 

These nontraditional, unique windows open more like blinds than other windows. A crank on the side allows these beauties to open and allow optimal air flow. Jalousie windows are more popular on the coasts, allowing for a wonderful breeze on a cool day.  

Material

Wood

Pros:

  • Wood is strong and gets harder over time for long-lasting performance.
  • Can be painted or stained to match any decor or complement existing colors
  • Does not allow as much condensation as other materials
  • Offers greater insulation to keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • Provides better aesthetics, especially to more traditional homes, and enhances the value of a home
  • Provides a great sound barrier

Cons: 

  • Susceptible to rotting and warping from weather conditions
  • Vulnerable to insects and other pests, especially termites
  • They require more maintenance.  Painting, staining, caulking, and cleaning must be done regularly.
  • Higher initial cost than other materials; however, they will last a lifetime with the proper care.

Vinyl

Pros:

  • Vinyl window frames are very energy efficient. Vinyl window frames are airtight, so they won’t allow air to escape when closed and locked.
  • Vinyl requires little to no maintenance. Vinyl is easy to clean with common household cleaners. There’s no need for painting or staining.
  • Vinyl’s UV resistant properties prevent rotting and corrosion.
  • Expect a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
  • Vinyl is usually less expensive than other materials, like wood or fiberglass.  percent.
  • Lightweight and less complicated installation process

Cons:

  • Less design flexibility. Vinyl cannot be painted, making color options limited.
  • Darker shades might fade over time.
  • Vinyl is not made of natural products, so it is difficult to recycle. Manufacturers have tried to improve on this factor, but the cost can be more than re-manufacturing it from scratch.

Fiberglass

Pros:

  • Fiberglass is the top insulator among other materials due to its foam-filled cores, making it more energy-efficient.
  • Low maintenance material that is resistant to fading, flaking, and peeling. No need for repainting.
  • Moisture will not cause rotting, mold, or corrosion.
  • Frames are thinner with fiberglass windows due to the stiffness of fiber-reinforced resins.
  • Fiberglass does not expand, contract, or warp. It can withstand hot temperatures.
  • Versatility. Manufacturers offer the option of having real wood over the fiberglass for a warmer aesthetic.
  • Eco-friendly. Fiberglass frames are completely recyclable, lessening the environmental impact.

Cons:

  • The cost of fiberglass windows is higher.
  • There are fewer color and hardware options to choose from, making it harder to customize.
  • Because fiberglass is a rigid material, installation can be difficult and take more time than other options.

Aluminum

Pros:

  • More affordable than wood windows.
  • A flexible option providing unique shapes and customized fit due to aluminum’s easy manipulation.
  • Aluminum is a durable material that is lightweight and easy to install.
  • Available in baked-on finishes; don’t have to repaint.
  • It offers a narrow frame allowing more glass area and better views.
  • Not susceptible to insects

Cons:

  • Aluminum does not hold up to heat, making it a very poor insulator and the least energy-efficient material.
  • Moisture can form inside aluminum windows.
  • Aluminum can be prone to corrosion if your home is near saltwater and air.

We hope that you have enjoyed learning more about different types of windows and how you can benefit from each type in your space. When it comes to the build and design process, we are your girls!

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For more information on a killer construction company based in Manhattan, KS, check out Heritage Builders

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