Types of Windows & Doors

Windows and doors come in a variety of types and styles: casement, double-hung, awning, basement, picture and gliding and hinged. The list of options is endless. With so many window and door styles available on the market, it can be impossible to decipher the differences between them all and which ones will work best for your needs. To understand which ones might be right for your home, learn what sets them apart and what each has to offer.

  1. Types

    • Casement windows, sometimes referred to as crank-outs, are windows that open out and to the side with the help of an operator or crank on the bottom of the window. Double-hung windows are stacked, allowing the bottom sash to go up, and the top to go down. Gliding windows slide horizontally, and lock in the center.

      Gliding doors slide on a track with one stationary and one operating door panel. Hinged doors swing into or out of the home. French doors are just a style of either hinged or gliding doors, though they are traditionally hinged double doors.


    • Most windows and doors are available with several types of glass options including sun tinting, obscure glass, energy-efficient glass and several different grille options: removable grilles, permanent grilles, grilles in between the glass and more.


    • You can put an air conditioner in a double-hung unit, whereas air conditioners are not made for casement windows. Casement windows, however, will allow for greater air flow as they channel air into the home. Some double-hung windows also tilt in to clean, making for easier cleaning on higher stories, but also add more moving parts to the window, potentially providing more opportunities for things to go wrong.


    • Double-hung windows are usually much lower maintenance than casement windows due to the lack of parts. In the same fashion, gliding windows are typically very low maintenance, and you do not need to be as tall to open a gliding window as a double-hung window. In the same way, gliding doors are easier to maintain due to the lower amounts of moving parts, though they are often only patio or rear doors.


    • Double-hung windows are traditionally wide and short, while casement windows are usually tall and skinny, sometimes being as tall as some doors. Double hung windows can also have equal-sized sashes, or a taller bottom or top window.

      Gliding doors can have two to four (or more) door panels, though one is typically stationary. Hinged doors can be a single door, a double door where both doors open, or a stationary and an operating door. A French door often has less total glass, with a taller bottom rail.


    • Many homeowners will refer to any window that cranks out as a casement window. Actually, if the hinges are on the side it is a casement window, hinges on the top would make an awning window, and hinges on the bottom are often referred to as hopper windows. Marvin makes a line of tilt-turn windows that break all the rules by tilting in like some double-hung windows, and also has hinges on the side for door-like operation.


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