What are Double-Hung Windows?

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 04/08/24 •  6 min read

Popular in homes with children thanks to their safety features and ease of cleaning, the double-hung window has plenty to offer the modern family. Versatile, affordable and readily available, this window is a true classic which continues to grow in popularity.

But what exactly are double hung windows? Double-hung windows are simply windows that have two moveable sashes stacked one on top of the other.

A double-hung window’s two moveable sashes are set within a box frame, allowing the bottom sash to be slid up and the top sash to be slid down. This sliding slash design is very traditional, giving double-hung windows a charming, classic appearance.

Double hung windows.

To keep up consumer preferences, manufacturers have added in an inward tilting mechanism to some double-hung windows which allows them to be opened into the interior of the home. This facilitates easy cleaning and eliminates one of the previous main drawbacks of this style for the modern homeowner. 

What Is the Advantage of A Double-Hung Window?

A double-hung window offers several advantages ; they are safe, easy to clean, and energy efficient.

Safe

The main safety advantage of a double-hung window is that top-only opening is very safe for family homes with children.

If you have children or grandchildren, window safety is something you take very seriously. The ability to ventilate a room by sliding open only the top sash of a window offers great peace of mind when you have inquisitive children in the home. Double-hung windows are therefore a superb option for upper floors and especially for children’s bedrooms and playrooms.

Easy to Clean

From saving energy to saving time, the tilt option in modern double-hung windows allows you to clean their exterior from inside the home – so no need to clamber up ladders with a bucket of soapy water.

Energy-Efficient

Modern double-hung windows feature good energy efficiency ratings, and you should always choose as high a rating as you can afford, to save on your energy bills and boost the value of your property.

What Are the Drawbacks of Double-Hung Windows? 

The main drawback of double-hung windows is that they’re more expensive than some similar styles, but it’s also worth noting that they offer a limited ventilation range, and can require maintenance

More Expensive

With two operable sashes and often the ability to tilt open for cleaning, the engineering of double-hung windows makes them more expensive than models such as the single sash. Their mechanism also means you need to stay on top of maintenance, cleaning and dusting them regularly to keep the sashes working smoothly.

Limited Ventilation

If you want to allow plenty of fresh air into your home, keep in mind that with the double-hung style, at least half the window will always be obscured by a sash. Though the top or bottom opening is great for convection ventilation, this isn’t the style for you if you want to bring the outdoors in with a window flung wide open on a sunny day.

Double-hung windows are incredibly popular and, if you’re looking for them, you’ll see them commonly across a range of building styles.

Double-hung windows have been a feature in homes across the world for centuries, growing again in popularity thanks to their modern updates. Easy to use and care for, double-hung windows offer a reasonably priced way to achieve that desirable curb appeal.

It was all the way back in the 1800s that the double-hung window style became a popular feature in homes across Europe and America. Because of this long history, we associate this style with period properties and when installed in a new build they give it a classy, understated appearance. 

Easy to care for and now, super-easy to clean thanks to a tilting inward option, the double-hung style is popular among those who want a low maintenance window. With such a simple operational mechanism, they rarely go “wrong”, and if they do, they’re easy to repair or affordable to replace.

What’s the Difference Between a Double-Hung and A Single-Hung Window?

Double-hung and single-hung windows differ in the number of moveable sashes. Whilst a single-hung window only has one operational sash, a double-hung window has two, allowing it to be opened from both the top and the bottom.

A single-hung window has two sashes but one, usually the top sash, is stationary and cannot be opened. Having two operable sashes, the double-hung window is more versatile. The extra moving part does, however, make this style more prone to air leaks than the single sash models.

Single-hung windows do not have a tilt-open option, meaning their exteriors can only be washed from the outside.  For this reason, many people choose to install double-hung styles on upper floors, to allow them to clean the exterior from the inside. 

Are Double-Hung Windows More Expensive than Single-Hung Windows?

Double-hung windows are more expensive than single-hung windows because they have two operable sashes, rather than just one. Furthermore, modern double-hung models are often engineered with a tilting feature, making them even more costly. You can expect to pay between $100-300 per single-hung window, whilst a double-hung style will cost between $400-600. 

Though these two styles of windows look very similar, it is the cost difference between the two that is often the deciding factor when a homeowner is working to a budget. If a double-hung style is desirable due to the safety of the top opening, opting for a model without the tilt mechanism can bring the price down a little. 

Conclusion

If you’re a fan of the traditional aesthetic or you’re looking for windows that offer an understated elegance to suit a contemporary or period interior, the double-hung style is well worth considering.

Though not as cheap as some of other similar styles, double-hung windows are still a budget friendly way to add value and style to your home. Scoring highly on the energy efficiency, safety and ease of cleaning front, they come with plenty of perks. If you’re still not sure if double-hung windows are right for your space, click here to see our list of the 13 most popular window styles for your home.

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.