What Are Single-Hung Windows?

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  5 min read

There’s something oh so charming about a single-hung window.  Ask a child to draw you a picture of a house and they’ll usually sketch in this style of window.  Simple and classic, single-hung models have a universal aesthetic that works in all types of homes, from period to modern.

A design that has remained popular over the centuries, single hung (or single sash) windows are available in a range of sizes and are competitively priced.  Their traditional appearance has wide appeal, making them an affordable way to boost both your curb appeal and your home value.

What Are Single-Hung Windows?

Single-hung windows have one sash that can be pushed up and down (usually the bottom one), and one sash that remains fixed and cannot be opened. In appearance, they are very similar to double-hung windows, but these have two operable sashes. 

This simple style of window dates back to 15th century England and in terms of the mechanics, not much has changed over time. The operable sash slides up and down within the window jambs – the vertical sides of the window frame. The sash is then held in place by a mechanism such as a spring bolt, sash hook, or tape balance.

These are sliding windows rather than ones that swing open and shut. If your room layout doesn’t suit a swinging window, a style like a single sash is ideal.  In practical terms, the vertical sliding means that these windows need to be cleaned from both inside and out. Be prepared to hop up a ladder if you choose this style!

Why Use Single-Hung Windows?

Single-hung windows are an affordable, energy-efficient way to create a very charming aesthetic in your home. Despite only opening from one point, single sash windows still offer excellent ventilation. In practical terms, because most operate from the bottom, single hung windows are easy for all members of the family to use. 

With their basic design, these windows are cheaper to manufacture and fit than most other styles, allowing you to add traditional character to your home without the hefty price tag.  But we don’t just want our windows to look pretty, they also need to function well in terms of ventilation and weatherproofing. When the operable sash is lifted open, this window offers superb convection, cooling a stuffy room with ease, while having one fixed sash means you’re less likely to encounter air leakage over time.

One of the most user-friendly types of window, family members both old and young will be able to reach the operational parts of a single hung window.  Modern single-hung windows lock securely in place so you can be assured of safe ventilation when the window is open.

Are Single-Hung Windows Cheaper than Double-Hung Windows?

Single-hung windows are cheaper than double-hung windows to purchase and fit. An average single hung window costs between $100- $300, compared to $400-$600 for a double-hung window. Fitting costs are lower too, costing as little as $100 per window, while you can expect to pay double that to install a double-hung model. 

Single-hung windows are cheaper than double-hung simply because they have fewer moveable parts. Many modern double-hung windows even have a tilt function to allow for easy cleaning. Single-hung style tends to come with fewer design options, such as frames, types of panes, and levels of energy efficiency – again, keeping costs down. 

Appearance-wise, single and double-hung windows are extremely similar, and therefore the main driving factor for choosing one over the other is the price difference. Obviously, a benefit of the double-hung style is greater flexibility of use and ease of cleaning, so some homeowners choose to install single hung windows on the ground floor and double-hung on upper levels to balance the cost.  

Are Single-Hung Windows Double-Paned?

So it’s important to remember that “single-paned” and “single-hung” are not the same. Similarly, “double-pained” is not the same as “double-hung.”

So, can single-hung windows be double-paned or triple-paned? Yes, they can! Single-hung windows were traditionally single-paned but modern models come with single, double, or even triple-paned options. Because single-hung windows are often chosen thanks to their affordability, many homeowners opt for single or double glazed options to keep costs down.

The style of a single-hung window frame is usually quite slim and therefore when you opt for double glazing, a slimline version is sometimes used by manufacturers.  Remember, this will bump the price up and it’s worth remembering that the energy efficiency of a single hung window remains high even with a single pane thanks to that stationary, fixed sash.

Conclusion: Do You Want to Put Single-Hung Windows in Your Home?

A single-hung window offers your property an understated, traditional charm at an excellent price. Despite this competitive price tag, you still achieve great energy efficiency and ease of use, and if the old-fashioned style of window cleaning doesn’t bother you, you’re on to a real winner. If you’re still not sure if single-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.