Letting in the Air: 13 Types Of House Windows For Your Home

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 09/04/22 •  14 min read

Windows are one of the most important features of a home but without knowing what types of windows do what, it’s too easy to just opt for what you’re used to or the least expensive option in the brochure. But this is leaving A LOT on the table in terms of customizing your space to fit your needs.

Even a beautiful and architecturally stunning home, built to the highest quality standards could have a look (and have an energy rating) that’s drastically different depending on the window that’s installed.

Can You Mix Window Styles in A Home?

Of course, with all the window types and styles you’re about to see, you may be wondering, can mix window styles in your home, or do you need to have a uniform look? The answer is, yes, you can most definitely mix window styles in your home but no matter what type of windows you use, you should try to repeat the same frame, and make sure their design matches throughout.

For example, using the same window grid pattern (also called window grilles) can help make different window styles look cohesive.

Here are some example grid patterns to think about as you read through the list of styles:

Window Grille Patterns.

What Types of Windows Are There To Choose From?

To help you choose the right windows to let some fresh air into your space, we’ve put together a master list of the 13 most popular window styles below. Not only are these window styles popular, but they also have a variety of pros and cons to consider. Under each one there’s a link to more information if you think it may be a good fit; so, let’s dive in!

1. Casement Windows

Casement windows are dual windows that open outward through the use of a hand crank. While the hand crank may be a questionable feature, it’s a solid construction that allows you to open your window only as far as you want and remain in that position, regardless of wind. 

This feature provides a controllable level of airflow. They also have a traditional, classy look that vibes well with most modern home designs. In terms of security, casement windows are high on most lists as they provide an excellent seal when closed and can only be opened with the inside crank.

Though casement windows are essentially miniature double doors constructed of glass and metal, they do afford an excellent view, even when they’re closed. Of course, you can find casement windows with more material designs in the glass but the vast majority are wide open and clear glass. 

For outstanding, whole-home ventilation, it’s hard to do better than installing casement windows all throughout your home. It’s the best way to customize your airflow throughout the home without using some sort of smart device. 

Choosing casement windows is generally a stylistic choice, though they have more to offer than traditional decor. They’re very secure and have a high level of efficiency in terms of durability and energy savings in your home. 

Casement Window Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent airflow
  • Highly rated security windows
  • Traditional and classy review
  • Mixes well with other windows

Cons

  • Only open with a hand crank

2. Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows have two moveable sashes, allowing them to be opened from both the top and the bottom.

Older double-hung windows only slide up and down but newer models often also feature a tilt option for ease of cleaning.

The double-hung style is popular among those who want a low-maintenance window that is easy to care for and super easy to clean thanks to a tilt-inward option that’s now found on most modern window models.

Their simple operation means they rarely break down, and if they do, they’re easy to repair or affordable to replace.

Click over to our full article about double-hung windows here to learn more.

Pros

  • Large selection
  • Safe for Children & Pets
  • Easy to Clean (New Models)
  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • Limited ventilation
  • Slightly more expensive than some other styles

3. Single-hung Windows

Often confused for double-hung windows, single-hung windows only have one sash that can be opened (usually the bottom one) up or down while the other sash is fixed shut.

While single-hung windows are less expensive than many other window styles, including double-hung windows, they do have some limitations. Since only half the window opens they offer less ventilation than other window styles and can be harder to clean.

To decide if they’re the windows are for you, you can read a full rundown about single-hung windows here.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Longevity

Cons

  • Less ventilation
  • Harder to clean

4. Bay Windows

A bay window consists of three or more windows ⁠— typically a central picture window flanked by two windows that are typically smaller, but this is not always the case as in the picture above.

The window panes used angle out, creating a bump-out from the house, which gives you a little more space in the room.

Bay windows are more expensive to install than typical windows and may require a foundation or footing depending on your local building codes.

Click over to our full article about bay windows here to learn more.

Pros

  • A beautiful, three-dimensional look
  • Creates more “usable” space in the room
  • Lets in tons of light and creates great views
  • Can increase property value

Cons

  • Building and repairs can be complicated
  • Costly installation

5. Bow Windows

Bow windows are often confused with bay windows as they also bump out of the exterior wall. To help, you can think of a bow window as a very curved bay window.

Unlike bay windows, which are often made up of three window panes, bow windows are made up of several, smaller and usually same-sized window panels. Bow windows usually consist of 4-6 panels that join together to form an almost seamless curved arch.

They’re quite beautiful in design and best for houses with several rounded corners. Regardless, bow windows have an astonishing aesthetic from the outside and provide extra space inside. 

Any space that they don’t provide they make up for with the illusion of a larger area, which is a common feature of large windows. 

Click here for more information about bow windows, including how to decide between a bow and a bay window for your home.

Pros

  • Large, beautiful design
  • Highly energy efficient
  • Expansive interior
  • Make for great views

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Difficult to clean

6. Awning Windows

Awning windows open from the bottom, with the hinge a the top of the window. Although they look different, awning windows and casement windows are similar in that they’re crank-an-hinge windows and therefore, are highly energy efficient as they seal extremely well.

Awning windows are great for horizontal spaces above fixtures like sinks, tubs, etc. Also, the way they open allows you to keep them open during heavy rain, as the window creates an awning that effectively serves as a patio overhead.

On the flip side, awning windows can also be difficult to clean. Not the inside, of course, but since the outside tilts upwards, it’s hard to get an arm beneath, up, and around the window in order to wipe down the exterior so they need to be cleaned from the ground.

More information about awning windows is available here if you think they might be a fit for your space.

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • Energy efficient
  • Able to leave open in light rain

Cons

  • Difficult to clean
  • Limited airflow and light

7. Hopper Windows

Hopper windows are also great for horizontal spaces but unlike awning windows that open out from the bottom, hopper windows typically open inward from the top.

Hopper windows are traditionally installed in bathrooms or the basement of a home where the available wall space for a window is high and short.

Hopper windows are not a design that you’d use to show off a beautiful view or to flood a gloomy room with light, but it is a great space-saving window that offers a nifty solution when your main goal is ventilating a space.

More information about hopper windows and where to use them can be found here.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Energy efficient
  • Easy to open and close
  • Secure

Cons

  • Limited airflow and light

8. Tilt and Turn Windows

Tilt and turn windows are by far the most versitile of windows on the list. Tilt and turn windows can quite literally tilt in (or out depending on the design) a the top or bottow, or turn in (or out) like a casement window, opening at the side.

All this movement makes them the easiest window to clean, and it of course means the ventilation levels are completely adjustable, with either an airflow that is upward or downward.

These windows typically offer a wide view that is all glass, so your viewing ability isn’t obstructed by a bunch of squares throughout the glass surface. Security is great on these windows as well, since their operation is difficult from the outside. 

While they are a bit more on the pricey end, and have more parts to potentially break as the operation mechanism is more complex than it is on other windows, their versatility is quickly making tilt and turn windows popular.

To help you decide if they are right for you, more information about tilt and turn windows can be found here.

Pros

  • Easy to open and close
  • Lots of light and ventilation
  • Easy to clean
  • Secure

Cons

  • Expensive to repair
  • More expensive than other window types

9. Picture Windows (and Fixed Windows)

Picture windows (and their siblings, fixed windows) are essentially just large windows with just one fixed pane of glass. This means it does not open and it does not have “glazing bars”, which are support bars that separate the different panes of glass.

Both picture windows and fixed windows offer impressive views of the outdoors, which can be used to create a natural work of art (a picture) in the room.

Picture windows and fixed windows are essentially the same except that a fixed window frame is made to match other windows in the space. Picture window frames are made thin and small to maximize the viewing area.

Picture windows are very energy efficient, as they are sealed all the way around with no additional seals for opening and closing them. They let in a good deal of light, especially since they are often large, and the sun it lets in can warm a space that needs it to reduce heating needs. If the sun is too warm for the space, climate and direction of the window the optional addition of low e-glass coating may be necessary to prevent the room from overheating. When considered properly, picture windows are by far the most efficient windows in this list. 

One unfortunate aspect of a window that doesn’t open, is the fact that you will get no ventilation advantages with it and its inability to open may alter or decrease the airflow throughout the house from other, open windows. 

Also unfortunate is that if they ever need to be repaired, the whole window has to go as they often are made from just a single, large pane of glass. 

For a ton more information and frequently asked questions, check out this full article I have on picture windows and fixed windows here.

Pros

  • Lower cost per inch than other types of windows
  • Let in a lot of natural light
  • Aesthetically beautiful
  • Easy to clean
  • Can Be Highly energy efficient (if in the right position and climate or with a low e-glass coating added when necessary)
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • No ventilation
  • Can be expensive to repair
  • Can Be energy deficient (if in the wrong position and climate and without a low e-glass coating)

10. Garden Windows

Garden windows, also called greenhouse windows, are similar to bay windows in that they’re built outwards but they differ in the amount of light, space, and ventilation they can offer.

If you’re always looking for a window sill to put your plants or want to keep fresh herbs in your home, a garden window can solve your woes, and add a beautiful focal point to your home.

Unfortunately, garden windows tend to be expensive thanks to their 3D design and multiple glass surfaces.
More information about garden windows can be found here.  

Pros

  • Great for indoor and year-round gardening
  • Offer great ventilation
  • Great light capture, even in small spaces
  • Increased space

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low energy efficiency

11. Slider Windows

Slider windows are just what they sound like and they open and shut just like a traditional sliding glass door, with one side of the window sliding to the left or right, adjacent to the permanent section of the window. 

One of the reasons you should strongly consider a sliding window is its simplicity. Sliding windows are fairly inexpensive as they don’t have hinges or expensive moving parts. They also get a nice tight seal, which makes them secure.

Slider windows are usually pretty good in terms of energy efficiency, but age will usually make it more difficult to get a good seal when it slides closed. Also, you have to worry about debris and other material falling down into the tracks that it slides on. 

Finally, since they remain flat, and don’t protrude outwards or inwards, you can fully design your home around them or install them without having to keep space clear in that general area. 

Click here for more information about slider windows, including a DIY security hack to make them the safest windows possible.

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • Cost-effective
  • Secure

Cons

  • Tracks have to be routinely cleaned out

12. Glass Block Windows

Glass block windows are often found in older usually found in older public buildings, but they are once again finding popularity in the home with modern interiors.

Glass blocks now come in several different sizes, translucent or opaque varieties, and even colors, all of which you can mix and match to build a unique window; laying them like bricks.

You won’t get any level of ventilation with block windows but they are energy-efficient, and will often qualify your home for LEED-certified or Energy-Star certified rewards

Glass blocks are a lot heavier than lumber and drywall, and may require additional structural accommodations in order to have it installed, but they can be cost-effective.

You can find a full rundown of the cost and installation of glass block windows here.

Pros

  • Unique looking
  • Provides privacy
  • Provides security
  • Allows light in
  • Energy efficient
  • Can qualify for a green energy credit

Cons

  • No ventilation
  • No visibility

13. Skylight Windows (and Roof Windows)

Pros

  • Vews of the day and night sky
  • Bring lots of natural light in
  • Add perceived value to your home during resale

Cons

  • Can be expensive (proper instillation is not easy or cheap)
  • Can be prone to leaks, especially older models in climates with lots of ice and snow

Skylight windows (and their close-cousins, roof windows) do exactly what their label suggests: allow light in from above, and beautiful views of the sky. Aesthetically, skylights are beautiful day or night as they allow a view of the sky, sun, clouds, stars, thunderheads, etc.

Practically speaking, skylight windows can be beneficial or they can be a nuisance depending on where you live and the design of your home.

To explain, all that light let in by a skylight generates heat. This extra heat can of course be beneficial if the room with the skylight is naturally cool or dark. Conversely, if you live in a warmer climate or if the roof of the room with the skylight is facing a strong mid-day sun, a skylight can overheat the space. An overheated room can be an energy suck as you’ll need to run air conditioning to balance out the added heat.

Skylights are also known for leaking, though this has more to do with poor seals in older models of skylight windows. Modern skylights are much less prone to leaking but wintery ice and snow can increase the likelihood of the window seal becoming damaged over time.

All-in-all, carefully considering your climate and home design will be needed when making a decision on if a skylight is right for your project.

For more information on skylight windows and if they will be worth it for you, check out this full article I have on the topic.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Thirteen window types that we hope will give you a broader and more in-depth understanding of these window types and how they will be beneficial to install in your home. These are all residential window types and are great choices no matter what you choose. 

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.