Tips & Advice

6 min read

Most common window types – how do they actually differ?

Written by

Kacper Szczypek

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The variety of replacement window types is extensive and can be intimidating, especially if you are not sure which one you ought to be looking for. As a guide, we list the most common window styles, including their variations and what they are best suited for.

Across the UK and Ireland, you can meet 8 window types for homes and apartments. Within those main types, there are variations on how the window can open or how many different openers it has. That makes a total of 17 different window types. What is more, the types come in different styles and colours. There are also differences in types of window frames and number of window panes. That translates into a very diverse offer of joinery.

Window types in the UK and Ireland

Let’s start from the main types. We listed and described them in the box below.

Type of Window Description
Fixed (picture) The window consists only of the frame and single pane. Not openable.
Casement The oldest and most versatile window style. It is usually side hung to open like a door. The window can also open from the top or bottom.
Tilt and Turn An example of a modern and versatile window. It is side hung to swing fully open and bottom hung to tilt inwards for ventilation.
Sash The window consisting of two panels. Both panels can slide up and down, or one panel can be fixed while the second one is sliding.
Sliding The window resembling  a mini patio door. The frame slides to the side for opening.
Bay The window, which projects out from the wall and extends to the floor with extended brickwork.
Bow The window projecting out from the wall without any brick extension.
Skylight A type of roof window. The window can either flush with the roofline or protrude from the roof.
Upper glass panel The window above a doorway, also known as a fanlight.

Each window style has its own uses and benefits. Some types of window frames are only suitable for specific applications, whereas others are more versatile. When choosing a window, it is important to keep the type of its frame in tune with the age and style of the house. It is the only way to choose the best type of window for your home. Imagine a traditional cottage with a modern tilt and turn window. It would not look its best, would it? And a sleek contemporary new building should not feature traditional sash windows as they would look awkward on its façade. At this point, the rule is very simple – replacement window styles ought to match architectural features of the building. It does not, however, mean that as an owner of a classy cottage, you cannot take a full advantage of technical properties and functionality of the high quality joinery, quite contrary.

Casement window

The casement window is the oldest and most versatile window type in the UK and Ireland. Casement windows offer a variety of options for configuration to suit most properties. They can include single, double, triple (or more) panels to fit even the widest window openings.

Openers can be added to one side, both sides, top or full frame to offer different degrees of ventilation. Modern casement windows offer very good thermal and acoustic insulation.

There are several types of casement windows, including:

  • side hung
  • single casement
  • double frame or French casement
  • top hung or hopper window
  • flush casement

Aluminium Window MB-86 Casement

Tilt and turn window

It all began in the eighties when a popular uPVC window type was introduced to the market. The major benefit of this window type is its ability to open in several directions and be securely left open on a tilt for ventilation. What is more, unlike traditional casement that opens outwards, a tilt and turn opens inwards and can be opened fully to allow for cleaning the external glass from inside a property. That makes tilt and turn windows perfect for upper floors and blocks of flats.

Due to the frame style, tilt and turn does not correspond well with traditional properties. These windows look best with houses built from the 1960s onwards and, as we have already mentioned, apartment buildings. What is important, when choosing tilt and turn windows, you no longer have to stick to uPVC frames. Timber and aluminium tilt and turn windows are there for you as well.

 

 

Aluminium Window Superial

Sash window

Sash windows are often considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing windows that can add significant value to a house. The standard window has two framed panels that slide up and down, crossing over. This design allows for a vented opening at the top and bottom of the window, creating a draw of air for superior ventilation.

Although old sash windows require significant maintenance, contemporary ones are easy to use and require very little time or effort to work and look well. What is more, modern models are constructed in a way guaranteeing better energy efficiency.

Sash window types include:

  • single hung: one sash pane slides whilst the other remains fixed,
  • double hung: both panes slides,
  • dummy sash: both panes are fixed, the window is styled to look like a regular sash window to create symmetry on a property.

Sliding window

While the sash window slides vertically, the sliding window opens to the side, sliding horizontally. It looks very much like a mini patio door and is very convenient for rooms with limited space. What is more, sliding window types include constructions made from aluminium. Aluminium frames are very slim and thus, allow maximum glass area.

Sliding window is considered to be a perfect choice for the kitchen (just behind the sink, where it can be easily reached to slide open). However, homeowners often choose to install them in other rooms in their houses as well. Their popularity originates from convenience in usage as well as from the bright visual effect that opens up the space and allows a lot of natural light in.

Sliding windows are not recommended for traditional properties. They suit contemporary builds, especially sleek homes with simple facades.

Bay and bow windows

It is often difficult to know a bay window from a bow window. The difference lies in a brick extension. While a bay window extends to the floor, a bow window does not. A bay window is commonly featured in many Victorian and Edwardian houses. It offers panoramic views and extra reading space.

There are a few types of bay windows:

  • single end bay – the design consists of two windows with one edge and varying degrees of depth,
  • splay bay – the design consists of three windows taking a shape of half a hexagon,
  • circular bay – the design involves five or more windows to create a circular effect,
  • square bay – the design consists of three windows with square edges.

The bow window projects from the room and ‘floats’ without the wall underneath. Sometimes it is called a garden window, since it can have a nice wide shelf to grow plants. Bow windows can be made up of several windows to create a curved effect and floodlight into a room. They also offer a panoramic view of your property or the surrounding area.

Types of skylights

There are two types of roof windows. One is a dormer and the second one is a skylight. A dormer is a box protruding from the main roof, with its own roof. This construction allows any type of small window to be fitted in the dormer window space. Dormer windows look more traditional and are usually installed in classy properties, while skylights are more often used in contemporary homes.

A skylight is flush into the angled roof and does not protrude from it. The window is commonly installed in homes with habitable attics. It allows natural light in as well as ventilation and, at the same time, does not take up more space and make the room easier to organise and furnish. Skylight windows are typically called Velux windows. The name originates from the common brand name of Velux that offers high quality roof windows and systems.

Velux window types include:

  • single roof windows
  • 2in1 roof windows
  • 3in1 roof windows
  • conservation roof windows
  • multiple windows
  • roof balconies and terraces

Spherical Glass Module ISD 1093

Types of window frames

There are three main types of window frame materials. Depending on your personal taste, budget and style you are going for, you can choose:

  • uPVC frames
  • aluminium frames
  • timber frames

We have already compared uPVC, aluminium and wooden windows here.

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