The Different Types of Windows Currently Available on the Market

Building a home from scratch? Making some updates to your existing home? In either case, there's a good chance you're going to have to choose new windows. 

The trouble lies in choosing the right ones. After all, there are a number of different styles available, each of which has its own set of aesthetic and functional characteristics. 

Interested in learning more about the different types of windows? Then read on. We're going to get into their specifics below. 

Window Styles

There are all types of window styles for you to choose from. Some of the most prominent of these styles include the following.


The most common type of window is the single-hung window. Taller than it is wide, it's equipped with one moving sash. This sash comprises the bottom half of the window and can be slid up to the window's center.

Single-hung windows offer good visibility, ventilation, and sunlight. While they're not exceptional in any way, they get the job done, and at a reasonable price, to boot. Regardless of the room in which you're looking to install your window, a single-hung model will suffice. 


Double-hung windows are identical to single-hung windows, except for the fact that they possess two moving sashes as opposed to one. Whereas their top sashes can slide down to the middle of their frames, their bottom sashes can slide up to the middle of their frames. 

The result? Optimal ventilation. Not to mention, they're easier to clean, allowing you to access their interior and exterior sides from the interior of the home.  

Note, though, that double-hung windows can be quite a bit more expensive than single-hung models. 


Next up is the sliding window. This is essentially a single-hung window that has been flipped on its side. Wider than it is tall, the sliding window offers terrific peripheral visibility. 

As far as ventilation goes, sliding windows are in the middle of the spectrum. They only contain one sash, and so can only be half-opened. Nonetheless, they will get the job done. 


If you're looking for an aesthetically unique window, you should consider an awning window. When closed, awning windows possess a look similar to that of the sliding window (they're wider than they are tall). However, when opened, awning windows possess a look that is similar to that of, well, an awning. 

See, these windows open and close in an in-out manner. And their panes are hinged at the tops of their corresponding frames. So, when pushed out to be opened, they take on an outwardly angled aesthetic.  

This is not just an aesthetic characteristic either. It's a functional one as well. The angled pane can deflect rainfall, allowing it to remain open during nasty storms. 

Awning windows provide standard visibility and sunlight capabilities. They're not exceptional in these areas but will suffice in most situations. 

Picture Window 

If you're not interested in getting ventilation from your window, you should consider a picture window. Picture windows can't be opened, providing sunlight and visibility, but no airflow. 

They're available in a number of shapes. However, they're most commonly rectangular. 

Bay Window

Maybe you're looking for an architectural window, something that can transform the entire aesthetic of a room? If so, you should consider a bay window. 

Bay windows are big windows consisting of 3 separate, angled panes. These panes extend past the exteriors of their corresponding homes, offering ample sunlight and visibility from all directions. 

While some of these windows can provide terrific ventilation, others of them are unable to be opened. In the end, the choice is up to you. 

Note, bay windows are most commonly found in living rooms and dining rooms. While you can install them in other rooms, you would be pushing against the norm. 

Bow Windows

If you're looking for an even larger version of a bay window, you should opt for a bow window. Aesthetically speaking, the two windows are similar. However, whereas bay windows possess only 3 angled panes, bow windows possess between 4 and 6 angled panes. 

Apart from that, they're almost identical. They provide similar visibility, similar sunlight, and similar ventilation (if desired). Like bay windows, bow windows are most commonly found in dining rooms and living rooms. 

Window Materials

Modern windows are available in a number of materials. We'll discuss the specifics of the most common materials below. 


Wood is the traditional window material. Aesthetically pleasing, it can be painted and stained to take on a number of different appearances. 

Functionally speaking, wood offers excellent durability and insulation. Note, though, that it requires a great deal of maintenance. If it's not maintained, it could begin to rot and warp. 


In terms of performance, vinyl windows are on par with wood windows. Durable and insulative, they'll provide several decades of service. Plus, unlike wood windows, they require very little maintenance. 

Where vinyl windows fall behind, however, is in their aesthetics. While they're certainly not ugly, they tend to possess a "mass-manufactured" look. This look can come across as cheap to some tastes. 


If you're looking for a material that combines the aesthetic of wood with the functionality of vinyl, you should consider fiberglass. While it doesn't look exactly like wood, it serves as a good mimic. And from a distance, the two materials are almost indistinguishable. 

Functionally speaking, it's durable, insulative, and low-maintenance. In other words, it's everything you could ever want in a window material. 

Note, though, that fiberglass is more expensive than both wood and vinyl. That said, it tends to last longer as well. Click here to learn more. 

There are Many Different Types of Windows to Choose From

As you can see, there are many different types of windows to choose from. So, before you go and pick out the first type that you lay your eyes on, sit down and give each a bit of consideration. 

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