08 Sep 2015

A window is a window, right? Not exactly. Think about it – you’ve got sliding, hinged, louvred, clerestory, and hopper windows, not to mention all the different types of skylights. Get the low down on all the different window types to inform your design process, including finding out which windows are best for certain areas. A window will never be just a window again after reading this article – and you’ll also be able to impress your builder with a bit of jargon.

A window is a window, right? Not exactly. Think about it – you’ve got sliding, hinged, louvred, clerestory, and hopper windows, not to mention all the different types of skylights. Get the low down on all the different window types to inform your design process, including finding out which windows are best for certain areas. A window will never be just a window again after reading this article – and you’ll also be able to impress your builder with a bit of jargon.

Windows are usually described by the way in which they are opened and what they’re made of. Wood, glass, aluminium, and vinyl are all straightforward descriptions, so let’s look at how different windows open.

Awning windows

Awning windows are hinged at the top, designed to provide light and breeze to a room. These types of windows are ideal for areas where you want privacy, light, and a little ventilation. They’re often used in bathrooms and bedrooms, and can be placed in several different positions around the home.

Bifold windows

Bifold windows feature two or more panels that fold onto themselves in a concertina style. They’re perfect for creating a broad opening that’s unobstructed by framing, such as for a cafe bar or to enjoy an uninterrupted view.

Bay windows

Bay windows project outwards from an external wall. On tight sites they can expand the building envelope enough to create a more open and peaceful interior. Allowing light to come in from multiple angles, bay windows change the amount of light that comes into the room while adding character and uniqueness to the home. Bay windows are often used in kitchens and master bedrooms, and create welcoming reading nooks in smaller rooms.

Casement windows

Casement windows are hinged on the side and open outwards fully. They’re great for light, fresh air, and side breezes. When new casement windows are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, though the hardware can deteriorate over time. When buying or maintaining an older home, check the window hardware to see if it needs replacing.

Clerestory windows

Dating back to Roman times, these narrow bands of windows that run across the tops of buildings are starting to filter into modern architecture. A clerestory window in modern parlance means any window that is higher than average.

Double hung windows

Double hung windows slide up and down. Either the upper or lower window can remain fixed while the other window slides next to it, or they can both slide towards the centre to allow air to travel in and out of a room from above and below. Double hung windows are especially good beside pathways, as they don’t open out beyond the building line. However they can be prone to leaking in more air than other window styles.

Horizontal sliding windows

The popular horizontal sliding window style features one or more windows that slide horizontally across the window opening. This is a space efficient style that offers a clear opening for ventilation.

Louvre windows

Louvre or jalousie windows are made of glass sheets set in metal clips that can be opened and closed together. These are best suited for temperate climates to provide year round ventilation. However they are difficult to seal and can pose a security risk if the panes are easy to remove from outside.

Skylights and roof lanterns

Enjoying direct sunlight, skylights are windows that are placed on a roof, and generally allow more light into a room then a regular window.