The look and feel of your home can be dramatically altered, in either a negative or positive way, by the styles of window frames that you choose to install. Naturally, you want to pick a glazing design that will work with the age and architectural design of your property and a great way to ensure a cohesive aesthetic is to employ the services of a professional team of window manufacturers. You can start by checking out glazing experts near you in the homify directory, but try to have a rough idea of the window styles that you are keen on, as that will really help to streamline the decision-making process.
We've created this handy go-to guide in order to give you a better understanding of the different styles that you can choose from, the pros and cons of each and any and all associated costs of every variation. As an extra dose of inspiration, there will be a link to our gallery of incredible windows pictures at the end of this guide.
There are a huge number of different window styles to choose from, but technical jargon can be hard to understand. We're going to give you a simplistic overview of all the different window designs, to get you started with your decision-making.
Single hung windows—Open only at the bottom, via a vertical sliding mechanism.
Double hung windows—Open both at the top and bottom, offering duel ventilation opportunities. These are also known as sash windows, as are single hung glazing options.
Awning windows—Hinged at the top and open outwards. These are particularly good for rooms that need ventilation, but also privacy, such as bathrooms.
Sliding windows—Open sideways and work in a range of sizes, from small through to full height. Perfect for installation where pivoting doors would require a large sacrifice of valuable space.
Stationary windows—Also known as fixed windows, these do not open at all, but simply act as a mechanism for drawing light into a space.
Transom windows—Usually very pretty and decorative in style, these horizontal windows are located above doorways and draw extra light into internal rooms and corridors.
Bay and bow windows—Extending out from the façade of the house, bay and bow styles are period features that allow for extra floor space inside a home. Bow windows tend to be smooth and curved whereas bay styles are faceted.
Glass block windows—Usually finished with a texture, to allow for privacy, these are very popular as bathroom installations and can be a cost-effective alternative to standard glazing.
Hopper windows—Hinged at the bottom and opening inwards, these are popular in heritage homes, especially those that have narrow walkways running alongside them.
Casement windows—Hinged at the side and attached to the surrounding frame, these open outwards without pivoting.
Double casement windows—As above, but pivot round a little further, to allow you to clean the external glass, from inside the house.
Basement windows—These are generally wide yet squat, to allow for a lot of light flow without adversely affecting the façade aesthetic of your home. Skylights are also a popular option for basements, as they can simply be inset into the ground.
Bathroom windows—By necessity of what goes on in a bathroom, the windows are usually heavily patterned so as to allow light to enter, while shutting out prying eyes. Privacy glass is critical and can be set into any style of frame.
Roof windows—More commonly known as skylights, these are generally fixed panels of glazing that are set into external ceilings, in order to encourage light to pour straight down into an otherwise dark space.
Patio windows—Usually either bi-folding or sliding, patio windows are large and designed to blur the line between your internal and external spaces.
Of course, there are lots of factors that will affect how much the windows that you choose will eventually cost, but the operating mechanism will absolutely be the deciding aspect. The following figures are only a guideline, but should be enough to give you an idea of how much each style of window could cost, but remember that the fancier your chosen finishes and materials are, the higher the price will be and there will be an installation fee to consider as well.
Single hung windows—$100 to $220
Double hung windows—$200 to $620
Awning windows—$325 to $555
Sliding windows—$250 to $1000
Stationary windows—$210 to $670
Transom windows—$priced by individual project
Bay and bow windows—$900 to $2500
Glass block windows—$200+
Hopper windows—$325 to $555
Casement windows—$200 to $550
Double casement windows—$300 to $600
Basement windows—$200 to $1500
Bathroom windows—$200 to $350
Patio windows—$250 to $1000
The point of windows is to draw natural light into your home effortlessly and throughout the day. Because of this, architects use their professional training to decide on the best locations for each glazing panel. Regardless of which window styles will look the most appropriate, given the age and architectural style of your home, placement is absolutely everything.
Converted basements absolutely need roof lights to be installed, to prevent a cloying sense of claustrophobia from creeping in, while corridors and hallways will really benefit from transom glazing located above the front or back doors. While considering the locations of your windows, you might also want to be a little bolder in terms of size, to really draw in a lot of light.
Other than price, there are pros and cons to every style of window. These factors can be the make or break criteria that help you to hone in on the perfect glazing designs for you, so read our summary below and think about what is most important to you.
Single hung windows:
Pros—Easy to install and perfect for heritage or traditional homes.
Cons—Only open at the bottom so might not ventilate enough.
Double hung windows:
Pros—Open at both the top and bottom and maintain a traditional aesthetic.
Cons—Need more maintenance than single hung versions and can be expensive.
Pros—Excellent for privacy and have a simple mechanism.
Cons—Impossible to clean from indoors and available in limited sizes.
Sliding windows (including patio windows):
Pros—Open smoothly and without encroaching on a room or outside space.
Cons—Can be expensive and large, which means a lot of cleaning.
Pros—No operating mechanism to go wrong and very cost-effective thanks to the static installation.
Cons—Offer no ventilation at all.
Pros—Beautiful and decorative and a great way to gain extra light.
Cons—Due to the levels of customization, they are often expensive.
Bay and bow windows:
Pros—Decorative and perfect for any period homes.
Cons—Can be expensive to have made and installed, as custom carpentry is often needed!
Glass block windows:
Pros—Cost-effective and a little more eclectic than standard glazing.
Cons—Not generally considered to be as elegant as other contemporary window designs.
Pros—Great for security and simple to operate.
Cons - Open inwards, which can be inconvenient in small spaces.
Casement windows (single and double):
Pros—Readily available, cost-effective and suitable for a variety of glazing styles.
Cons - If the mechanisms go wrong, in most cases, everything needs to be replaced.
Pros—Let a wealth of natural light into a dark space and look stylish.
Cons—Due to the specialist installation, these can be very costly.
Pros—Don't require a compromise between light flow and privacy and come in a range of finishes.
Cons—Not everybody likes pattern glazing designs and they can look outdated.
Pros—A great way to add extra glazing and create a more contemporary aesthetic.
Cons - Very hard to clean, due to location and can be very expensive.
Finally, something to think about is how much it could cost you, if your chosen window styles need to be maintained. Certain frames will need to be entirely replaced, as simply swapping out the glass panes won't be possible and if you have a listed property, you'll need to be very careful about replacing like for like items. In particular, windows that have complex mechanisms, such as casement or sliding examples, could leave you with costly bills if the metal inner workings need to be looked at.
For some pictorial window inspiration, take a look here.