Window style guide

Window Styles; a guide to the most popular

Has your architectural team started asking what windows you like?

Do you feel like you are stumbling through the conversation, pretending like you know what they are talking about? 

If the terms casement, sash & case and tilt & turn have your head in a spin when talking about windows you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’re going to give you a quick rundown of the most popular window styles so that you can discuss what you are looking for with ease.

The 7 most common window styles in the UK 

#1 – Casement Windows 

Casement windows are one of the most common, you’ll likely see them in almost every street you drive down. Typically they open outwards with hinges on the side (side hung), although they can also hinge from the top (top hopper).

They are simple to operate and versatile when it comes to configuring them to your needs. For example you can mix a row of smaller, top hung casements above a row of side opening ones, which can give good control over ventilation . 

Window Styles; a guide to the most popular styles

#2 – Tilt & Turn 

Tilt & Turn windows are very similar to the above casement windows, except that they open inwardly. They can open in two different ways; firstly tilting from the top, to allow fresh air into the room and secondly, by turning the handle so that the frame can pull open towards you creating an additional means of escape from the room in the event of a fire.

They are a great hybrid option and are loved for their easy cleaning. 

#3 – Sash & Case

Sash and case windows are popular for traditional style buildings especially in conservation areas where period and listed buildings are common.  They are basically two different window sections that move behind one another in a vertical motion. If one section is fixed it’s called single hung; if both move it’s called double hung. 

You can get windows with or without mullions and astragals; these are the narrow strips of wood that divide the pane into smaller individual frames. In older properties, these would be individual panes of glass however in modern windows you will find it is one pane of glass with the wood affixed on top. 

Sash and case windows are typically the most expensive windows that you’ll find due to their more complicated operating mechanisms, but are often a requirement of planning permission within listed buildings and buildings in a conservation area. 

#4 – Roof Windows or Skylights 

Roof windows or skylights are a brilliant way to bring in natural light without having to sacrifice wall space in single storeys. They are also ideal for loft conversions where coombed ceilings can be used for light and ventilation. You have the option of centre pivot, top hung or non-opening windows. 

Velux windows are a well known brand, they have a feature which allows them to provide ventilation while the window still remains closed. 

roof window

#5 – Slider Windows 

Just like a sliding doorway, these windows are essentially two sections that slide behind each other horizontally on a track. There are options available to have both sections moving, or alternatively one fixed into position with the other one sliding behind. 

#6 – Bay / Bow windows 

Window Styles; a guide to the most popular styles

In the simplest terms a bay or bow window is a series of glazed panes that angle outwardly from the wall of the room. They are a great way to not only add light to the room, but also additional space. 

The term describes the series of windows and their formation rather than the actual window type, which tends to be a casement, fixed or sash & cash.  A bay window tends to include three openings whereas a bow window will be four or five.  

#7 Fixed Windows 

Their function is essentially not to open, but to provide light, warmth and an added feature to a room’s aesthetics.  Depending on a home’s surrounding environment, large fixed windows can be a great way to maximise the view seen from inside the home. 

From feature size gable end windows, to additional windows sitting directly beside patio doors. Fixed windows can open up a world of design opportunities as they minimise the chunkiness of the frame required to house the opening mechanisms.  The drawback as you start to scale the size of the window is the energy efficiency of the property. However, technology advancements has led to energy efficient windows now existing to counterbalance this impact. 

Window Styles; a guide to the most popular styles

Summary : Window Styles; a guide to the most popular styles

Understanding the jargon as you undertake your architectural journey can help you feel more confident in your decisions.  The information gained, allows you to evaluate what would be best for your circumstances, creating a pros and cons analysis for the shortlist. 

In the UK window design has evolved through the decades, but technology advancements  in energy efficiency as well as material variables for the frames means that even the traditional farmers can behave in a modern manner. 

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