For something as seemingly simple as glass in a frame, windows are as diverse as their locations and usage. From transoms located above a window or door, gable windows under a roof or single hung windows in many former British colonies, you could fill a book with the construction types, opening types, designs and purposes. But we won't go quite that far. Instead, learn more about the most common designs in use today including their intended use and benefits.
The Three Main Categories: Location, Opening Style and Design
There are easily dozens of different window types from casement to arched to transom. However, to better clarify the differences, it is useful to divide them into three groups: windows named for their location, opening styles and designs. Nevertheless, these three can and do overlap as shown in examples below.
Window Types Named for their Location
A number of window types are named for the installation location. Consider front doors, side doors and back doors. The name denotes nothing more than location and the opening style, material and design may or may not be the same. Neuffer offers a wide range of specialized windows including:
- Balcony Windows
- Dormer Windows
- Gable Windows
- Kitchen Windows
- Roof Windows
- Transom Windows
Each of these examples can be customised with different sizes and opening styles. However, in these cases the location usually plays a large role in determining the window's performance needs as well as available options in terms of security, insulation, opening mechanism and more. Therefore, they are often discussed as a category to themselves.
Window Types: Opening Style
The next major category of different types it that of opening style. It is defined by the way the sash and handle function. While basic hinged casement windows were standard for much of history, advances in fenestration technology and manufacturing have seen a number of new options come to market. Alphabetically, these include:
|Awning Window||Top-hung. Swings out and up forming an awning.|
|Casement Window||The casement is side-hung on hinges and swings like a door.|
|Double Hung||Sash window in which upper and lower sash slide vertically|
|Jalousie Windows||Parallel slats of glass that open and close like a Venetian blind.|
|Inswing/Outswing||The window swings either inwards or outwards|
|Parallel Action||The casement can slightly open, parallel to the frame for ventilation|
|Pivot Windows||The window pivots/swivels on an axis, centre or offset|
|Sliding||The sash slides horizontally. It does not swing.|
|Single Hung||Sash window in which lower sash only slides vertically|
|Tilt and Turn||The casement can both swing open or tilt inwards|
|Tilt Only||The casement only tilts inwards|
These options can be combined with many other window styles. At times, the location or shape of the window will limit your options, particularly with less common shapes such as trapezoids, triangles or round windows. However, modern window fittings can offer up to four different operating mechanisms at a time, for example: closed, tilt, turn and parallel action. Old-fashioned single and double hung windows however, are limited by their outdated technology and design.
Window Types: Design
The final main category of window types is based on the design and purpose, not opening function or location. For example, bay windows can come in different configurations, sizes, colours. It may have all fixed casements, all operable ones or a combination thereof. But we differentiate from others based on the overall design: a window that projects outwards from the main wall forming a small bay.
Additional design types include examples like:
|Arched Windows||Feature an rounded, arched top|
|Bay Windows||Three windows in angled intervals|
|Bow Windows||Four to five windows in a rounded form|
|French Windows||A set of double casement windows|
|Garden Windows||A mini bay window by the kitchen sink for plants|
|Picture Windows||Fixed with no sash|
|Panorama Windows||Large, wide windows, usually fixed|
Frame Materials: Timber, uPVC and Metal
Neuffer offers window frames in a variety of different material including timber and uPVC, or aluminium clad versions of each. Aluminium only is also available upon request. Even the most affordable materials can easily be upgraded with additional fittings and insulating features if required which can bring them to the same level as timber.
Aluminium cladding will boost the durability, security and looks of wood and uPVC frames.
Timber boasts great natural insulation and strength without additional reinforcement, foam or internal chambers required. It provides an elegant and natural look for any home while requiring a little more upkeep than synthetic materials Aluminium cladding represents the best of both worlds. For those on a stricter budget, aluclad uPVC provides solid security, insulation and aesthetics at a great price.
For the ultimate bespoke solution and unparalleled aesthetics, aluclad timber frames are second to none. They feature a sleek modern exterior look with the cosy look of wood indoors. As with all windows, there are a wide range of further options that can be fitted to reach the thermal insulation, sound reduction and security needs of your project.