Custom Replacement Windows from ProVia Provide the Ultimate Combination of Form and Function for Your Home
Ready to select custom replacement windows for your home? Ready for a new look? Improved energy efficiency? A more cohesive design?
If your answer is yes, your next step is to select the right window styles for your home. But, if you’re not a home renovation professional, the wide range of window terms might seem confusing and lead to more questions like:
- What is a double hung window?
- What is the difference between casement and awning windows?
- What’s the definition of a bay window?
- How do I choose replacement windows for my home?
While you might have a lot of questions, there are really only a handful of window styles used in homes:
You can cut through the confusion and find the information you need by considering five main characteristics for each window type:
- Architecture - some windows suit certain types of exterior designs better than others
- Exterior features and landscaping – decks, driveways and landscaping can interfere with the operation of some windows
- Interior placement – certain window styles are easier to operate in tough locations, like over counters, sinks and cabinets
- View – some types of window construction inherently partly interfere with outdoor views from inside, while others provide wide-open vistas
- Ventilation – certain types of windows provide better airflow than others
The right window style can give your home a cohesive look, the right splash of design and major functional benefits. To help you through the selection process, here’s a description of each type along with an assessment against the criteria above.
If your first question is “what is a double hung window,” you’re not alone. But the terminology becomes a lot more understandable once you know that a single hung window has a fixed upper sash, with only the lower sash moving up and down.
A double hung window, then, is composed of an upper and lower sash that can be moved up and down independently of each other. This is the most traditional window style, the one that pops into most people’s minds when you say “double hung”.
- Architecture: The workhorse of the window family, double hung windows complement a wide variety of exterior styles but match particularly well with Colonials and classic-style homes. Generally best suited for spaces where the window can be twice as tall as it is wide.
- Exterior features: Double hung windows don’t interfere with landscaping, walkways or other exterior features.
- Interior placement: Double hung windows can be difficult to reach when positioned over sinks, fireplaces or other interior design elements that require the homeowner to stretch to reach the window.
- View: The area where the top and bottom of the sashes come together naturally blocks part of the view from inside.
- Ventilation: Because they can open from the bottom and the top, double hung windows provide some flexibility, allowing ventilation at either – or both – ends. The sashes, however, always block some part of the window, preventing wide-open ventilation.
Verdict: Providing flexibility in a variety of categories, these windows are beautiful, functional and energy efficient. Both upper and lower sashes on ProVia double hung windows open and tilt in for easy cleaning.
The darlings of mid 20th century design, casement and awning windows are composed of a single sash that’s hinged and cranks open and shut.
So what’s the difference between casement and awning windows? It’s all in the position of the hinge: Casements have the hinge on the left or right; an awning window is a casement set on its side, with the hinge at the top.
Because the two are virtually identical in construction, the following information applies to both.
- Architecture: These custom replacement windows are popular choices for a wide variety of home styles but are particularly well suited to contemporary, modern and ranch homes. Casements are best in spaces that allow for the window to be more than twice as tall as it is wide; awnings, as a rule, are wider than they are tall.
- Exterior features: Because awning and casement windows crank out, they aren’t the best choice where trees or shrubs could block the windows from opening. They also should be avoided for exterior areas like decks, walkways and porches where they could impede pedestrian traffic.
- Interior placement: This type of window, which is controlled by a stationary crank, is a great choice for locations over cabinets, sinks and other features that can interfere with the homeowner’s ability to open or shut the window.
- View: The single sash provides an unobstructed view of the outdoors.
- Ventilation: Casements provide wide-open ventilation from top to bottom yet offer a great deal of flexibility over the amount of airflow, thanks to the crank control. Awnings, which also allow for superior ventilation, offer the additional advantage of preventing rain from entering your home.
Verdict: Compared to double hung models, these custom replacement windows provide greater ventilation and more unobstructed views but also offer less flexibility in exterior placement. Casement and awning windows from ProVia pair design and function perfectly and enhance beauty and energy efficiency.
Horizontal slider windows, another favorite of mid-century design, operate like single or double hung windows but slide horizontally (left and right) instead of vertically (up and down). Sliders are available in several different configurations, such as two sashes that both slide or a stationary sash with one or more sashes that slide.
- Architecture: Like casements and awnings, these custom replacement windows appear on a wide variety of homes but are ideally suited for sleek modern or contemporary designs. Sliders generally work well in spaces that are wider than they are tall.
- Exterior features: Like double hung windows, sliders aren’t an impediment in areas with high outdoor foot traffic or with closely placed trees and shrubs.
- Interior placement: This style is another great option for hard-to-reach spots like sinks and built-in bookcases.
- View: Because the sides of the sashes overlap, sliders provide a more obstructed view than casements and awnings. But, because of their traditionally larger dimensions, sliders provide better views than standard double hung windows.
- Ventilation: The overlapping sashes of sliders prevent as much airflow as casements and awnings provide, but the generally larger dimensions afford more ventilation than double hung windows do.
Verdict: These custom replacement windows are a great option for spaces where awnings and casements would interfere with exterior features but where more airflow is required than double hung windows can offer. Horizontal slider windows from ProVia are engineered to provide you with superior durability and ventilation.
The name matches the function here: picture windows frame the outside view, providing a sort of living picture of the outdoors.
- Architecture: Popular in a wide variety of house styles, picture windows are generally avoided when the exterior design is required to adhere to specific architecture styles like Victorian homes or mid-century ranches.
- Exterior features: Because picture windows are stationary or “fixed,” they don’t interfere with landscaping or exterior features like decks or walkways.
- Interior placement: Their stationary nature means picture windows can work well in any area of a home.
- View: Picture windows provide an unparalleled view and are frequently used to great effect as a way to highlight special landscaping or sensational outdoor scenery.
- Ventilation: By definition, picture windows don’t open and, therefore, provide no ventilation. If an unobstructed view and ventilation are required, picture windows can be configured with casement, double hung or awning windows to provide the best of both worlds.
Verdict: Picture windows provide abundant light and a spacious view, plus the benefits of home energy savings.
Technically, a bay or bow isn’t actually a single window. Bay and bow windows are constructed of a series of double hung, casement or fixed (picture) windows set side by side. The definition of a bay window vs. a bow window is simple:
A standard bay window configuration requires a larger window flanked on each side by a more narrow window, each set at an angle. The center and side windows can be fixed, double hung or casement.
A typical bow window is configured of four or more windows of equal size set at angles to create a gradually arched projection. As with a bay window, the individual bow components can be fixed, double hung or casement.
A window seat is frequently used to complement both styles.
- Architecture: Bay and bow windows appear in a variety of home designs, but bows are traditionally associated with Victorian architecture while bays are generally considered more modern.
- Exterior features: Because bay and bow windows both project outwards, they can interfere with closely placed landscaping or features like frequently used sidewalks.
- Interior placement: Bow and bay windows give a home’s interior a more spacious feel. Because they’re generally constructed of a series of bigger windows, bays and bows traditionally are set in larger walls rather than in smaller areas like above sinks.
- View: Because they project out, well-designed bay and bow windows can seem to bring the outdoors in. Despite the possibility of multiple sashes, these styles often provide stunning views.
- Ventilation: Again, the amount of airflow depends on what type of window is used in the bay or bow.
Verdict: Bay and bow windows can be configured to provide just the right design aesthetic, view and airflow for nearly any style of home.
Architectural windows cover a wide range of shapes – octagons, right angles, arches and semi-circles are just the start. Like bay and bow windows, architectural window styles vary in energy efficiency, ventilation and view, depending on whether they’re fixed or operable.
Shapes can be used alone as a single focal point or in combination with one or more types of other windows to create a stunning setting for your home.
The availability of so many great styles - not to mention patterns and colors - can lead to some tough choices, which brings us back to the last question at the top of this article: How do I choose the right replacement windows for my home?
The best answer is to find professionals to guide you through the process, and ProVia and its outstanding network of dealers are uniquely situated to assist in selecting the right window styles for your home. Additionally, there’s no worry about energy efficiency -- all ProVia replacement windows provide excellent insulation and energy efficiency.