10 Most Common Types of Windows (2024 Guide)
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Selecting windows is an important but sometimes overwhelming part of designing or updating your home. The best window brands offer various window styles and types to fit your home and budget, and each type serves a different purpose.
We’ve researched the 10 most common types of windows to help you understand your options and make the right choice for your project. We’ve included the pros and cons for each as well as average window prices.
*Cost figures in this article are based on 2023 repots from The Home Depot, Window Price Guide, and 5Estimates.
The 10 Most Common Types of Windows
Each window type serves a different purpose. Here are the most common types.
- Awning Windows
- Bay and Bow Windows
- Casement Windows
- Double-Hung Windows
- Picture Windows
- Single-Hung Windows
- Sliding Windows
- Storm Windows
- Transom Windows
Awning windows have hinges that allow them to open outward from the top. They look like an awning when open, which is where they get their name. These windows are suitable for rainy climates because they can be open during storms, allowing fresh air to enter while protecting you from the elements.
It’s best to install awning windows on an upper floor.
They can obstruct walkways when opened because they stick out horizontally. Awning windows cost an average of $578–$1,042 per window.
Pros and Cons of Awning Windows
Bay and Bow Windows
Bay and bow windows are beautiful focal pieces that let in lots of natural light and provide sweeping views of your surroundings. These windows consist of multiple large panes of glass that protrude from the home. Bow windows are curved, while bay windows are more angled.
Bay windows can be either be one window unit of three glass sections or can be framed and have three simpler windows. They usually cost between $2,300 and $4,900. Bow windows are made of at least five curved glass panes and cost a minimum of $1,000.
Pros and Cons of Bay and Bow Windows
Casement windows either open left or right using a crank, similar to a door. Their design makes it easy to control airflow when open, creating a strong, weathertight seal when closed. Casement windows can cost anywhere from $577–$1,603, depending on your window measurements.
Pros and Cons of Casement Windows
Double-hung windows are another popular window type. We surveyed 1,000 homeowners and found that they were the second most popular selection behind custom windows, with 26.4% of homeowners choosing to install them.
Double-hung windows slide along a vertical track to open and close. They can be opened from the top or bottom and offer good ventilation and easy cleaning.
Double-hung windows have a classic look that can fit a range of home styles. They’re generally easy and affordable to install, costing $470–$1,967 each.
Pros and Cons of Double-Hung Windows
Picture windows are fixed, meaning they don’t open. Though they don’t provide airflow, they have excellent weather resistance and create unobstructed views of your landscape. They’re made of one glass unit fitted into the frame, like a picture.
Picture windows can come in a unique shape or size and often need to be customized. They’re affordable since they have no moving parts and range in price from $325–$788.
Pros and Cons of Picture Windows
Single-hung windows are made of two panes. The bottom portion slides up and down to open, while the upper one remains fixed. Single-hung windows are one of the most popular types. They’re affordable and easy to install, making them a sound choice for those on a budget. They usually cost $158–$1,700.
Pros and Cons of Single-Hung Windows
Sliding windows are similar to single-hung windows except that they open horizontally. They provide a fair amount of ventilation, and there aren’t any breakable mechanical parts. Standard-size slider windows range from $478–$1,200. Full-size sliding glass patio doors are more costly at $1,000–$2,500.
Pros and Cons of Sliding Windows
Skylights are built into the roof and are a great solution for those seeking to add natural light to a room with limited wall space. Skylights can be fixed or vented. Though most skylights don’t open completely, they can provide extra airflow.
Skylight installation can be expensive because it typically involves roofing, framing, and wall construction. The average cost is $600–$2,000 for a basic job and much more for complicated installations.
Pros and Cons of Skylights
Storm windows come in permanent or removable options. They’re usually installed inside or outside regular windows to provide an extra layer of protection and insulation. They’re very affordable, averaging $165–$300. However, these costs can add up if you’re protecting all of the windows on your home, totaling around $5,000.
Pros and Cons of Storm Windows
Transom windows are placed above doors and were originally designed to allow air and light to pass between rooms, even if the doors were closed. They’re often rectangular or semicircular windows placed on top of a door or another window in historic homes. Because they’re so high up and promote airflow, they’re go-to choices for bathroom windows. Most window installers charge $140–$373 for transom window installation.
Pros and Cons of Transom Windows
Specialty Window Types
Many window brands offer energy-efficient options. Replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows can reduce your carbon footprint, maintain your home’s temperature, and help you save money on your electricity bills.
Energy Star-certified windows can save you up to 12% on your power bills. These windows also qualify you for the Windows and Skylights Tax Credit, which provides a tax credit equal to up to 30% of your project’s cost (or a $600 maximum).
We’ve detailed some other energy efficiency features to consider below:
- Argon gas: Many window manufacturers fill the space between glass panes with this odorless, colorless, and nontoxic gas. Argon gas is denser than air, so it insulates against the elements and heat exchange. This helps to preserve your home’s internal temperature and decrease energy bills.
- Low-emissivity (low-e) coating: This is a thin, invisible metallic coating that window manufacturers place on the inner part of the window’s exterior pane. This prevents heat from escaping your home during winter and keeps heat outside during summer. The coating also protects your interior and furniture from fading and sun damage.
- Multipane glass: Double-pane and triple-pane windows both block more heat than single-pane windows. They also offer insulation and soundproofing.
- Warm edge spacer: This spacer creates a seal around your window’s glass panes and frame. It also insulates the window and reduces heat transfer.
- Weatherstripping: Many windows manufacturers design windows with weatherstripping because it creates a tight seal that keeps drafts out. We suggest looking for high-quality weatherstripping that includse fibrous materials, such as plastic or metal.
When To Replace Your Windows
There are many different types of windows to choose from. Whether installing new windows or replacing old windows, we recommend professional installation. A professional can explain your options, offer affordable window replacement solutions, and help you choose a design that works best for your project.
It’s best to request quotes from multiple installers to compare quotes, warranties, and other factors before deciding. We’ve reviewed dozens of top window installers and recommend Renewal by Andersen for a personalized, hands-free experience or Champion Windows for discounts and multiple financing options.
Use our tool below to find installers near you.
FAQ About Types of Windows
What is the most common type of window?
The most common types of windows are double- and single-hung. Most homeowners pair these windows with vinyl frames to create a valuable yet affordable replacement window.
What is the most energy-efficient style of window?
Picture and specialty windows are the most energy-efficient style of window because they don’t open. Casement and awning windows are good options if you want operable windows because they create a weathertight seal when closed.
How long do windows last?
Windows last an average of 15–30 years, depending on the window type, material, and local weather conditions.
What is the difference between a casement window and a double-hung window?
There are a few characteristics that differentiate casement windows from double-hung ones. Most notably, casement windows are hinged on the side and open outward, while double-hung windows slide up and down to open vertically.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our window ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, browsing product selections, analyzing window line specifications, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for window variety, value, trustworthiness and transparency, window features, and customer service to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.
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