Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Operable Window Types and Window Options

Window configurations available for custom homes can confuse the most diligent homeowner. I thought a simple review of various types and where they might work best for you was in order. All of the terms used below can be searched on Google images. A picture is worth a thousand words.

I won’t worry about window shapes here, best to think about squares and rectangles for today’s discussion. Lets start with the parts that make up all operable windows:

Window Frame – this is the box or jamb that fixes to the wall of your home. It is comprised of a sill (the bottom), legs (the sides) and the head (top piece).
Window Sash – This is the operable portion of your window. It is comprised of styles (the sides) and rails (the top and bottom).
The frame of the window is the interface for the wall finishes. It is what the trim is attached to, the drainage plane lathing and the hardware to operate the window sash.
Terminology:
Mulled window – window frames joined together to create fill larger openings.
Fixed unit window – a window that lacks hardware and cannot be opened.
Types of operable windows:
Single hung window – An operable sash passes vertically by a fixed sash within the same window frame. Typically this window will be taller than wide. Least expensive option. Provides ventilation but the sash parts obstruct some view. The glass will be in different planes visually.
Double hung window – Two operable sash can pass vertically by each other in the same frame. Typically this window will be taller than wide. Provides the same volume of ventilation as a single hung but allows for the ventilation to be at the top and/or bottom of the window.  Sash parts obstruct some view. The glass will be in different planes visually.
Glider window - An operable sash passes horizontally by a fixed or operable sash within the same window frame. Typically this window will be wider than tall. An inexpensive option. Provides ventilation but the sash parts obstruct some view. The glass will be in different planes visually.
Awning windows – a single sash hinges at the top and swings outward when opened. Typically this window will be wider than tall. Ventilation volume is more limited than with a single or double hung. This type of window projects into the space beyond the frame. In some locations this would be a hazard. Usually used above or below larger fixed windows to provide ventilation or mulled together to fill tall openings with wide and short frames. When mulled the glass is in the same plane. More expensive than the options above.
Casement windows - a single sash hinges at the side and swings outward when opened. Typically this window will be taller than wide. Ventilation volume is very good with plus that typically it can catch and direct breeze into the home. This type of window projects into the space beyond the frame. In some locations they will take up exterior space though usually not a hazard. When mulled to other casements or fixed units the glass is in the same plane. Allows for the least visual obstruction; more expensive than the options above.
Tilt Turn windows/Hopper windows – these windows use hardware that allow the operable sash to act as both a casement (with all of the same attributes) and also hinge from the bottom and project into the home. The hopper feature provides a limited venting with safety. Many of windows of this type will allow for the window in the casement mode to hinge in such a way that you can clean both the interior and exterior sides of the glass from the interior. These are the most expensive but also the most versatile.
I have likely raised more questions than I have answered. Please feel free to call me, Terry Wardell, at Wardell Builders, 858-793-4190 with any questions.
Windows - Home Window Options - Window Types

Wardell Builders | info@wardellbuilders.com  | 858-793-4190 | Solana Beach, CA 92075

 


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