Looking to update your windows? Get to know about the five main varieties available in the market
With a lot of options to look at and factors to keep in mind while choosing windows, we explain five popular varieties that you should know about. Besides the obvious advantage of providing natural light and fresh air, windows also add to the look of a space. Sliding windows are perfect for apartments as they take up the least interior space and can be as tall or wide as you like. French windows need space but add a lot of appeal with their floor-to-ceiling design and hardwood frames. Bay windows are great to add a stylish nook but require the construction of a ‘roof’. Skylights are perfect for attics while hopper windows do well in basements.Here's a basic guide to all five varieties of windows.
1. French windows
French windows (or doors) can be used on exterior walls to open out on to balconies, terraces and patios or within a home to divide spaces, while still allowing for flow of light. French windows usually consist of full-length casement windows that open inwards or outwards from the centre. Since this style takes up more space, you’ll need to keep in mind the swing radius of the window and leave that space empty. Hardwood frames work well with this style but are susceptible to wear and tear of weather conditions. They are also available in metal and PVC frames as well as various glass and colour options.
2. Bay windows
Bay windows are a set of three windows connected at 30-45 degree angles protruding outwards creating a wonderful architectural nook. The space if big enough can be used as an additional seating space. A box bay window has the outer two windows attached to the central one at a 90-degree angle. Similar to them are bow windows where 4-6 panels are attached to each other at 10-20 degree angles creating a more circular and less angular nook. Both can use fixed or open-able panels or a combination of both depending on your tastes and requirements.
3. Sliding windows
A very popular style, sliding windows glide horizontally over each other in either direction along a set of tracks. Unlike casement windows, they will always be at least one section (the width of one window sash) that won’t open out. Great for contemporary rooms and apartments, sliding windows are a good alternative to casement or French windows where space to open out is limited. One disadvantage is that the horizontal tracks tend to trap dirt and debris which can jam the rollers. Regular cleaning will ensure that the windows glide smoothly.
4. Skylight windows
Skylights bring in extra natural light and ventilation into a room but are an expensive option. Whether fixed or casement-style, these are installed into a ceiling area with direct access to the roof. When choosing skylights, keep in mind leak-proof designs. You can also opt for retractable skylights that are set on tracks and usually operated via remote control or even remote-controlled blinds. Since they are placed on the roof, skylights are more prone to damage from natural elements and without a heat-resistant coating, they can trap heat inside the room.
5. Hopper windows
Hopper windows have the hinges placed on the bottom of the frame. With the latch on the top, they open downward and into a room. Great for compact areas, they provide excellent insulation as they completely seal up when closed and ventilation for spaces like bathrooms. Opening at an inward angle stops debris from entering the space, extremely useful when placed close to the ground like in basements. With easy access to both sides of the pane, these windows are easy to clean but they shouldn’t be used in areas where you want to install curtains or blinds.
Armed with all this information, you can now decide which kind of window works best for your home and your budget.