Buying Guide

Types of Windows

Types of Windows
Description
bay windows Bay windows can make any room feel bigger, brighter and airier. These windows provide a panoramic outdoor view, but can be costly to maintain and repair.
casement windows These windows are ideal for difficult-to-reach areas such as over a kitchen sink. Hinged windows are a type of casement window that open at the sides and offer great ventilation. However, they can be difficult to use with a screen and often lack security.
awning windows An awning window tilts outward and saves energy but can be difficult to clean and maintain.
basement windows These types of windows help seal the bottom of your home and let light into a basement while still preserving some privacy.
double hung windows This is a great window to get cross ventilation. Double hung windows help flush out the heat collecting near the ceiling. A double hung window features two operating sashes that can be moved up or down to let air in the top, bottom or both.
single hung windows This is an affordable window option. It offers a single operating sash, with the top section fixed so that only the bottom can be moved up for ventilation.
tubular skylights Tubular skylights have recently become increasingly popular because of its energy efficiency and natural lighting. Easy to install and flexible, they need a small hole compared to standard skylights to brighten any space.
sliding windows This is another affordable window installation option with simple locks and access to outside.
Vinyl Window Frames
A vinyl window frame in an office.

Along with different types of windows, there are several different types of window frames. Vinyl window frames usually consist of PVC, along with ultraviolet protection against the sun. In addition, vinyl is water-resistant and easy to maintain.

Aluminum Window Frames
Aluminum window frames in a dining room.

Aluminum window frames are one of many popular types of window frames. They offer a more contemporary style in addition to conducting heat and cold well.

Wooden Window Frames
Wooden window frames along a wall in a home.

Wooden window frames will not stick due to expansion and contraction. However, they can be susceptible to rot and weathering and are difficult to maintain.

Parts of a Window Frame
Diagram featuring different parts of a window frame.

A window frame for most types of windows consists of several different parts. 


The interior parts of a window frame, for most types of window frames, are a balance, sash, check rail, glass, lower and upper rails, lift and sash lock. 


The exterior parts of a window frame include a frame, head, jambs, sill and jambliner. It is important to understand where these parts are when working with a window frame.

Window Screens
A woman putting a window screen in a window.

A window screen is designed to cover a window opening and protect its glass from damage. Window screens vary in colors like black, charcoal and grey.


They come in a variety of textures and materials like fiberglass and aluminum. Fiberglass is the most common window screen material used in construction and home windows. It is an economical screen product that does not damage easily.


Aluminum window screens are the most costly yet more strong and durable. The finish reduces glare, makes the screen damage resistant and strengthens the corrosion.

Tip: Products like BetterVue and pet screens are built with a material and finish that provides stronger visibility than that of insect screening. It protects your home windows from punctures and more in-depth weather damage.