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Windows 101: Understanding Different Window Types and Their Names

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Windows 101: Understanding Different Window Types and Their Names

Windows are an essential part of your home exterior. From providing natural light and ventilation to offering a view of the outside world from your home, windows are responsible for a lot. 

If you’re looking to install high-quality windows in your home and reap all their benefits, be aware that the window replacement process may not be as straightforward as it appears. With a wide variety of window types and names on the market, it can be overwhelming for homeowners to differentiate between them. That’s where we come in to help guide you through the process. 

In today’s blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of windows and learn about different types and names so that you can be fully aware of your options before making a decision. Let’s get started! 

Common Types of Windows For Your Window Replacement

The window industry has seen tremendous improvements over the years. As a homeowner looking to install new windows, you now have many more options than you would have a few years ago. While you may have heard of some of these windows, such as single or double-hung windows, there are others. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular window styles on the market:

Double-Hung Windows

A double-hung window is one of the most common window types available on the market today. You can identify them as a type of window that has two parts (or sashes). Both the sashes can be opened to let the fresh air into your home. 

One of the main benefits of double-hung windows is their versatility. Homeowners can open either the top or bottom sash, or both, depending on their ventilation needs.

Additionally, double-hung windows are generally easier to clean than single-hung ones, as both sashes can be tilted inward for cleaning from inside the home.

Double-hung windows are a versatile and visually appealing option for homeowners who prioritize functionality and aesthetics.

Double-Hung Window and Single Hung Window

Single Hung Windows

The single-hung window is a popular alternative to the double-hung window system. This window consists of two panels, just like a double-hung window, but unlike the former, only one sash can move. This type of window consists of one fixed panel and a movable panel that slides vertically within the window frame. The movable panel, or sash, is typically located at the bottom of the window. This design allows for ventilation from the bottom of the window while the top remains fixed.

Single-hung windows are often favored for their simplicity and classic look. They are also a popular choice for homeowners who are looking for an affordable option, as they tend to be less expensive than other window types.

Picture Windows 

Picture Window 

A picture window is a large fixed window that does not open or close, and is often used to showcase a scenic outdoor view or provide natural light to a room. It gets its name from the ability to frame a picturesque view. So a picture window is a perfect option if you have a home in an area with breathtaking views.

Picture windows are typically made of a single pane of glass that is either clear or tinted, providing you with an unobstructed view of the outside world. Since these are fixed, and you cannot open them, you should not install them if ventilation is a concern.  

Also, since these do not open or close, they are generally more energy-efficient than other window types, with fewer air leaks or drafts.

Overall, picture windows are a visually stunning and energy-efficient window option for homeowners who want to showcase a beautiful view or bring in natural light to a room.

Casement Windows 

Casement Window

Next up is the casement window. This window type is one of the most popular systems among Florida homeowners.

A casement window is a style of window hinged on one side and opens outward from the other. With these types of windows, there is usually a hand crank or a handle located at the bottom frame of the window. Due to this feature, they are also known as crank windows.

All you need to do is to rotate the crank, or turn the latch, to push the window outwards, just like you would open the door of your home. 

Since these windows open fully, their design allows for maximum ventilation and also an unaltered view of the outside world. 

These windows are also sealed from all sides when closed and therefore can offer you greater energy efficiency and prevent drafts. 

However, one downside of casement windows is that they can be more expensive than other window types, especially if you require a custom-sized window. Additionally, casement windows may not be suitable for all locations, especially places where the window can obstruct walkways or other outdoor spaces when opened.

Bay Windows

Bay Window

Amongst all the window types we discuss, a bay window is the most aesthetic window you will find.

Unlike other windows, the structure of a bay window extends outward from the wall of your home, creating a small nook or alcove inside the room, which is a great feature for both your home’s interior and exterior.  

A bay window is a larger window that is typically made up of three window panes: a larger fixed center window flanked by two smaller windows on either side that can occasionally be opened for ventilation. The two side windows can be either straight or curved, depending on your preference. 

The windows that have a curved design are also known as bow windows. It is a variation of a bay window that consists of a curved or angled structure of four or more windows that protrude from the wall of a home. Due to the presence of four window panes in the system, bow windows are more expensive than bay windows. 

One of the main advantages of both a bay and a bow windows is their ability to add space and dimension to a room. The extended ledge created by a bay window can be used as a seating area, additional storage, or simply as a decorative element. However, one issue with bay windows is that they can be more expensive than other window types due to their size and complexity. 

Sliding Windows 

Sliding Windows 

Sliding windows are a relatively new style that has been getting popular on the market. 

As the name suggests, sliding windows slide open horizontally on tracks. Also known as gliding windows, they are popular for their modern look.

As times are changing and contemporary and modern-style homes are being built, more and more homeowners are opting for sliding windows due to their sleek appearance and functionality.  

Thanks to modern sliders, you can open and close these windows with minimal effort as they slide smoothly along their tracks. They come in single-side and dual-side options. This feature also makes them pretty versatile. Sliding windows are available in multiple sizes, and you can use them in your living room, overlooking the balcony, porch, and even in multi-story buildings. These windows are not only suitable for common areas, but they also make a great choice for hard-to-reach locations or for individuals who may struggle with operating other window types.

You may however face some challenges with these windows too. The tracks that make them easy to open and close can get filled with dust or debris over time, making it difficult to operate the window.

Awning Windows

Awning Windows

An awning window is a bit different from your traditional window system. Awning windows are a type of window that is hinged at the top and open outward from the bottom,

They get their name from their ability to open outwards and upwards, therefore creating a cover similar to what an awning does outside.

You can install an awning window in a variety of locations, including above doors, in basements, or areas with limited wall space. Their design allows for airflow even during light rain, unlike some other types of windows.

Bonus Option: Skylights


Though these are not traditional windows that go on the side of a home, skylights are an increasingly popular window option for homeowners who want to bring more natural light into their living space. As the name suggests, skylights are windows that provide you with a view of the beautiful sky. These windows are installed on the roof or ceiling of a home, allowing sunlight to enter from above.

Earlier skylights were usually rectangular, but thanks to constant developments, they are now available in several shapes and sizes. 

These windows offer several benefits, including the ability to brighten up a room and create a more open and spacious feeling. They can also be used to highlight unique architectural features, such as vaulted ceilings or exposed beams. Nowadays, skylights also help increase the value of your home as many potential buyers look at this as a favorable addition to a home.

Different Window Types According To Material

So far, we’ve explored various window types based on their design and functionality. But did you know that you should also consider the frames of windows when installing them too? The material your window frame is made out of can significantly impact its durability, energy efficiency, and overall look.

In this section, we will look at some of the most common window materials you can consider when you replace your existing windows.  


Wood is one of the most used materials when it comes to window frames. It gives your windows a nice, rustic look on your home’s exterior. This will be perfect if you have a traditional home.

However, wood windows require more maintenance than other materials, such as regular painting and sealing, to protect against weather damage and prevent rot. 

Also Read: 9 Best Ways To Prepare Your Windows For Florida Hurricanes


Vinyl is a popular choice for homeowners looking for an affordable and low-maintenance option. Vinyl is already a popular material when it comes to siding due to its trendy designs but this is not it.

Vinyl also provides a durable, weather-resistant material for window frames that won’t warp, rot, or fade over time. Additionally, vinyl window frames are energy-efficient, with many models featuring multiple panes of glass and insulative frames that can help reduce energy costs. 


Fiberglass is the newest material on the market when it comes to window frames. Though materials like vinyl and wood dominate the market, fiberglass is also getting attention. 

It’s an incredibly durable and weather-resistant material, with a long lifespan and minimal maintenance required. Additionally, it offers excellent energy efficiency, with superior insulation properties that can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

If you want to know more about fiberglass window frames and how they can help improve your home, read our extensive guide on fiberglass windows

Best Window Installation Services In Tampa

We hope that you are now more knowledgeable about the types of windows available on the market. If you have already decided on the right style of window for your home, then all you now need to do is contact the team of SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors. 

No matter what type of window you choose, our team of experts is here to help you with installation. We’re happy to install windows from leading manufacturers and provide our customers with the natural light and ventilation their home deserves. 

If you’re interested in upgrading your home’s windows or adding skylights, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (813) 400-3329. Our professionals will be happy to help you. 

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