Window Styles - Advantages and Disadvantages
No one style of window is "the best" for all applications. Each window operation style has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, one style may suit your choice of heritage architecture better, but may be more difficult to open in locations such as over the kitchen sink. In general, the relative "strengths and weaknesses" exist no matter what material (PVC, Aluminum clad wood, or other) the window is made of, and no matter which company manufactures the window. The following tips are provided to help you choose which style of operation is best suited to your needs.
Casement & Awning
Fixed & Picture
Casement And Awning Windows
Casement and awning windows are hinged and swing out to open.
Specific Advantage of Casement Windows
- When closed, they are clamped tight to a weatherstrip, making them the most air-tight and energy efficient of all common styles.
- They are easier to open than sliding windows if people have strength or mobility issues with their wrists, hands, or fingers.
- This “ease of opening feature” is especially important in locations where one has to “reach out” to reach the window, such as over a kitchen counter. Sliding windows can be particularly difficult to open in such circumstances; casement or awning windows tend to be the easiest to open and close.
Specific Advantages of Awning Windows
- Most (but not all) modern casement windows feature hinges that readily allow the exterior of the window to be cleaned from inside the home.
- Awning windows can be left open in all but the heaviest of rain storms without allowing water penetration and damage to the interior of the home. This makes them particularly well suited to rental properties, where tenants may not be as diligent about closing windows when they leave for the day.
- Awning windows can be made up to 48” (1200mm) wide with one pane of glass. This makes them ideal for locations over kitchen sinks, where the “centre post” of a 2-section casement window can obstruct the view.
The screen is on the inside of the window. At night, when the window is closed after being open with lights on inside the home, insects get trapped between the glass and the screen. When this happens regularly, the windows end up getting dirtier faster than sliding windows that have exterior screens. This disadvantage of casement and awning windows is most notable in waterfront locations where there tends to be a higher concentration of flying insects at dusk.
Specific Disadvantage of Awning Windows
- Unlike the typical modern casement window, most modern awning windows are very difficult to clean from inside the home. It can generally be done, but it usually requires two people.
Specific Disadvantage of Casement Windows
- Casement windows cannot be left open during inclement weather without risking water damage to the interior of the home.