The 10 Most Popular Window Styles
There are many reasons why you might be thinking about replacing your windows—from making your home more energy-efficient and giving an older abode to a more modern design aesthetic to simply replacing damaged or broken glass or casings and reducing external noise, upgrading your windows can make a significant difference inside a space. Whatever your reason, it's important to note that you have a lot of choices, says Kim Anderson, owner of Window World in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That means you'll also have a lot of research to do before you get started.
"Your first step is to do a little research and then call a reputable company," instructs Anderson. (Part of that research, she says, should be to check to see if your neighborhood or homeowners' association has any rules or restrictions regarding windows.) Armed with that information, you can meet with a design consultant who "will come to your home, go through the process of how to order, and give you an estimate," Anderson describes. "He or she will bring samples to your home, show you how the windows work, and talk with you about what design might work best."
Those choices might be style-based, or chosen because of efficiency and cost. For example, you might need to pick between single, or double windows. (Anderson says it's almost always better to go with double-pane windows, which offer more insulation than single-pane options.) In some regions, especially those where extreme temperatures are a concern, you may also want to consider triple-pane windows. Now, let's dig into what styles you might see, and what you can expect to spend on replacement.
The outstanding feature of single-hung windows, Anderson says, is that "the bottom half of the window can open while the top half remains fixed." They're also "incredibly energy-efficient," Anderson says, and starting at about $200 each, single-hung windows can be cost-efficient, too.
Double-hung windows "are a classic style, and they are standard in many homes," she describes. Because they can be opened from the top or bottom, they allow homeowner more control over air flow and are a breeze—excuse the pun—to clean. Prices for double-hung windows start at about $229 each, says Anderson, and can climb to as much as $450 each, depending on design.
Sliding windows open from side-to-side rather than up-and-down, says Anderson. "They allow for a picturesque view without sacrificing airflow," she explains. They're common in homes with views where homeowners wouldn't want a bar blocking what they can see. "They start at $379 and can range up to $600 depending on the options, including installation," Anderson says.
Casement and Awning Windows
Casement and awning windows are both very traditional styles. "These windows are made of a single piece of glass that cranks open," Anderson describes, "and they are very popular in areas with older homes, like New York, or in rainy and windy climates, because their flexibility makes it easier to allow air to flow into the home, despite wet weather outside." But some homeowners might also want to use them in a bathroom, where they can vent the room while still maintaining their privacy. These windows can range in price from $329 each to $550, Anderson estimates.
"With a great view, a window certainly can look like a painting or a picture," says Anderson. As a fixed piece of glass that does not open, a picture window is "wonderful for framing a perfect view and welcoming natural sunlight in a room that doesn't need additional airflow," Anderson explains. "Pricing is determined by their size, but the majority of picture windows start at $369."
Architectural Shapes Windows
Architectural shapes are "specialty windows that fit a wide range of spaces," Anderson explains. "They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, like hexagons, ovals, or circles." The most common architectural shape, however, is a half-round or circle top. "They are mostly fixed pieces of glass that don't open, and they give a home a distinctive character," says Anderson, who adds "pricing is completely determined by size, and there's no starting point."
Acrylic Block Windows
Acrylic block windows are used for obscurity and privacy, but "they offer a unique design," says Anderson. You often seen them in basements or bathroom, or any other place where you might like to obscure the view into a room or space. "Pricing starts at about $400," Anderson estimates.
Bay and Bow Windows
"There's nothing like curling up with a book on a bench beside a bay window," Anderson says, describing them as "three-unit windows that protrude outside the home." On the other hand, a bow window "has four or more windows in it," she says. "They create an extraordinary focal point in your home and let in a glorious amount of natural light." For bay and bow windows, pricing starts at $2,500, and price depends on about 30 different options," Anderson explains.
According to Anderson, "A garden window is like bringing a piece of nature inside your home." This kind of window is often found in kitchens—because they're often made with a glass shelf in the middle, where you could grow herbs or flowers, Anderson explains. It provides sun exposure from three sides, adding to their "garden" appeal. "These start at $1,975," Anderson estimates.
Sliding Patio Door Windows
While not only window, a sliding patio door is made of glass, and "turns any wall into a ray of sunshine," Anderson says. "These are large windows, often floor-to-ceiling, that allow you to go in and out. Sliding patio doors are a great way to maximize natural light and unusable space." Because they range in size, they can start at $1,395 and go up to as much as $1,995, she says.