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  • Writer's pictureOakmont Glazing Systems Ltd

Window types

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

When it comes to ordering windows for your home you will be asked the question of how would you like your windows to open. Open in, open out or fixed are the only options surely? That’s not the case, and in fact there are several different ways your window can open. They all have their own benefits and different uses. In this blog we aim to run through all of these options so you can make an informed decision about how you would like your new windows to open.

Fixed windows

Let’s start with the simplest of windows, a fixed window. A fixed window does not open and has no handles or hinges. Therefore, there are no further options with this type of window.

Dummy sash windows

Dummy sash windows are in essence a fixed window. They have no handles and do not open. The difference with a dummy sash window is it has the same frame thickness as an opening window. People tend to use a dummy sash window type when they have a fixed window next to an opening window so both visually look the same with the same frame thickness. Purely fixed windows have less frame and more glass as they don’t have to house a handle or hinges.

Side hung windows

Side hung windows are typically the next most common opening type. These windows have the handle at the side of the window with hinges on the opposite side and open outwards. Side hung windows usually have visible hinges on the outside. The benefit of these windows is you get the largest clear opening possible as the window hinges from the very side of the window, which can be especially helpful when it comes to fire escape.

Side guided windows

Side guided windows are similar to side hung windows in the fact they have the handle at the side of the window and open outwards. The difference with side guided is you don’t get a visible hinge outside; the hinge is fully concealed. Rather than hinging at the very side of the window, the window hinges slightly within the opening. The benefits to this type of window opening are the concealed hinge. You get a neater detail, and also sometimes you are able to get your hand down the side of the window when open to clean the outside of the window from the inside. This is helpful if you have a window in a location where a window cleaner might not be able to get to so you can keep it clean from the inside.

Top hung windows

Top hung windows have the handle at the bottom of the window rather than the side of the window and they open outwards. Top hung windows are typically used when you want an outward opening window to go to larger sizes. As the hinges are either side of the window, rather than down one side, the stress on the hinges is less and means you can go bigger. Top hung windows are also used frequently in kitchens and bathrooms for slightly different reasons. If you have a window in a kitchen above a countertop it can be quite hard to reach the handle and open your window if the handle is half way up and at the side. Whereas, if the handle is at the bottom of the window, it is much easier to reach and makes it more user friendly. This is why top hung windows are particularly helpful in this scenario. Top hung windows are also used quite regularly in bathrooms to help with privacy. If you have a side hung or side guided window, when you open that window and you have close neighbours, people may be able to see into your bathroom easily. Whereas, with a top hung window, people will only be able to see into your bathroom if they are stood directly below your window and they will only be able to see upwards and not directly into your room.

Top hung reversible windows

These windows are similar to top hung windows with the handle at the bottom of the window, opening outwards and are able to go to large sizes than a side hung or side guided window. The difference is the hinge. Rather than just opening outwards, these window pivot halfway up so as you keep pushing the window out it fully rotates, allowing you to clean the outside of your window from the inside. These windows are great if you have a window that isn’t able to be cleaned from the outside or in an award location.

Tilt and turn windows

Tilt and turn windows open inwards and have two functions, a tilt function and a turn function. These windows have the handle at the side of the window, as a side hung or side guided window would have. When you turn the handle to 90 degrees you engage the tilt function where the top of the window tilts into your room by around 100mm. If you then want to fully open your tilt and turn window, you close the window, turn the handle again and the window opens inwards and is hinged at the side. Imagine this as a side hung window but opening inwards rather than outwards. Tilt and turn windows tend to be chunkier in profile to outward opening windows due to these two functions and have visible hinges on the inside as standard (however; you can upgrade to have concealed hinges on a lot of systems), but this also means they can go to much larger sizes. These windows are used a lot in bedrooms as the tilt function allows for secure ventilation overnight, or where you are needing an opening window at a large size.

Sash windows

Sash windows open differently to your typical window. Rather than opening in or out, these windows slide up and down. You can choose to have just the top slide, just the bottom slide or both sliding. There is now also the option to tilt your sash windows, which is great for ventilation. Sash windows are great for space saving while also giving you flexibility on ventilation vs a fully opening window.

In summary there are lots of different window types for you to choose from and they all have their benefits and disadvantages. During our sales process we will walk you through these options and put forward the best window type for each location as we see it so you have confidence you are choosing the best window for your home. When you place an order with us, we then do a full set of detailed design drawings to show each window and how it opens so you can then double check you are happy with everything before production commences.

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