Window replacement may seem straightforward on the surface. But once you start researching, you’ll realize you have many options. From size to shape to colour and functionality, the possibilities are endless. At Torwin, we carry a large selection of windows with customizable features to ensure our clients find exactly what they’re looking for without compromises.
If you’re looking for operable windows (ones that can open and close), there are three main types: slider, casement, and awning windows. Here’s a breakdown of each of them and where they’ll work best in your home.
What Is a Hung or Slider Window?
These windows are simple to use and maintain, with basic mechanisms. They are very cost-effective and they tend to be more affordable than casement and awning windows of the same size. Aside from the lock (if you choose to have one), there’s no crank or hinge—you simply slide along the track to open the window.
Basic slider models open horizontally (or vertically in the case of hung windows) rather than swinging in or out. At Torwin, we also offer upgraded windows that can tilt in for cleaning or lift out for better ventilation. Depending on where the track is located, it can fill up with snow, dust, and dirt and will require frequent wiping to maintain optimal function.
Also, hung and slider window screens are placed on the outside, meaning they’ll be under constant exposure to the elements, collecting dirt, dander, and pollen. You’ll need to keep an eye on them to ensure optimal function and condition.
Still, sliding windows are a good, practical choice, especially when you are tight on space. Because awning and casement windows swing out, you must ensure you have the proper clearance for them to open. Hung and sliders open parallel to the walls they’re installed in, so they’re a versatile option for most window upgrades. They’re best along stairs, near patios, walkways or porches.
And if you need air conditioning for your room, sliding windows can easily accommodate a portable unit where swing-out windows won’t—a plus if you don’t have central air in your home.
What is an Awning Window?
Awning windows are hinged along the top horizontal edge and open by swinging out at a 45-degree window. Because they’re crank-operated, they’re an excellent choice for windows in hard-to-access areas. The crank-style window opening mechanism makes it easy to operate even if a bit of reaching is involved. Also, you can keep them open even if it’s raining outside—the way they open outwards will shield the water droplets from entering your home.
Awning-style windows are more energy-efficient than sliding ones. When closed, they seal quite tightly. And while they’re usually priced a bit higher than sliding windows, they’re still considered relatively affordable.
However, awning windows aren’t perfect for every situation. For example, they can’t accommodate an air conditioning unit because of the way they open. And awning windows will require a certain amount of clearance on the outside—they may not be appropriate for areas near walkways or spaces too close to walls, plants, or other objects.
Awning windows are a popular choice for bathrooms, where you might want extra ventilation. You can open them rain or shine—or even snow if you don’t mind the cold—without worrying about moisture coming in. The window’s opening angle also helps maintain privacy, a big plus for washrooms!
You can ask for an awning window with a screen, which will be placed on the interior side of the window. This keeps them from the elements and extends their lifespan—they won’t be exposed to harsh temperatures or the outdoors. And you can also place awning windows higher up on the wall—you only need to reach the bottom edge of the frame to operate the fixture. If you have high ceilings and have dreamed of high windows to match, awning types might be perfect for you.
What Is a Casement Window?
Casement windows are hinged along the side edge and offer the best ventilation of all the window types because of how wide they can open. Casement windows have a crank, and because they seal the most tightly when shut, they’re highly energy efficient. In addition, some newer models open on a pivot, which allows for easier cleaning—you’ll be able to reach both sides of the window from the inside.
On the other hand, like awning windows, they can’t accommodate air conditioning units. And there’s a size limitation involved: if they’re too wide, it puts stress on the hinge and window frame. If you’re interested in casement windows, we’ll take the detailed measurements needed and advise whether they’ll work for your home.
If you have your heart set on casement windows but have an extra large opening, you still have options. You can look into installing multiple casement windows next to each other or opt for a picture window with casements on either side. This will give you the casement effect you want while taking advantage of your large window opening to increase natural light.
While most clients will choose casement windows that open outwards, requesting ones that swing inwards is an option if you have a particular preference or need for that functionality.
Casement window styles are great for living rooms or placed along your home’s front facade to instantly increase curb appeal. They are fantastic for maximizing natural light in a room and have a luxe, modern feel.
As you can see, each window type has pros and cons. If you’re unsure whether hung, slider, awning, or casement windows are the better choice for your home, give us a call! We can consult with you to determine your goals for your window replacement project and recommend the best models for you. If needed, we can conduct an on-site visit to give you personalized advice for your specific situation. It may even end up being a harmonious combination of all of them!
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