17 Types of Windows and How to Choose Yours

types of windows cover photo

If you’re looking to remodel your home, you’re probably curious about what types of windows you want to install to create a beautiful and energy-efficient aesthetic.

How do you know what window types work best for your home, though? With all the different kinds of windows out there, it can be difficult to know what style to go with. Minnesota Exteriors is here to help you learn more about types of windows for homes, along with what material and style is the best option for your needs.

Blue house in sunshine with different types of windows

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Different types of Window Materials

Before you determine what style of window you want, there are also many types of window material to consider. The material of the window affects the window’s durability, maintenance, energy efficiency, cost, and climate durability. Some of the most common materials for different styles of windows include:

  • Vinyl Windows: Vinyl windows are a popular choice due to their low maintenance needs and their high energy efficiency and durability. However, they can be difficult to incorporate into certain design wants.
  • Wood Windows: Wood windows are types of house windows that provide natural beauty, along with great durability (as long as they’re properly maintained). While they often require a higher upfront cost, they’re a beautiful option for any home.
  • Aluminum Windows: Aluminum window types for homes are a sleek addition that helps modernize any home. However, it’s important to note that this material doesn’t insulate very well, meaning it doesn’t have the best energy efficiency.
  • Fiberglass Windows: Fiberglass windows are a great option for homeowners who don’t want to worry about regular maintenance. Although they have a higher initial cost, they are very eco-friendly and can be designed to complement almost any style.
  • Composite Windows: Composite house window types are a blend of multiple materials, usually including vinyl, wood, and metal. These combine the best of these separate materials into one composite.
  • Steel Windows: Steel windows style offers security and durability that work best for modern homes. However, they aren’t the most eco-friendly or low-cost option.
  • Wood or Aluminum Clad: These windows allow homeowners to enjoy a wood design without the actual upkeep, as they are wood windows covered in aluminum, which join together to create fantastic longevity and durability.
  • UPVC Windows: UPVC stands for unplasticized PVC, meaning it’s a strong, safe, and durable material for windows. It won’t rot or rust, and using UPVC for styles of windows is a great way to ensure your home stays protected for years to come.

17 Styles and Types of Windows

Now that you know what kind of materials exist for your windows, it’s time to look into styles and types available for your home. The different types of windows and the styles you end up choosing will depend on the aesthetic and feel you want your home to have. It’s also important to consider what climate you live in to determine the best material for your needs.

Casement Windows

double casement window on yellow house

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Casement windows are one of the most popular types for homeowners. Windows that open sideways, like casement windows, make them easy to swing open with a handle. These windows are energy efficient and let in plenty of sunlight and breeze, but they can be difficult to operate if they’re in hard-to-reach areas, such as over a kitchen sink.

Single-Hung Windows

single and double hung windows on a brick building

Single-hung window styles have two separate parts to the frame – one pane on the top, and then one on the bottom. Only one of these panes opens vertically. This makes them ideal for smaller spaces and tighter real-estate quarters, where individuals may not have space to open their windows outwards. These are common windows for many apartment buildings, new construction spaces, and other commercial areas.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are the same as single-hung windows, except that these windows allow both panes to move independently of each other. This makes them more versatile for increased airflow. These windows have been around for hundreds of years and are great additions to both traditional and more modern spaces, as they can come in almost any material.

Sliding Windows

sliding window

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Manufacturers usually make sliding window frames from vinyl, which makes them easy to install and maintain. These windows open from the side, sliding horizontally. This makes them easy to use and perfect for larger openings with a view.

Awning Windows

row of awning windows

Awning window styles for homes open from the top and outwards, creating an “awning.” These generally have hefty locks and therefore seal well, ensuring great energy efficiency. Multiple types of architectural styles pair well with them, and people mostly use them in higher spaces to create airflow. These are windows that open from the top.

Bay and Bow Windows

image of bedroom with bay windows

Both bay and bow windows extend outward beyond the wall itself, creating an arched effect. Bow windows tend to be larger and have more panes than bay windows. These windows allow for added space inside, which many homeowners utilize for seating or storage. They’re a great addition to any living area and are generally made from energy-efficient materials.

Picture Windows

picture window kitchen

These are kinds of windows that have large glass surface areas that provide a “picture” of the view outside. These windows let in plenty of light, but they generally don’t open due to how large they are.

Glass Block Windows

glass box window

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Glass block windows contain small window shapes made of individual blocks that workers seal together. People often use these for bathrooms or shared areas, such as in an apartment, to provide added privacy. These can also serve as a great idea for basements or kitchens that require the right amount of light. These windows were popular in the 90s and early 2000s, but you can still update them to be trendy for today’s designs.

Storm Windows

storm window

These are two sets of windows that are combined to help protect from the elements. They are often made of durable materials that help create a tight seal, enhancing energy efficiency. These are often created to be taken on and off windows for when storm season is worse.

Transom Windows

transom window in front entrance

People primarily install these over doors, which is an area called the “transom,” hence their name. These often do not open because of their placement, but they are great for letting in some light while maintaining privacy in heavily crowded areas.

Skylight Windows

skylight window

These are installed on roofs or ceilings to provide direct light from above. These windows are great for naturally brightening or warming areas without having to worry about which position the sun is in, and some of them even open to provide added airflow and ventilation.

Less Common Window Types

There are various other window types and names that, while not as common, still have specific, functional, and aesthetic uses. If you’re looking to add some added flair to your home, look into these window types:

  • Arched Windows: These windows are rounded on the top, creating an “arched” look. These are a great way to add a beautiful aesthetic to your home.
  • Circle Windows: As evidenced by the name, these windows are circular or oval in shape, and while they don’t open, they provide a great focal point for the space.
  • Egress Windows: Egress windows are made to open to create a window opening that acts as an exit. These are often placed in basements or attics to allow for a fire escape.
  • Garden Windows: These windows extend from a wall to create a small box that lets in maximum light. They are usually utilized for areas where small plants are, such as a kitchen ledge.
  • Hopper Windows: These are small windows that are mainly used for ventilation and only open inward slightly.
  • Jalousie Windows: These windows are horizontal panes of glass that form windowed blinds. They usually open with a crank, and while they may not be as energy efficient as other windows, they provide great ventilation.

How to Choose the Right Type of Window For You

When looking to choose the right type of window for your home, there are various considerations to keep in mind, including:

  • Climate and Energy Efficiency: If you live in a climate that has intense weather, investing in energy-efficient and climate-ready windows is a must, but this doesn’t mean you have to give up on aesthetics entirely – casement windows are a good way to compromise.
  • Functionality and Maintenance: It’s also important to factor in maintenance and functionality. A home inspection can help you determine the best functional needs for your space while also telling you if your energy efficiency needs some improvement.
  • Budget and Long-Term Savings: While some windows have a higher upfront cost – such as wood windows or bow windows – these often lead to lower long-term budget needs, saving you money in the long run.
  • Local Building Codes and Noise Reduction: It’s also imperative to consider building codes and noise reduction needs, as this can affect what kind of windows you’re able to install.

Trust Minnesota Exteriors For Your Window Installation and Replacement

If you’re looking to remodel your home with some new windows, look no further than Minnesota Exteriors. Our fantastic team of industry professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional service, top-notch installation, and excellent customer service.

If you need help with windows, doors, roofs, or more, Minnesota Exteriors is here to help. Reach out to us today to look at our showroom or talk to our team.