There are a number of different reasons why you, as a homeowner, would want to purchase replacement windows. The old windows may be broken or out of style, or perhaps you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home. There are many types of standard windows to choose from:
Bay windows are large windows, commonly present in a living room. They are usually comprised of three windows and often protrude from the exterior wall of a home at 30-, 45- or even 90-degree angles. Generally, the middle window is the largest one and cannot open, but the two smaller side windows can. Bay windows add equity to smaller homes because they create an illusion of enlarged space. Bow windows are created by joining multiple windows together to create a curved shape. In essence, a bow window is simply a bay window that is semi-circular. Both bay and bow windows allow for a deep interior windowsill that's ideal for plants. There are many different window covering options for bay and bow windows.
Any single large pane of fixed glass is referred to as a picture window. It's as if the pane captures an artistic picture of the outdoors for the people standing in front of it. The compromise for this unobstructed view is that the window cannot be opened to provide ventilation, an issue which can be overcome by adding casement windows to the surrounding area or to the cross walls.
Double hung windows are the earliest modern window unit, and are divided into two main sections - a fixed screen section and a window pane section that slides up and down. These windows are raised, lowered and remain open thanks to a system of counter weights on either side of the window housing, which prevent the window pane from closing once it's opened.
Horizontal sliders are windows that open side-to-side instead of up and down. They have two or more sashes of glass. One sash is usually stationary and the others slide back and forth to provide different amounts of ventilation. These sliders are set into grooves that prevent the windows from being removed easily, but modern versions have easy-cleaning systems that allow the owner to fold the window into the home in order to clean it while remaining attached to one groove.
Casement windows swing open on a hinge instead of sliding up and down in a groove, thus the entire window space can be opened to let in air. They were developed in 18thcentury England and Germany, where two swinging windows would meet to close in the middle, much like an industrial double-door does now. Today's casement windows use a crank system to open. They have the hinges on one side and can be used either in pairs or on their own. Awning windows have the hinges on the top and are usually used alone. These windows are a great option for regions with considerable bouts of inclement weather, because they shield the home from rain and wind while opened.
Corner windows are usually two standard windows placed at a 90-degree angle to each other at the corner of a room. Together, they provide a panoramic view that would otherwise be compromised by a wall. They are often referred to as "mirror images" because of the way they reflect one another symmetrically. Corner windows are best used in places where window treatments aren't necessary, because when two windows butt up against each other, they eliminate space for a curtain rod of any sort. If you feel you need a treatment for a corner window, you may need to use a swing rod on each outer corner, or be content with a shade that can be mounted to the inner frame of each window.
Today's arched windows are reminiscent of medieval and gothic times, when form and function came together to produce beautiful architecture. The only difference is that in those days, arched windows were holes carved out of a stone wall. Today, the arched window is usually in the shape of a half-moon, often above a bay window. Though arched windows look great when filled with plain glass, they are also great showcases for stained or frosted glass and artistic beveling. Since most arched windows appear above the normal viewing line, they are often left uncovered to provide beautiful early and late light in the home.
These are multi-layered windows that are installed directly to the outer casings of your existing windows to protect against the elements. Exterior storm windows are more effective against major storms, but can compromise the aesthetics of your home. Interior storm windows, though less effective against rough weather, can still reduce drafts, improve your home's soundproofing, reduce condensation and prevent damage from ultraviolet light.