9 Popular Types of Windows for Homes

9 Types of Windows for Homes

Windows are an essential element of every home.


They provide natural light and keep out the elements. Plus, windows give an opportunity to add detail and beauty to your home while preserving and protecting your investment. This window guide will help you learn about the types of windows for homes available so that you can make the best decision for your project. Want to take it to the next level? Check out our post on Energy-Efficient Windows in Rhode Island!

When it comes to window replacement and installation, Red House is a company you can count on. With an experienced and expert staff, we are able to accurately diagnose the real condition of your existing windows. We have earned our reputation as the trusted window installation and replacement services providers in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts with our honest and reliable services.


Parts of a Window


Before we dive into different types of windows for homes, it is important to understand the terminology that defines the main parts of a window:

parts of a window

Frame – A window frame is attached to the house and surrounds and supports the entire window. It is comprised of the head, jamb, and sill.

Head – The head is the horizontal top of a window frame. We usually measure the window height from the head to the sill.

Jamb – Jambs are the vertical sides of a window frame.

Sill – A sill is the horizontal bottom of a window frame.

Sash – The sash is the moveable part of a window that holds the glass.

Rails – Rails are horizontal parts of a window sash; a bottom rail and a top rail.

Mullion – The mullion is a major structural piece running either vertical or horizontal that combines two or more windows together. (The two windows are “mulled” together).

Muntin – A muntin is a small bar that separates two or more pieces of glass in a window sash. Their origin is very old – from when glass could not be made in large sizes without breaking.

Grilles – Grilles are decorative pieces that visually divide window panels, giving the glass the appearance of multiple glass panes (aka a group of fake muntins), or “divided lites”.

Trim/casing – On the outside of a house, the decorative frame around a door or window is called trim, while on the inside, the same thing is called casing.


9 Popular Types of Windows for Homes


The type of window that you choose helps define the style of your house. Whether your taste is traditional, transitional, modern, or contemporary – there is a window style that will fit your aesthetic.



Double-hung windows are the most common and popular type of windows among homeowners. A double-hung window can be opened from the bottom or lowered from the top. This type of window has two sashes that slide vertically up and down in the frame. The significant advantage is that you can clean the window panes inside and out without going outside.


types of windows
Double Hung window by Marvin Windows.


Double-hung windows are used most often in traditional-style homes. These types of windows are widely manufactured, so your selection will be extensive. This also makes double-hung windows an affordable window solution.


types of windows for homes


Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows are similar to double-hung, but the top is stationary, while the bottom sash can be raised to allow airflow. The sealed, fixed top helps to increase energy efficiency.


types of windows for homes in rhode island
Ultimate Single Hung Window by Marvin Windows.


You should pick out this type of window if you like a traditional style and need a window for small and narrow spaces. It is an affordable and energy-efficient option. It has less airflow than a double-hung window and the entire window cannot be cleaned from the inside.


Slider Windows

Slider windows glide open from either the left or right. This type of window will offer you a clear view and excellent ventilation. They can have two or more panels.  They are most often used in mid-century modern or contemporary houses. Slider windows are perfect for large, horizontal spaces that require ventilation.


types of windows for homes
A slider window by Marvin Windows.


Slider windows have a simple design with have no cranks or mechanical parts, which make them an affordable and durable option. Tracks can fill with dirt and debris, requiring frequent cleaning.


Casement Windows

These right or left hinged windows have sashes that open outwardly by the turn of a crank. They are a great window choice for hard to reach areas of your home because they open easily. Casement windows provide better ventilation and have a more energy-efficient seal than double-hung windows.


types of windows for homes
A Modern Casement window by Marvin Windows.


Casement windows are a good choice for transitional or contemporary style homes. It is smart to be aware that when fully extended, casement windows can be broken off by strong winds.


casement windows


Awning Windows

Hinged at the top and designed to open outward, awning windows provide additional airflow to a room. They open and shut easily with the turn of a crank handle or by pushing its base to the outside. Awning windows can be installed above or below a fixed window for additional airflow.
Awning windows are frequently used in wet climates as they act as an awning when open. They are also often found in lower-levels or basements as they can be effective against intruders. Due to their direction, awning windows do not scoop in outside fresh air as effectively as casement windows.

awning window for homes
A Modern Awning window by Marvin Windows.


Hopper Windows

The opposite of an awning window, hopper windows crank or push open to tip down. They make efficient use of compact or low-level spaces, which is why they’re commonly found in basements or bathrooms. They’re also known for providing excellent insulation because they seal up against the frame when closed all the way. They were originally invented in the 19th century to keep dust and debris out of homes from passing automobiles.


types of windows for homes
The Ultimate Hopper Window by Marvin Windows.


Bay Windows

These windows add dimension to your home by creating more space inside and curb appeal outside. They contain a large central fixed window pane and two angled smaller ones flanking each side. The side windows can be double-hung or casement windows.


bay window installation rhode island
The Ultimate Bay Window by Marvin Windows.


These are beautiful windows and are a great addition to a traditional home. The main drawback of this type of window is that installation can be costly. If you have the space and the budget, a bay window can transform the look of your home.


bay window installation rhode island


Bow Windows

Consisting of 4 or more connected windows, these large curved windows extend the interior space in your home and provide a panoramic view. They are an elegant centerpiece for a room and offer tremendous curb appeal. Bow windows offer shelf space for growing plants, displaying decorative items, or additional seating.



Installing these windows requires a considerable amount of framing work, including headers and roof coverings. Made of many panels, they can be very expensive.


Picture Windows

Picture windows are large, stationary windows that let in the maximum amount of light and views of the outdoors. They are used when ventilation and egress are not necessary. Due to the fact that they are sealed, they are the most energy-efficient of all windows. They provide an unobstructed panoramic view of the surrounding scenery.


picture window installation in rhode island
Ultimate Picture Window by Marvin Windows.


Fixed windows are permanently sealed, so they offer better energy savings than other windows types. Their simple design lends itself to modern or contemporary home styles. The main drawback of a picture window is that they can’t be opened to let in the fresh air.



Fenestration in Historic Homes


If you own a home located in a historic zoning district, you may have old windows you’d like to repair. The windows and doors of an old home contribute in a special way to its historic character. Historic District Commissions will often insist that you preserve the number, location, and size of a building’s windows and doors. Even if your windows have deteriorated, the replacement of all the windows in a historic building is seldom necessary and should be avoided.



Maintaining the original look of the fenestration, or the arrangement of windows and doors in a building, is vital to preserving the architectural heritage that most people love about historic districts. Commissioners will require contractors to try to renovate existing windows before approving any new-window plans. It’s important to work with a company that specializes in historic renovations. Contact us to learn more about our team of restoration specialists.


Rhode Island Window Replacement and Installation


We hope this overview of the types of windows for homes will help you understand which options might work best for your project. Windows are one of the most important parts of your home, and they deserve the utmost care and attention when selecting, maintaining, and replacing. At Red House, we only provide the highest quality products and services. Contact us today to learn more about replacing or upgrading your windows.

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