Window Styles

Different Window Styles

Windows are very important components in designing a building. Windows are not just means of looking at the view outside, or worse, for those outside to look in!  Windows are essential for natural lighting, ventilation and air circulation. They can also be used as means of exit in case of emergency. The skill of an architect is sometimes put into test by the location of windows in a house floor plan. The sizing of the windows and their proportion plays an important aspect in the overall design of a structure. The beauty, balance and symmetry of a house are in essence partly dependent on the windows. An improper placement and sizing of even one window in a house elevation would totally upset the house's balance, symmetry   and aesthetics.

Window style could either mean the type of window or the design of a window with respect to the different types of house styles in the UK.   New architectural works cannot longer be classified under the historical styles before. Today, a new house that was designed and built after classical Victorian architecture cannot be classified as "Victorian" but rather Neo Victorian or the New Victorian.

Different Style of Windows According to Historical Styles

Historical Architectural styles in the UK started in the middle ages with the Tudor style which was an off-shoot of the European Gothic. From Tudor developed the Elizabethan, then the English Baroque, the Georgian Period which was patterned after the Palladianism, a revival of classic Greek architecture. Palladianism in England is the counterpart of the Renaissance period in Europe. The Regency period came next, then the Victorian period was ushered in and a reversion to Gothic architecture ensued. Window styles could therefore be classified style-wise under any of these historical styles.

Styles in the United States started out with Colonial architecture. These types were patterned after the current architectural styles of its colonizers. This was followed by the Romantic, Victorian, Gilded-age, and the Modern House Styles. The last group is further developed into various divisions with the last and current Neo House styles - Neo-eclectic; Neo-Colonial; Neo-Mediterranean and Neo-Victorian. Current window styles could be patterned and or classified under any of these historical and modern house styles.

Window Styles According to Basic Types

There are six basic styles of windows according to its designs. These types of window can be styled or designed according to any of the historical styles or modern styles. The six types are: rollout or casement windows; single or double-hung windows; sliding and rotating windows; awning or hopper windows and louvered windows,

Rollout or Casement Windows

These windows have panes that are from 400mm in width. The height can be varied from for most homes height is from 1100mm to 1800mm. Each pane has at least two sets hinges at each side so they could swing or open out. The panes could either be opened manually or can be cranked open. This type of window is typically used for Neo-Mediterranean homes where the design has focus on natural ventilation. Natural ventilation is possible only if there is a counter set of window on the other side of the room. A rollout window works on the same principle but only one side swings. This type is mostly used in bathrooms. A subtype of a casement window is the French window where each pane is divided into smaller panes.

Single or Double-hung Windows

These windows have panes that slides open vertically. A single-hung window has only one window frame or sash that could be slid open. The bottom half of the window is the sash that opens and the top half is fixed. A double-hung window has both the bottom and top portions sliding either up or down. Screens are often provided to discourage the entry of insects. This type of window is perfect for bedrooms and kitchens. Single or double-hung windows do not afford thorough ventilation when open as only one sash could be opened at a time.

Sliding and Rotating Windows

If single or double-hung windows have sashes that move vertically up or down, sliding windows have sashes that move horizontally. In a double sliding window the two sashes are movable to open. In a single-sliding window, one side is fixed. Materials for the window frame could be wood or metal with the pane made of thick glass. Most modern homes use this type of window. Sliding windows are air tight and energy efficient. A rotating window on the other hand has a central fulcrum that allow for the whole window frame to swivel 360°.

Awning or Hopper Windows

This type of window has the sash hinged at the top of the window frame or jamb and swings out. A screen is attached inside to deter insects from coming in. When the window is opened, as the window pane protects the window opening much like a roof awning. A hopper window works on the same principle but instead the hinge is at the bottom of the sash and not at the top. These types are used mostly as basement and loft windows.

Louvered Window 

 Strips of glass or wood with a width of at least 100mm are constructed at an angle for ventilation. A louvered window is operated by a lever that opens and closes the set of angled wood or glass. Jalousie is a subtype of a louver window where the glass louvers overlap. This window type is not energy efficient as it is not airtight. This type is not very secure too as the louvers can easily be taken apart.

Glass used for these window types could be single pane or double-pane. Double-pane windows are more energy efficient. Glass could be clear, frosted, tinted, coloured or even etched.  Large sliding windows could also be made of stained glass.

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