Windows play an important role in the architectural design of your home. Our customer’s frequently ask about the variety of window openings available, with the belief that a very limited number of options are available. This is certainly not the case.
A variety of openings are readily available, and they are all great for different reasons. Some are more suited for certain purposes than others, and elements such as security and maintenance need to be considered. Do you need an abundance of light to enter the area? Does the area inside need to be ventilated? How about installing a secure window that allows fresh air to flow through, but is secure enough to keep intruders out? Take a look at some of the options below.
Awning windows are hinged at the top and swing open outwards at the bottom. These windows have the advantage of being able to be placed in hard to reach places that require an opening. They are also great at protecting your home against moisture when it’s raining, with very little threat of water seeping into the home. The foot traffic outside needs to be considered if choosing an awning, as someone walking outside can easily collide with the windows’ jutting sashes if they’re not careful.
Casement windows are hinged at the sides and open outwards. The pivoting axle lies in the side part of the frame and sash, compared to awnings where the pivoting axle lies at the top. They can be safely and easily cleaned. Unlike awnings, you need to keep a close eye on the weather, as rain or any of the other elements can easily enter the house through the big opening.
Bi-fold windows are a scaled down version of bi-fold doors. These windows fold back into a discrete stack when opened, leaving an unobstructed view of the outside area. Bi-folds are great for connecting two different areas together, for example providing access between the kitchen and outdoor area. Bi-folds are perfect for entertaining areas.
Fixed windows are simply a pane of glass within a frame. They cannot be opened, making them unsuitable for areas where ventilation is required. The main function of fixed windows is to allow light to enter the area. When choosing fixed windows, access for cleaning must also be considered. They are extremely flexible in design and are usually the cheapest option, as there no openings or hardware to consider, in turn making them quick and easy to install.
Tilt and turn windows combine two openings in the one sash. They can tilt inwards from the top to let in fresh air, or swing open inwards like a door. These windows are operated with one centrally-located easy-to-reach handle. Tilt and turn windows should not be wider than they are high, sashes that are too wide place too much load on the hardware and tend to sag. They are currently the most popular option in Europe due to their security, opening options and energy efficient properties.
French style windows contain two opening sashes which can open simultaneously and provide an unobstructed view. They are popular in restaurants and domestic houses where large openings, maximum sunlight and a high amount of ventilation is required, providing a heightened sense of openness.
Sliding windows contain two sashes which slide horizontally. It is possible to get a single-sliding window, where only one sash slides, or a double-sliding window, where both sashes slide. They are ideal in locations where there is little space for an opening that requires ventilation.
For more information regarding window openings, or some images displaying each of these openings, visit the Zenit Windows website.
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