Factory Direct Windows and Doors | 15 Types of Windows and How to Choose the Right Ones

15 Types of Windows and How to Choose the Right Ones

Selecting the right type of window is crucial for both aesthetic appeal and functional efficiency in your home. The types of windows you choose can impact energy efficiency, ventilation, and even the overall ambiance of your living spaces.


Key factors to consider when choosing windows include:

  • Energy Efficiency: Look for windows with good insulation properties.
  • Material: Options range from wood, vinyl, and aluminum to fiberglass.
  • Style: Match the window style with your home’s architectural design.
  • Maintenance: Some materials require more upkeep than others.


Window installation and maintenance tips also play a significant role in ensuring longevity and performance. Proper installation minimizes air leaks, while regular maintenance includes cleaning and checking seals.

Additionally, it’s worth exploring options such as versatile patio doors which can enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your home.


1. Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their classic design and functional advantages. These windows feature two operable sashes that move vertically, allowing both the top and bottom sections to open. This design provides excellent ventilation control, as you can open either sash to regulate airflow.


Advantages of Double-Hung Windows

  • Versatility: Fits well with various architectural styles.
  • Ease of Cleaning: Both sashes tilt inward, making cleaning the exterior from inside the home convenient.
  • Ventilation: Allows for better air circulation by opening both top and bottom sashes.


Disadvantages of Double-Hung Windows

  • Energy Efficiency: Potential for air leakage if not properly sealed.
  • Maintenance: Moving parts may require regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation.


Common Use Cases

  • Bedrooms: Ideal for providing balanced ventilation.
  • Living Rooms: Offers an elegant look while maintaining functionality.
  • Kitchens: Easy-to-clean feature is highly practical.


If you’re considering upgrading your home with replacement windows in Florida, Factory Direct Windows & Doors offers efficient and affordable window replacement services. Their expert window replacement contractors guarantee quality and style, enhancing your space with precision installation.


Next, you may want to explore other window options such as single-hung windows or learn about choosing exterior door colors, which can greatly impact the overall aesthetics of your home.


2. Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows have a fixed upper sash and a lower sash that can be opened by sliding it up and down. They are known for being simple to use.


  • Fixed upper sash: Does not move, providing stability
  • Movable lower sash: Can be opened or closed by sliding it vertically
  • Traditional design: Often found in older homes with classic styles


  • Cost-effective: Generally more affordable than double-hung windows
  • Energy efficiency: With fewer moving parts, there is less potential for air leakage, resulting in better insulation
  • Easy maintenance: Cleaning is simpler since there are fewer parts to deal with


  • Limited ventilation: Only the lower sash can be opened, which may restrict airflow
  • Accessibility issues: It can be difficult to clean the exterior of the upper sash, especially in multi-story buildings
  • Security concerns: While single-hung windows are easy to use, it’s important to consider safe window and door solutions beyond just locks. This involves implementing advanced security measures to protect your property.

Common Use Cases:

  • Projects on a budget: Suitable for homeowners who want cost-effective window options
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms: Works well in spaces where full ventilation is not a top priority

3. Casement Windows

Casement windows are hinged at the side and open outward, similar to a door. They feature a crank mechanism that allows for easy opening and closing.


  • Hinged Design: Opens outward using hinges on the side.
  • Crank Operation: Utilizes a crank to open and close.
  • Unobstructed Views: Offers a full view when opened.


  • Ventilation: Provides excellent ventilation as the entire window can open.
  • Energy Efficiency: Seals tightly when closed, reducing air leakage.
  • Easy Cleaning: Simple to clean from inside the home.


  • Space Requirement: Needs ample exterior space to open fully.
  • Mechanical Issues: The crank mechanism may require maintenance over time.
  • Weather Vulnerability: More exposed to wind and rain when open.

Common Use Cases

  • Ideal for areas needing maximal ventilation like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Suitable for hard-to-reach places due to the crank operation.

If you’re considering installing casement windows in your home, it’s important to ensure that your exterior doors are also in top condition. Factory Direct Windows & Doors offers expert exterior door installation services in Florida, enhancing your home with precision installations.

This can be particularly beneficial when paired with
installing new windows securely and successfully. With their efficient exterior door replacement services, you can elevate your space while enjoying the advantages of casement windows such as excellent ventilation, energy efficiency, and easy cleaning.

4. Awning Windows

Awning windows, which are hinged at the top and open outward using a crank mechanism, offer a unique opening style that combines excellent ventilation with rain protection. These windows have several advantages:

  • Weather Protection: Their design allows for ventilation even during light rain.
  • Energy Efficiency: When closed, they provide a tight seal that enhances energy efficiency.
  • Security: Their smaller size and various placement options can increase security.

Despite these benefits, there are a few disadvantages to consider:

  • Limited Size Options: Generally smaller compared to other window types.
  • Obstruction: The outward opening can sometimes obstruct pathways or outdoor spaces.

Awning windows find common use cases in different areas of a home:

  • Bathrooms and kitchens: They are ideal for providing ventilation in moisture-prone areas.
  • Basements: Awning windows are often used in basements due to their ability to be positioned high on walls.
  • Combinations: These windows are frequently paired with other window types, such as fixed windows, for added functionality and aesthetic appeal.

If you’re considering installing awning windows or have any questions about them, feel free to reach out to us through our contact page. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about choosing exterior door materials, we have a comprehensive guide available here that may be of interest to you.

5. Hopper Windows

Factory Direct Windows and Doors | 15 Types of Windows and How to Choose the Right Ones

Hopper windows are a popular choice for basements and other low-level areas due to their unique design. These windows are hinged at the bottom and open inward from the top, creating an effective seal against rain and debris.

Characteristics of Hopper Windows

  • Bottom-hinged: Opens inward from the top.
  • Compact design: Fits well in smaller spaces.
  • Excellent ventilation: Allows for ample airflow when open.

Advantages of Hopper Windows

  • Energy efficiency: Provides a tight seal when closed, reducing energy loss.
  • Security: Harder for intruders to open from the outside.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various architectural styles and settings.

Disadvantages of Hopper Windows

  • Limited view: Smaller window size can restrict outside visibility.
  • Inward opening: Can obstruct interior space when fully opened.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular cleaning to prevent dust and debris buildup on hinges.

Common Use Cases for Hopper Windows

Hopper windows are ideal for:

  • Basements: Provides natural light and ventilation, especially when paired with new construction windows that offer seamless installation.
  • Bathrooms: Ensures privacy while allowing airflow.
  • Laundry rooms: Offers ventilation without compromising security.

6. Fixed (Picture) Windows

Fixed picture windows, like the ones offered by FD Windows and Doors, are non-operable windows designed to provide unobstructed views and allow natural light into a space. These windows do not open, making them ideal for areas where ventilation is not a priority but maximizing the view is.


  • Energy efficiency: Fixed picture windows offer excellent insulation.
  • Aesthetic appeal: They create a clean, modern look and enhance the architectural design.
  • Low maintenance: With no moving parts, they require minimal upkeep.


  • Lack of ventilation: They cannot be opened to allow airflow.
  • Cleaning difficulty: Accessing the exterior for cleaning can be challenging.

Common Use Cases:

  • Living rooms and dining areas where panoramic views are desired.
  • Stairwells and hallways to introduce more natural light.
  • Commercial buildings aiming for an open, inviting atmosphere.

7. Bay Windows

Bay windows are a combination of three or more windows that project outward from the main walls of a building, forming a bay inside the room. This design creates additional space and allows for more natural light to enter.


  • Structure: Typically consists of a central fixed window flanked by two operable windows at an angle.
  • Design: Can be designed in various styles, including modern and traditional.


  • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds architectural interest and visual charm to both interior and exterior spaces.
  • Enhanced View: Provides panoramic views due to its outward projection.
  • Space Creation: Creates extra indoor space, often used for seating or storage.


  • Cost: Generally more expensive than standard windows due to their complex design and installation.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular maintenance to prevent leaks and drafts.

Common Use Cases:

  • Living Rooms: Ideal for creating a cozy reading nook or extra seating area.
  • Kitchens: Often used to add brightness and enhance the view while cooking or dining.
  • Bedrooms: Can provide a tranquil sitting area with scenic views.

8. Bow Windows

Bow windows are similar to bay windows but typically have more window panels, creating a curved, semi-circular appearance. They consist of four or more equally sized windows, usually casement or fixed types, that extend beyond the exterior wall.

Advantages of Bow Windows:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds elegance and a unique architectural element.
  • Natural Light: Allows plenty of natural light due to multiple panes.
  • Panoramic View: Offers a wide view of the outside.

Disadvantages of Bow Windows:

  • Space Requirement: Needs a lot of exterior space for installation.
  • Cost: Higher installation and maintenance costs compared to standard windows.

Common Use Cases for Bow Windows:

  • Living Rooms: Ideal for creating a focal point in spacious living areas.
  • Dining Areas: Enhances dining spaces with additional seating or a cozy nook.
  • Bedrooms: Adds charm and provides an inviting spot for relaxation.

9. Clerestory Windows

Clerestory windows are installed high on walls, often near the roofline, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into interior spaces. These windows are typically slender and horizontal.

Advantages of Clerestory Windows:

  • Enhanced Natural Light: Brighten up rooms without compromising privacy.
  • Energy Efficiency: Reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  • Architectural Appeal: Add a modern and sophisticated touch to your home.

Disadvantages of Clerestory Windows:

  • Cleaning Difficulties: Harder to clean due to high placement.
  • Limited Ventilation: Mainly designed for light rather than air flow.

Common Use Cases for Clerestory Windows:

  • Ideal for living rooms, hallways, and areas where maintaining wall space for furniture or artwork is necessary.
  • Popular in contemporary home designs aiming for open and airy interiors.

10. Transom Windows

Transom windows are horizontal windows installed above doors or other windows. They add architectural interest and allow light to pass between rooms or from the outside into a space without compromising privacy. Often, transom windows are fixed, but some models can be opened for ventilation.

Advantages of Transom Windows

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Enhances architectural style and adds a decorative element.
  • Natural Light: Increases daylight in interior spaces.
  • Privacy: Provides light while maintaining privacy.

Disadvantages of Transom Windows

  • Cost: Can be more expensive due to custom sizing and installation.
  • Limited View: Smaller size limits the view.

Common Use Cases for Transom Windows

  • Above entry doors for added elegance.
  • In bathrooms or stairwells to boost natural light.

11. Garden Windows

Garden windows are designed to extend beyond the exterior of a home, creating a small, greenhouse-like space. These windows usually have one large central pane and two smaller side panes that open outward for ventilation.

Advantages of Garden Windows

  • Natural Light: They allow ample sunlight to enter, ideal for growing plants.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds visual interest to both the interior and exterior.
  • Ventilation: Side panes can be opened for air circulation.

Disadvantages of Garden Windows

  • Installation Complexity: Requires professional installation due to structural changes.
  • Maintenance: More glass surfaces to clean and maintain.
  • Cost: Generally more expensive than standard windows.

Common Use Cases for Garden Windows

  • Kitchens: Often installed above kitchen sinks for easy access to herbs and plants.
  • Living Rooms: Adds a unique focal point and additional light.
  • Home Offices: Offers a pleasant view and natural light, enhancing productivity.

12. Jalousie Windows

Jalousie windows are composed of horizontal slats, often made of glass, metal, or wood, set in a frame. These slats operate simultaneously using a crank mechanism to open and close, providing excellent ventilation control.

Advantages of Jalousie Windows

  • Ventilation: Maximizes airflow while maintaining privacy.
  • Cost-Effective: Usually more affordable than other window types.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various materials and styles.

Disadvantages of Jalousie Windows

  • Security: Less secure due to the easy removal of slats.
  • Insulation: Poor thermal insulation compared to other window types.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

Common Use Cases for Jalousie Windows

  • Sunrooms and Porches: Ideal for areas needing high ventilation.
  • Tropical Climates: Often used in humid environments due to their excellent airflow.

13. Skylights

Skylights are windows installed in the roof or ceiling, allowing natural light to enter from above. They come in various shapes and sizes, such as flat, domed, or tubular designs.

Advantages of Skylights:

  • Increased natural light: Brightens up interior spaces that receive limited sunlight.
  • Energy efficiency: Can reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Adds a unique architectural element to homes.

Disadvantages of Skylights:

  • Potential for leaks: Improper installation can lead to water leakage.
  • Heat gain/loss: May contribute to higher energy costs if not properly insulated.
  • Maintenance challenges: Difficult to clean and maintain due to their location.

Common Use Cases for Skylights:

  • Bathrooms for privacy while allowing natural light
  • Attic conversions where wall windows might not be feasible
  • Living areas and kitchens to create a more open and airy atmosphere

14. Egress Windows

Egress windows are large openings designed to provide an emergency exit from a building. They are typically installed in basements or bedrooms to meet building code requirements for safety and accessibility.

Characteristics of Egress Windows:

  • Size: Must meet minimum size requirements to allow for easy escape.
  • Operation: Usually opens fully, either by sliding or hinging outward.


  • Safety: Provides a critical escape route during emergencies like fires.
  • Natural Light: Enhances natural light in otherwise dim areas such as basements.


  • Cost: Often more expensive due to size and installation complexities.
  • Space: Requires adequate wall space and may involve significant construction work.

Common Use Cases:

  • Basements
  • Bedrooms
  • Any room designated as a sleeping area

Considering safety and security is crucial with egress windows. They not only offer an escape route but also need to be secure against unauthorized entry, often requiring additional locks or security features.

15. Custom Windows

Custom windows are specifically designed to meet unique architectural or functional requirements. These windows offer unparalleled flexibility in terms of size, shape, and material.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Windows


  • Personalization: Tailored to fit specific design preferences.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Can enhance architectural uniqueness.
  • Versatility: Suitable for non-standard window openings.


  • Cost: Generally more expensive due to bespoke nature.
  • Lead Time: Longer production times compared to standard windows.

Common Use Cases for Custom Windows

Custom windows are ideal for:

  • Historic renovations requiring period-specific designs.
  • Modern homes with unique architectural features.
  • Commercial buildings needing specialized window solutions.

Benefits in Unique Architectural Projects

Custom windows can significantly elevate the aesthetic and functional value of unique architectural projects, offering a perfect blend of form and function tailored to specific needs.


Choosing the right windows for your home is an important decision that affects how your home looks and functions. By understanding what you need, you can make better choices. Here are some things to think about:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Ventilation
  • Natural light
  • Security

Talking to experts is a good idea because they can give you advice that fits your home’s style and the weather where you live. They can also tell you about putting in and taking care of your windows so they last longer.

Remember, spending time to find the right windows makes your home more comfortable and valuable.

Frequently Asked Questions

A well-installed exterior door is important for security and energy efficiency. It helps to keep the home secure and can contribute to lower energy costs by preventing drafts.

DIY installation of an exterior door can lead to cost savings and personal satisfaction. It allows homeowners to take control of the process and customize the installation to their specific needs.

The installation process for an exterior door involves several key steps, including preparing for installation, installing a pre-hung door, and installing door hardware. Each step requires careful attention to detail and the use of proper tools and materials.

Essential tools and materials for installing an exterior door include a tape measure, level, screwdriver, hammer, shims, nails, screws, and the pre-hung door kit. Using the right tools is crucial for ensuring a smooth and accurate installation.

Preparing for installation involves accurate measurements and removing the old door. It’s important to measure the opening carefully and plan for any adjustments needed. Additionally, removing the old door may require some effort to ensure a clean and smooth transition to the new one.

Properly installing exterior door hardware, such as a doorknob and lockset, ensures that the door functions correctly and provides the necessary security. Additionally, installing trim and casing can enhance the overall appearance of the door.

Properly installing an exterior door not only enhances the curb appeal of a home but also improves energy efficiency and security. It’s important to take the time to install it correctly for long-term functionality and aesthetics.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    When choosing windows, it’s important to consider factors such as the climate of the area, energy efficiency, durability, and the architectural style of the building.

    Proper installation and maintenance of windows involve ensuring a secure fit, regular cleaning, inspection for any damage or wear, and addressing any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

    Double-hung windows provide good ventilation and are easy to clean, but they may have limited opening size and potential for air leakage.

    Casement windows are often used in areas where unobstructed views and good ventilation are desired, such as living rooms and bedrooms.

    Egress windows are designed to provide an emergency exit in case of fire or other emergencies. They are typically required in bedrooms and basement living spaces for safety reasons.

    Consulting professionals can help ensure that the chosen windows meet specific needs, comply with local building codes, and are installed correctly for optimal performance and longevity.