A Complete Guide to the Most Common Types of Windows

A picture of 2 windows on a house

Windows are some of the most important parts of your home. They protect your home from the elements and outsiders, maintain a constant temperature, and add to your home’s visual appeal. But some window types are better in some aspects than others. Let’s take a look at different types of windows and which ones might be best for your home.

Replacing or upgrading your windows?

With Window Gnome

Picture Windows

image of a garden view from a window
Photo Credit: Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Picture windows are some of the best at giving your home an unobstructed, picturesque view. Picture windows are often large single-pane rectangles with barely visible frames, but some larger ones have metal insets built-in to help keep them from breaking. Although they’re great for brightening up a room and providing a good view, they’re terrible for airflow, as most picture windows are fixed; you can’t open them.

The average price of a picture window installation ranges between $200 and $775.


  • Great for views and natural light
  • Low-maintenance


  • They’re fixed windows, so they’re bad for airflow

Casement Windows

Two person replacing casement windows
Photo Credit: Andersen Windows / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Also called crank windows, casement windows are hinged – normally on the left or the right side – and have to be swung to open. Many of them are opened with a rotating hand crank at the bottom of the window, making them easy to open. Compared to other types of windows, casement windows are great for ventilation because you can open the whole window. They’re also more energy-efficient than sliding and sash windows.

Although casement windows can come in single-pane configurations, you can get them in two-pane models that open on opposite sides, like French windows. Typically, casement windows cost homeowners around $430 to $1,060.


  • Great for ventilation
  • Easy to open, so they’re good windows to install in hard-to-reach areas
  • More energy-efficient than sliding and sash windows


  • Can be difficult to clean from inside the house
  • Mostly incompatible with air conditioning units
  • The cranks will wear down and need repair

Hopper Windows

Red hopper windows installed in a house
Photo Credit: Macrobertson / Wikimedia Commons /CC BY-SA 3.0

Often coming in smaller sizes, hopper windows are a type of casement window that’s hinged at the bottom and swings inward from the top. Often used in bathrooms and basements, hopper windows provide excellent insulation and much-needed fresh air. These windows are also easy to clean because they swing inward.

Professional hopper window installation costs $250 to $750.


  • Great for ventilation
  • Good insulation
  • Easy to clean


  • The cranks will wear down and need repair
  • Mostly available in smaller sizes

Awning Windows

Photo Credit: Ratchat / Canva Pro / License

These windows are the opposite of a hopper window; awning windows are hinged at the top and swing out to open. Awning windows are often installed in high or narrow areas. As their name suggests, these windows create a rain-resistant “awning” – like a traditional window awning – when they open, keeping your home dry even when you open the window. Because of this, awning windows are quite popular in tropical climates and coastal areas that receive a lot of rain.

Getting a new awning window will cost you between $295 and $655 per window.


  • Great for ventilation
  • Will keep you dry even when opened while raining


  • The cranks will wear down and need repair

Sash Windows

image of a white sash window
Photo Credit: Phototropic / Canva Pro / License

There are two types of sash windows: single hung and double hung. They have two window sashes – an upper sash and a lower sash – that slide open vertically. Sash windows are some of the most popular types of windows around the nation.

Single Hung Windows

100 Series Single-Hung Windows Single-Hung Windows, White, Exterior View
Photo Credit: Anderson Windows / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

In a single hung window, only the bottom sash can be opened; the top sash is fixed and sealed. These are very common and are more affordable than their double hung counterparts. Single hung windows are also easy to install.

The single hung style costs around $245 to $635 per window.


  • Very affordable and easy to find
  • Easy to install
  • Comes in many styles


  • Not as good for airflow
  • Can be difficult to clean from inside the house

Need window or window screens repaired?

With Window Gnome

Double Hung Windows

image of a double hung window
Photo Credit: Anderson Windows / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Double hung windows are by far the most popular window type among modern builds. While they look quite similar to single hung windows, they have one key difference: double hung windows have two movable sashes. You can open both sashes at the same time for better airflow compared to their single hung counterparts, and many of them have tilt-in sashes that make them easy to clean.

The average cost of double hung windows ranges from $250 to $975.


  • Easy to find
  • Comes in many styles, even more than single hung windows
  • Safer for families with young children and pets
  • Easy to clean


  • Not as secure
  • While better than single hung windows for airflow, they’re still not as great as other types of windows

Sliding Windows

A sliding window of a house with greenery in the background
Photo Credit: Denisik11 / Canva Pro / License

Like their name suggests, sliding windows slide to open, similar to sash windows. But unlike sash windows, these windows slide horizontally and are typically much wider than most windows. They come in single-slider and double-slider varieties and are easier to clean than sash windows.

Also called slider windows, gliders, or horizontal rollers, sliding windows cost around $415 to $1,270 to install.


  • Easier to clean
  • Great for walls near walkways, patios, and decks


  • Less energy-efficient
  • Easier to break into unless you install a stopper

Protruding Windows

These types of windows protrude from your home’s exterior wall, giving you more interior space. Bay windows, bow windows, and garden windows are all protruding windows.

Bay Windows

An inside view of a bay window
Photo Credit: Pxhere

These windows are made of three panes: one big picture window in the middle flanked by two smaller side windows set at an angle. These side panes can be fixed, but are often operable. Bay windows are great for form and function, as they are visually interesting while also giving your home some extra square footage. While they’re more common in homes with more traditional aesthetics, you can find them in modern homes as well.

Commonly found in kitchens and living rooms, these windows are more expensive to install than other types of windows. On average, bay windows will cost you between $1,125 to $4,790.


  • One of the best windows for your home’s curb appeal
  • Great for natural light and stunning views of the outside area
  • Give you extra space in your home
  • Raise property value


  • Not very energy-efficient
  • Quite expensive to buy, install, and maintain

Bow Windows

picture of a bow window infront of a building
Photo Credit: Specer Means / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Also called compass windows, bow windows provide much of the same functionality as bay windows. However, they can either be better for ventilation or much worse, depending on the operability of their panes (also called lites). Often mistaken as a type of bay window, these windows are softer in their aesthetic; their four to six lites are arranged in a gentle curve. 

Because they have more panes compared to bay windows, bow windows are some of the most expensive window types to install. Professionally installing a bow window will cost you about $2,190 to $6,140.


  • One of the best windows for your home’s curb appeal
  • Great for natural light and stunning views of the outside area
  • Give you extra space in your home
  • Raise property value
  • More customizable and flexible than a bay window


  • Even less energy-efficient than a bay window
  • Quite expensive to buy, install, and maintain
  • Can be worse for ventilation if the lites are all fixed

Garden Windows

image of a garden window in a kitchen
Photo Credit: Pexels

Garden windows are quite similar to bay windows in shape – especially box bay windows – but they’re smaller and have four panes of glass. Instead of a roof, they are topped with another pane of glass. Often installed in kitchens, they’re like mini-greenhouse shelves. They provide you with the perfect sunny space for plants, pets, and small objects.

A garden window installation costs around $1,050 to $4,000.


  • Give you some extra space for small objects
  • Good for letting light in your kitchen


  • Quite expensive to buy, install, and maintain

Glass Block Windows

image of glass block windows
Photo Credit: Mark Ahsmann / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re looking for a window that can brighten your home while maintaining privacy, then glass block windows might be what you’re looking for. Made of thick frosted or patterned blocks of glass, these windows are quite durable, too. 

Professional installation of glass block windows costs around $410 to $1,235 per window.


  • Durable
  • Good for light but maintains your privacy
  • Energy-efficient
  • Can add to your home’s aesthetic appeal


  • More expensive than the average window

Egress Windows

Find window cleaning pros at the click of a button.

With Window Gnome
Exterior view of egress window installed in basement room
Photo Credit: Melissa Kopka / Canva Pro / License

These windows are often installed in finished basements – and in most areas, they’re required – but they can be installed above ground too. Egress windows are very large windows that double as emergency exits. 

An egress window installation costs between $2,445 to $5,265.


  • Doubles as an emergency exit
  • Allows you to use your basement as an actual bedroom or living room


  • More expensive than the average window because of their large size

Arched Windows

A arched window installed on a wall of house
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Arched windows come in a variety of sizes, and they’re often installed as decorative pieces, both standalone and on top of other windows. They add a distinct sense of elegance to your home. Many arched windows are fixed, but double hung and casement-style arched windows can be opened.

Working with most home styles, arched windows can cost as little as $355 or as much as $1,005 to install.


  • Makes your home more visually interesting
  • Can increase your home’s property value
  • Fixed arched windows are very low maintenance
  • Opening arched windows can double as egress windows in an emergency


  • Can be expensive and more difficult to install
  • Curved window rods and curtains can be more expensive and hard to find

Jalousie Windows

image of a green jalousie window
Photo Credit: Pexels

Also called louvered windows, these windows are quite unlike any other. Operated with a lever, jalousie windows are made of multiple parallel angled glass or metal slats that open like Venetian blinds. These slats (also called louvers) tilt when they open. They’re more popular in tropical and coastal areas and are used to control the airflow coming into a room.

Installing jalousie windows will cost you around $165 to $400 per unit.


  • Gives you privacy
  • Good for controlling airflow and cooling down a room
  • Offers a unique look to your home


  • Not very secure
  • Require more maintenance
  • Not very energy-efficient

Storm Windows

Two blue colored storm windows
Photo Credit: Aozora1 / Canva Pro / License

Most storm windows are single-pane windows that are installed over existing windows to make them more durable against storms and other inclement weather. Also called “storms”, “storm inserts”, and “hurricane windows”, they’re a practical way of updating older windows.

Getting your own storm windows will cost you around $60 to $160 per window. Most homeowners pay between $1,480 to $7,500 to retrofit an 8- to 12-window home with storm windows.


  • Improves your home’s insulation
  • Very affordable
  • Protects your primary windows
  • Can last up to 30-40 years


  • Aren’t standalone and only installed over existing windows

Transom Windows

A white colored transom window
Photo Credit: Grbender / Canva Pro / License

Used for decoration, these windows are often installed on top of an existing door or another type of window. Aside from adding decorative flair, transom windows also let more natural light into your home and add privacy. They can be fixed or operable and installed in your home’s interior and exterior.

The cost of transom windows is quite affordable, with an average price of $120 to $270 to install.


  • Affordable
  • Visually interesting
  • Can increase the value of your home


  • Operable transom windows can be fire hazards


A skylight window installed on a cream colored ceiling
Photo Credit: Björn Forenius / Canva Pro / License

If you don’t have any wall space for a traditional window, then you might want to consider skylights. They’re windows installed on your roof and are great for letting more natural light into your home. While some skylight windows are operable, most are fixed. 

Roof windows are similar to skylights, but they’re not the same. Those windows are usually accessible, operable, and can double as emergency exits. 

Because of where they’re installed, skylight installation costs about $1,185 to $3,170.


  • Great for natural light
  • Good option for rooms with limited wall space


  • Quite expensive and difficult to install

Custom Windows

Custom windows are any window that is made-to-order and not carried by typical window manufacturers. These can be large windows – like floor-to-ceiling windows – or have unconventional shapes, such as circles, hexagons, or octagons. It also includes RV windows.

Custom windows are typically more expensive than standard ones, costing from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to install. For example, round window installation costs around $250 to $785, but it can cost as much as $1,470


  • Visually interesting and unique


  • Typically more expensive than a standard window

Find a Window Specialist Near You

Each window style has its own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Some are better for aesthetics, while others are more energy-efficient.

Whichever window you choose, you’ll want to hire a professional for your window installation, window replacement, or window repair home improvement projects. Find a window specialist near you to help you with your window needs.

Find local window installation pros at the click of a button

With Window Gnome

Main Image Credit: Pexels

Janine Caayao

Janine Caayao has always been fascinated with growing plants, from fruits and veggies to bonsai trees and orchids. Now, she’s interested in urban gardening with her family. She loves finding new tips and tricks to keep their plants thriving.