Your home’s windows have a significant impact on everything from the look of your home to the comfort of the people who live there. Depending on the style and type of window you choose, you can also save on your utility bills, welcome abundant sunlight, showcase your views, and protect your home (and everything in it) from extreme weather.
However, all windows aren’t created equal. This makes sense given that homeowners have different wants, needs, goals, and budgets. In addition to being available in a variety of different design styles, you’ve also got your pick of materials and colors. And then there’s the fact that some windows are rated to perform under extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, rain, and high winds.
All of this begs the question: How do you know which type of window is best for your new home build or home improvement project?
In this entry, we’ll take a closer look at six common window styles. Then, we’ll dive a bit deeper to explore high-performance impact windows. Finally, we’ll highlight why CGI windows are an excellent choice when it comes to maximizing the benefits of whatever style window you choose.
Six Basic Window Styles
Here’s a closer look at five popular types of windows:
1. Casement Windows
Chances are, you’ve seen—and admired!—this style of window before. Casement windows feature a side hinge and handle (or crank) that allows them to swing open like a car door.
This window style offers superb ventilation without the hassle of cumbersome rails. These window styles are often used in spaces where ventilation is especially beneficial, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Other benefits of casement windows include energy efficiency, high-security ratings, and a charming appearance.
2. Fixed Windows (AKA “Picture Windows”)
A fixed window is just like it sounds—a window style that is “fixed” in its closed position. Because fixed windows don’t open, they offer unparalleled energy efficiency and security. While other window types may be weaker at their openings, fixed windows lack this vulnerability. They also have minimal care and maintenance resulting from their lack of working parts.
You may be wondering, “If fixed windows don’t open to provide ventilation, what purpose do they serve?” The answer to this question is where picture windows shine—literally and figuratively. Popular in living rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms, they let in lots of natural light while offering completely unobstructed views. Given this benefit, it’s not surprising that fixed windows are a favorite among homeowners, interior designers, and architects alike.
3. Designer Fixed Windows
A designer fixed window style is an elevated version of a fixed window. They are available in many sizes and shapes, including circular, octagonal, arch, eyebrow, chord, and triangular. This allows homeowners to configure them to optimally “frame” a particular view or to create a particular aesthetic within a room.
4.Single Hung Windows
A single hung window, AKA a single-sash window, features two sashes: one lower operable sash and one upper fixed sash. While the bottom sash moves by sliding up and down, the top sash remains stationery.
Prevalent in most homes, single hung windows are inexpensive, easy to install, and energy efficient. However, they can also be difficult to clean and repair.
Additionally, because only one sash opens, air circulation through the space can be limited.
Wondering about the difference between single hung and double hung windows, meanwhile? While they may look very similar at first glance, there’s a pivotal difference: with double-hung windows, both sashes are operable.
5. Horizontal Rolling Windows
Horizontal rolling windows, or sliding windows, function similarly to sliding glass doors. This extremely versatile window type has side-by-side sashes with a slight overlap. The windows glide horizontally along tracks built into the top and bottom of the frame.
Popular in contemporary and modern architecture, horizontal rolling windows offer uninterrupted vertical views, wide and easy access, and excellent airflow.
6. Awning Windows (AKA “Project-Out” Windows)
Awning windows operate in a similar way as casement windows. However, instead of the hinges being located on the side, they’re located on the top. This allows them to open outward and up from the bottom—replicating the look of a storefront awning.
Like casement windows, awning windows open fully outward. This means that they’re also a smart choice if you’re looking for optimal natural light and ventilation.
These non-traditional windows also have a unique-to-them benefit in that they can remain open when it rains due to the protection provided by the “awning.”
About Impact Windows
Unforgiving forces of nature, hurricanes produce an incredible amount of energy over a very short period of time. Through wind energy alone, an average hurricane produces the equivalent of about half the worldwide electrical generating capacity. One area where many homes are especially susceptible to damage? Windows.
Not only do torrential rain and pelting hail threaten the security of windows, but hurricane winds can actually pick up debris and hurl them through some windows with ease.
This is where strong, durable impact windows come in.
Nobody wants to be trapped in their home while a tropical storm or hurricane flings razor-sharp broken glass windows throughout their house. High-performance impact windows are designed to hold up to whatever extreme weather nature sends their way.
The best part? They’re available with all of the window styles listed above as well as in durable and attractive materials like vinyl and aluminum.
Why Choose CGI Windows?
The industry leader, CGI creates high-performance impact windows and doors engineered and tested to stand up to the most intense storms.
The company was formed in 1992 before Hurricane Andrew demolished parts of the Bahamas, Louisiana, and Southern Florida. A Category 5 hurricane, Andrew carved its most destructive pathway through Southern Florida, where 108,000 homes were damaged. During that storm, thousands of windows were broken leading to many dangerous situations while homes with high-performance impact windows remained intact.
While severe storms have always been a threat, experts say unpredictable weather patterns will only increase due to climate change. This is why so many people are choosing to invest in CGI Windows.
For more than two decades, CGI has provided innovative and durable high-performance impact products for homeowners as well as for well-known properties like Fairchild Botanical Gardens, Fisher Island, and WaterColours in Grand Cayman.
Impact windows are a wise choice if you live in Southern Florida or another hurricane-prone area. To take a step in the direction of a more comfortable, beautiful, and efficient home with CGI’s award-winning high-performance impact windows and doors, get your free quote today.