Popular home window styles you can choose from when building or remodeling your home.
Windows do more than just let you see the world outside. They can also enhance your home’s decor and climate by inviting natural light and fresh air inside. A home with too few windows or the wrong window styles can feel cramped, dark, and muggy, so it’s essential to choose the right windows for your home when you start a new build or remodel.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. There isn’t one right window style for every home or even every room in the same home. As a homeowner, you need to know the difference between a bay window, a transom window, and a hopper window, and understand where they each belong.
Keep reading, and we’ll break down 14 of the most common window styles, what benefits they offer, and which rooms they work best in.
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- Different window styles are better for certain jobs. For example, glass block windows and picture windows are typically fixed, meaning they can’t open, so they won’t help increase your home’s airflow. They still make stylish statement pieces, though, and can better beautify a home than some openable options like casement windows.
- Some window styles work better in specific rooms. Garden windows traditionally go in kitchens, bay windows work best in living and dining rooms, and picture windows are great for any room where you entertain guests.
- Some windows can work in just about any room. These window styles include awning windows, single-hung and double-hung windows, and casement windows.
- Window installation costs vary greatly depending on window type, size, glass type, and what the frame is made from. The average cost to install a single standard-sized window ranges from $550 to $750.
How much does window installation cost?
Buying new windows and getting them professionally installed generally costs $550 to $750 per window as long as you’re getting standard window types and sizes. Prices heavily depend on a lot of factors, though, and this home improvement project can cost over $10,000 per window in some cases.
The style of the window is one of the most important pricing factors since different styles have different average costs. On the low end, you have styles like glass block windows and transom windows averaging between $60 and $840. Picture windows and bay windows, on the other hand, typically cost somewhere between $150 and $5,500. And if you’re getting a window custom-made, there isn’t a well-defined upward limit to how much it can cost.
Another factor that can affect your price is the type of glass you get. Single-pane glass is your cheapest option while tempered, double-pane, Low-E, and triple-pane glass all cost considerably more.
The material of the frame is also a factor. Low-end options like fiberglass, wood, and vinyl window frames are generally more affordable while steel frames cost much more on average.
To get a more complete breakdown of how these various factors can impact your price, check out our window installation pricing guide.
Popular home window types
Glass block windows
A glass block window is constructed from individual blocks of glass held together with mortar. Image source: The Home Depot
Glass block windows are made from small, individual chunks of thick glass arranged side by side and stacked to form a window. The cracks between these individual blocks of glass are sealed up with mortar. You can think of them as brick walls made from glass bricks.
This construction makes glass block windows very secure and low-maintenance since they don’t have any hinges or sliding components. It also helps them retain heat better than most other window styles, so they can increase your home’s energy efficiency. The downside is that glass block windows are fixed in their frames, so they can’t open.
The blocks can be made from colored, fogged, or warped glass to permit diffused light while providing privacy, but they can also be fully transparent. Glass block windows are most often used in bathrooms and basements, but you can also find them in kitchens or used as sidelights beside entryway doors.
Transom windows are often built over entryway doors, though they’re also used to promote airflow between adjoining rooms. Image source: Rustica
Transom windows are a stylish relic from the days before homes had central air conditioning. They’re normally built over interior or exterior doors, though they’re sometimes found over other windows. The bar that separates a transom window from the door or window below it is called a transom, and it’s what gives these windows their name.
In the old days, transom windows were meant to open independently of the fixture below them, permitting air to flow into the house or between rooms. Nowadays, new transom windows are usually fixed in their frames, so they’re decor accents instead of functional components of a home’s venting. You can still get an openable transom window, though.
Contractors commonly build transom windows in exterior walls above entryways, though they can also be installed in interior walls between adjoining rooms. Say you want to share some of the sunlight your living room gets with your dining room. A transom window between the two rooms can help with that.
Storm windows get installed over exterior windows to provide extra protection against inclement weather. Image source: Lowe’s Home Improvement
A storm window is a secondary window you can install over any exterior window. Storm windows get their name from their primary function: giving your home’s interior an extra line of defense against storm damage. If you live in an area that frequently sees heavy snow, wind, or rainstorms, you may want to consider installing storm windows.
In addition to making a home more weather-resistant, storm windows can also reduce heat transfer, making the place more energy efficient as well.
They’re often fixed windows, though you can find options that swing or slide open. Additionally, some storm windows are designed for temporary use, so you can put them up over your windows when you know a big storm is coming and take them down when it passes.
Awning windows have hinges at the tops of their frames so they can swing open at the bottom. Image source: Architectural Depot
Awning windows feature upper hinges in their frames that allow the window to swing open from the bottom. This design means that an open awning window will allow fresh air to come inside, but it will still protect your home’s interior from rain.
Awning windows are typically installed higher on a wall than other types of windows so they can flood a room with light and air without allowing strangers to peer inside, but you can put an awning window just about anywhere.
And we do mean anywhere. Awning windows are versatile and can be installed in every major room in a house. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and laundry rooms are all popular installation candidates, though an awning window would be a welcome addition to just about any room where you want a little more natural light and ventilation.
Hopper windows are built similarly to awning windows, but they work in the exact opposite way. They feature hinges at the bottom of their frames and swing open at the top instead of the bottom, and they usually open inward into your home instead of outward.
Picture windows are large, fixed windows that provide a scenic view of whatever’s outside your home. Image source: Window Wire
Picture windows are another type of fixed window, so they can’t open. They’re among the largest windows you can add to your home, so they’re used as central statement pieces in a room’s decor. The idea is that they frame whatever’s outside the home like a picture, making it a part of the home’s interior design.
If your home has a spectacular yard, an enchanting view of a city, or a breathtaking vista of the ocean, then a picture window can provide an unobstructed view of that beauty. And, if you want to get the picture effect but still give your home some ventilation, you can sandwich a picture window between side windows that can open.
Of course, the visibility provided by picture windows goes two ways, so they provide less privacy than just about any other standard window. Because of this, you wouldn’t want to install a picture window in your bedroom or bathroom. They’re most often found in rooms used for socializing like living rooms, dining rooms, and even kitchens.
Skylights are windows built into a ceiling to allow natural sunlight to fill the room below. Image source: Select Blinds
Skylight windows are installed in roofs instead of walls, and they’re angled toward the sky so they can fill a home with sunlight.
The cheapest version of the skylight is the solar tube. A solar tube features a small, domed window at the top that captures sunlight and funnels it down a reflective cylinder through your roof. The bottom of the cylinder features a second window in your ceiling that empties the sunlight into your home. Solar tube skylights can provide plenty of light, but they don’t really give you a view of the sky, so if you’d like to watch clouds and stars go by from inside your house, solar tubes aren’t for you.
The more decorative—and expensive—skylight styles look like traditional windows with frames and large panes of glass, so they actually let you see the sky. These skylights are generally fixed in their frames, but some feature cranks or even remote controls that allow you to open them for some airflow.
Skylights are usually found over stairwells, kitchens, living rooms, and even bedrooms.
Single-hung windows feature two separate window sashes: one that’s fixed and one that slides open. Image source: Home Depot
Single-hung windows have a simple design with two main pieces: a fixed upper window panel—also called a window sash—and a sliding window sash that moves up and down in the window frame. Because of this design, single-hung windows are sometimes called single-sash windows. Moving the bottom sash up over the fixed panel opens the window and invites fresh air into your home.
Like awning windows, single-hung windows are immensely versatile, and they’re a great option for any room that you want to add light and airflow to. When open, they don’t offer the same rain protection as an open awning window, though. You can find them in bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens.
Single-hung windows can also be designed with the two sashes arranged side-by-side instead of one on top of the other. A sash window with this configuration is also called a slider window. The sliding sashes on slider windows open by sliding horizontally instead of vertically.
Arched windows feature arches at the tops of their frames. Image source: Amazon
An arched window is exactly what it sounds like: a window that arches at the top. The arch can come to a steep point like an arrow or feature a rounded curve for a less gothic effect. Many arched windows are fixed in their frames, making them simply decorative statement windows, though some do feature hinges for opening.
Their arched design makes them more dramatic than most common types of windows, so they’re great for any room that you want to add a little flair to. They come in all shapes and sizes as well, ranging from squat and wide models to narrow floor-to-ceiling designs.
Arched windows are most often installed in rooms where guests will see them, though they can also be found in master bathrooms and bedrooms.
Casement windows come with multiple, side-by-side window panes that swing open. Image source: Pinky’s Iron Doors
Casement windows feature multiple hinged panes of glass that all share a frame and swing outward to open independently of each other. They typically come with either two or three opening windows arranged side by side, but they can also be configured as two opening windows on either side of a picture window in the same frame.
Since they swing outward instead of sliding open like a single-hung window, casement windows need more room to open, but otherwise, they’re every bit as versatile.
Double-hung windows are like single-hung windows, except both sashes in a double-hung window can slide open. Image source: Lowe’s Home Improvement
Like a single-hung window, a double-hung window features two independent window panes stacked vertically in a single frame. Unlike single-hung windows, though, both the upper sash and the lower sash of a double-hung window can slide up and down, so they’re both openable and you can open them at the same time.
Double-hung windows can go wherever you’d put a single-hung window, which is to say they can go in basically any room. The only real drawback of a double-hung window is the price. Double-hung windows tend to cost a few hundred dollars more than single-hung options, so if the versatility of two sliding sashes isn’t worth the extra cost to you, opt for a single-hung window instead.
Double-hung windows are also available as slider windows with sashes that open horizontally instead of vertically.
Egress windows are mandatory elements of a home’s design, and they must be large enough for a person to escape through. Image source: The Home Depot
In addition to the three typical purposes of a window—airflow, visibility, and lighting—egress windows serve an important third function: you can use them as emergency escapes or entrances for your home.
Because of this functionality, a window has to be openable and meet certain size requirements determined by local building codes to be classified as an egress window. In fact, local, federal, and international building codes require homes to have egress windows.
Luckily, both sash windows and casement windows can be used as egress windows as long as they meet the size requirements, so you have plenty of styles and design options when choosing windows that are up to code.
Custom windows are individually crafted to match unique design ideas, so they can be very expensive. Image source: Sawyer Glass
Custom windows can be basically anything you want them to be. Want to install a picture window that’s especially wide in your living room? How about a casement window with five window panes in a row? Whatever statement you want your windows to make or functionality you need them to serve, you can get a custom window for the job. For the right price, that is.
Custom windows are particularly expensive, and depending on how large the window is or how unusual you make the design, a single custom window can cost $10,000 or more. If you’ve got a unique vision for your home’s design and money is no object, though, a custom window might be the best fit.
Bay windows feature multiple panes of glass arranged to jut outward from a house. Image source: Alibaba
Bay windows are actually more than just windows: they’re small additions to your home.
They feature three walls that protrude slightly outward from a room’s exterior wall, and all three have a large window built into them. This forms a small, well-lit alcove you can think of as a tiny sunroom. Sometimes the windows are fixed, though they can also be casement or sash windows to promote airflow.
Many bay windows feature benches or wide sills beneath the windows so you can use them as cozy reading nooks or displays for plants, pictures, and other decorative items. You can usually find bay windows in living rooms, though they also make phenomenal additions to bedrooms and master bathrooms.
A bow window is a type of bay window that features four walls and four windows instead of just three. Because they have four walls, bow windows have slighter angles than bay windows.
Garden windows are built with multiple panes of glass arranged in a small box. Image source: The Home Depot
Like bay windows, garden windows actually feature multiple panes of glass—which can be fixed or openable depending on preference—arranged in a small box around one or two shelves.
Garden windows get their name because they’re normally used to house potted flowers, cactuses, and fresh herbs that need plenty of sunlight. Keeping these items in your kitchen allows you to water them easily, and nothing can take your cooking to the next level like quick access to fresh rosemary, mint, or thyme.
And while garden windows are normally placed above kitchen sinks, they can also liven up your living room, your bathroom, or even your bedroom. Anywhere you want a splash of greenery is a good candidate for a garden window.
Windows of all sorts
Without stylish and functional windows throughout your various rooms, your home can feel like little more than a concrete box. Luckily, you now know the benefits and drawbacks of different types of windows, so you can find the best window for every room in your home. And, when you’re ready to get the windows installed, we can help you hire a professional glazier for the job.