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“If you are a homeowner looking to replace your windows, maneuvering your way through the array of available options of style and functionality can be tricky, especially if you’re not equipped with the appropriate terminology,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction. ­­“It’s important to understand the vocabulary building professionals use in order to select the best-suited windows for your home.” The first step in this process is to familiarize yourself with the five main types of windows, including their appearance and function.

Easily one of the most favored window selections is the double hung window. Although more often seen on traditional homes, double hung windows are making a transition into the modern era. “This type of window offers ventilation and allows you to slide the bottom up and the top down, as it is divided into two sections of framed glass,” said Scott.

Similar to a door, a casement window has a hinge located on the side, allowing it to swing inward and outward for open airflow. “Crank-out casement” is a common phrase associated with this window style and refers to the hardware’s design and the movement involved to open and close it.

Glider windows function horizontally. “Instead of lifting to open the window, gliders are comprised of glass-framed panels that are fixed on a track, so you can simply slide the window open or closed,” he said.

When it comes to an awning window, the hinge is located on the top and opens outward. “Typically, this type of window is found on the upper level of a home for increased privacy and sunlight, plus you don’t have to worry about closing this window style during a rainstorm,” Scott said.

There are subtle differences between bay and bow windows that are helpful to remember. For instance, bay windows exhibit a stationary center window that is connected by two angled windows on either side for ventilation. However, bow windows are essentially a curved bay window, as they feature a succession of windows outlined by a slight curve.

Whichever type of window replacement option you choose, it’s important to consider location and frequency of access. “This may involve replacing an existing window with a window type that is more compatible with the room,” said Scott. You are not required to choose the same type of window you had previously because certain window types are better for particular spaces. For example, if you have a space that is not easily accessible, a casement window is an ideal option. Or, when you don’t have the capacity for windows that swing open, you can choose to use gliders.

“Supplied with a more in-depth knowledge of the language that encompasses the world of window replacement, you are better able to navigate your options and determine what is best for your home,” he said.