19 Different Types Of Windows Used By Architects

Windows are what connect the inside to the outside, they are the portals through which inner meets outer. To put it another way, they are the eyes of a home, and just as a person needs healthy eyes to take in the world around them, a house needs good, clean windows.

Different types of WindowsView in gallery

Since windows are such an important consideration for any homeowner, we have put together an exhaustive list of all the different types of windows that might be an option for you. You might already have something in mind. Maybe you’re looking for Dormer window ideas, and maybe you’ve been thinking about creating a garden window facing the backyard so you can watch the kids play. Maybe you’re looking for something simpler than that, perhaps a casement window for the basement or a storm window replacement for your vacation home. Whatever the case may be, read on!

How to Care for Your Windows

Before we get started on the kids of windows, let’s talk about how to care for windows so they stay beautiful. Fortunately, caring for and cleaning windows is quite simple. In general, you should clean windows whenever they get dirty, but how dirty you’re willing to let them get is, of course, up to you. If possible, avoid washing windows in direct sunlight. You should use a mix of mild dish soap and water to clean the glass. After you rinse completely, wash off with an absorbent cloth to remove any remaining wetness. If the windows have screens, remove the screens and handwash them in a sink or tub. If you are noticing an old window getting drafty, simply feel around for any air and then caulk the gap where it’s coming in.

Which Windows Should You Buy?

There are a couple of different things to take into consideration when deciding on which type of window to buy. First, you will want to take into account the aesthetics of the house or building. You will not want to put a Victorian window on a post-modern home. Second, you will want to judge how much light you want to let into the house. The more sunlight, the bigger the windows should be.

Third, you will want to judge how much privacy you want. The more privacy, the smaller the windows should be. Finally, you will want to fit the windows into your budget and greater priorities. If your budget allows for large, high-quality windows, then you should buy large, high-quality windows. But if hardwood floors are more important to you and you’re on a limited budget, perhaps the windows should be a lower priority.

19 Different Types Of Windows Used In Architecture

1. Single Hung Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A single hung window is a classic and simple design. It may be the most common window in the world. The bottom half opens inward, into the living space. That makes these windows great for large indoor spaces that are next to cramped urban areas, like New York City alleys. The typical single hung window will run you anywhere from $100 to $200.

2. Double Hung Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A double-hung window is identical to a single hung window, except the top half opens up, in addition to the bottom half. A double-hung window will be about $100 more expensive than a single hung window.

3. Oriel “Bay” Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

An Oriel window, also known as a “Bay” window, is large, expansive, and expensive. These windows require lots of space, both indoors and outdoors, and let lots of light in. They also create expansive views and sightlines. Be prepared to spend at least $1,000 on one of Since windows are such an important consideration for any homeowner, we have put together an exhaustive list of all the different types of windows that might be an option for you..

4. Cottage Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A cottage window is quite similar to a double-hung window, but they tend to be much more ornamental. It is common for cottage windows to face the front yard or be placed on either side of a front door in order to create a pleasing entry space. Cottage windows are typically a bit more expensive than double-hung windows.

5. Two Panel Slider Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A two-panel slider window is a classic window to put above sinks or in cramped areas that get little foot traffic. They are simple windows where one pane slides over the other, and though not terribly attractive, they are practical. Think of these as the window equivalent of sliding doors. They will run you between $200 and $400.

6. Three Panel Slider Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A three panel slider window is the same as a two panel slider window, with the addition of a single panel. They will be just a bit more expensive than a two panel slider.

7. Picture Window

Dormer windowView in gallery
Image from Jennifergiersbrook

A picture window is exactly what it sounds like. Imagine a painting, except instead of the painting, it’s a window. It doesn’t move, and it doesn’t open. It just stays in the wall and gives you a nice view. The cost here all depends on the size of the window, and it tends to be between $200 and $500.

8. Hopper Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A hopper window is a single pane that is usually rectangular and opens from the bottom. These windows are great for letting light and air in and are often found up high close to the ceiling in places where privacy is needed, or a view is impractical. These windows are great for bedrooms that face busy streets or for bathrooms. They are most commonly found in basements where only the top few feet are above ground. These windows are very inexpensive, and are rarely more than a hundred dollars.

9. Casement Windows

Dormer windowView in gallery
Image from Emerick Architects

Casement windows are basically hopper windows that have the long side facing up instead of sideways. They are great for any sort of thin space, like a hallway, and will cost about as much as a hopper window.

10. Awning Windows

Dormer windowView in gallery
Image from Cobb Architects

Awning windows are just like hopper and casement windows, except the open from the top. In fact, awning windows are practically the same as hopper windows and will cost the same as well, give or take.

11. Transom Windows

Dormer windowView in gallery

Transom windows are also quite similar to hopper windows, except they do not open. These windows are great for basement spaces where you want light to enter near an exhaust port or drainage area and you know you’ll never open the window. Transom windows can also be used inside, typically over a door. These types of windows will run you between $200 and $400.

12. Jalousie Windows

Dormer windowView in gallery

Jalousie windows operate like window shades, with several horizantal bands that tilt to open up together. They are great for work areas that need ventilation but don’t have space to spare, like a laundry room. They are also a perfect fit for a garage or shed, where you want light and ventilation and you’re willing to sacrifice on aesthetics. They also tend to be fairly inexpensive, and will run between $100 and $200.

13. Garden Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A garden window is similar to a bay window, and it’s for exactly what the name implies: a garden. Garden windows jut out from inside the house and are great for bottom floors that look out onto a yard or garden space. They expand the indoor space and provide lots of room for indoor plants, or maybe a bookshelf. But beware! They can be quite expensive, and will run for between $500 and $1,000. The bigger they are, the more expensive!

14. Storm Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A storm window is designed to operate like a single hung window, but to be as sturdy as possible. They are also great at providing insulation and keeping energy costs low. As the name implies, storm windows are great for areas in extreme climates, especially places that get hurricanes.

15. Egress Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

Though we have concentrated mostly on beauty and aesthetics up until now, windows can and should provide functional benefits that ensure safety for you and your family. Every house should have multiple methods of entrance and exit in case of emergency or fire, and that’s where egress windows come in. Egress windows are a failsafe, and are perfect to install in basements so that there is an easy path of escape in the case of emergency. An egress window should be easy to open, big enough for an adult to crawl through, and have space on both sides for easy passage. Read more here about egress windows.

16. Skylight Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

Now, back to beautiful windows! Skylight windows are basically windows that you put in the ceiling to ensure maximal sunlight. They will usually not open, but in some rare cases, a homeowner might want one to open in order to facilitate ventilation. Skylights can make a home space incredibly bright and beautiful, but they can also be incredibly expensive, and run up to $1,000. Another thing to consider with skylight windows is installation. They are quite difficult to install, and so you may have to pay a premium for installation in addition to the cost of the window itself.

17. Round Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

Round windows are purely decorative. You will sometimes see them in a Victorian or Colonial style building, and they do typically add luster to a space. Having said that, they are expensive and do not provide much practical utility besides sunlight.

18. Arched Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

An arched window is basically half a round window on top of a conventional window. These are very popular in Colonial and Georgian style architecure, and if you see them, chances are you’re in an old, affluent neighborhood. It should be obvious by this point that unless you’re going for a specific look with your house, and you’re willing to pay the premium, an arched window may not be the ticket for you.

19. Dormer Window

Dormer windowView in gallery

A dormer window refers less to the appearance of the window itself and more to where it ends up placed in the house. A dormer window is a type of roof window that is used to increase sunlight in a lofted space. You will often see dormer windows placed under a small pitched roof, and they will almost always be on the second floor of a building. Dormer windows can use many different types of windows we discussed above, so if you’re interested you can read more here.


As you can see, the possibilities for windows are nearly endless. There are options for every style, every home, every environment, and every budget. Whether you are building a house from scratch or simply looking to remodel a section of an existing home, it is well within your power to construct precisely the kind of space that you’ve daydreamed about.

Before you make a decision, and before you make a purchase, be sure to consider all of your options. Windows can be a headache if not thought through properly, so you should be sure to leave nothing to chance. Be sure to weigh the benefits of the window against the price, and never overextend yourself for a window you might not be able to afford.

Finally, the process of window installation is nearly as important as the quality of the window itself. A poorly installed window can create draft and send your energy costs skyrocketing, while a properly installed window will ensure that energy costs stay low and your space stays beautiful. If you’re installing the window yourself, make sure you formulate a plan before beginning the process and be prepared for unexpected issues to come up. If you are planning on hiring a contractor to install the window for you, make sure you factor the cost into your budget, and you must absolutely vet whoever you are considering hiring.