What is a Single Hung Window?

A single-hung window is a tall rectangle shape with two sashes. The bottom sash lifts open vertically while the top sash is stationary.

Single Hung Window

If you close your eyes and picture a basic window on a home, the single-hung window comes to mind. These windows are among the most simple and least expensive varieties.

If you need to replace or add a single hung window, here’s a look at the standard sizes, costs, pros, cons, and more.

What are the Most Common Single Hung Window Sizes?

Single-hung windows come in many sizes. The six most common widths for single-hung windows are 24, 28, 32, 40, 44, and 48 inches. The eight most common heights include 36, 44, 48, 52, 54, 60, 62, and 72 inches.

How Do You Open a Single Hung Window?

To open a standard single-hung window, unlock it and use your hands to push the bottom sash upward. You can do this by holding onto the frame of the bottom panel or placing your hands on the glass.

You cannot open the top sash of a single hung window.

What is the Average Cost of a Single Hung Window?

The average material and installation cost for one single hung window ranges from $275 to $600. Several factors influence this price, including the window’s size, brand, and features. 

You can find small basic vinyl single-hung windows for less than $100. Larger windows or those with special insulation, composite framing, or grids can cost several hundred dollars.

Single Hung Window Costs by Brand

The costs of a single hung window vary depending on brand and energy efficiency. 

You can find single-hung windows with various levels of glass thickness and insulative properties.

Other factors that affect cost include frame finish, hardware, and the inclusion of grids or screens.

If you’re working with a tight budget and looking for the most cost-effective window solutions, here’s a look at prices from various brands for a white 24 x 46 vinyl single-hung window.

American Craftsman$174
Jeld-Wen (Menards)$79
Project Source$79

*These are introductory prices. The price of your window will change depending on size, insulative properties, brand, and finish.

What is a Single Hung Storm Window?

If you’re dealing with a lack of energy efficiency due to your windows, you have two choices: purchase replacement single-hung windows or go for storm windows.

Storm windows have aluminum frames. They are installed on the outside of your home, over your existing window. While they don’t offer as much energy efficiency as new replacement windows, they’re more cost-effective and can help reduce air leaks.

If you want something functional, you can purchase single-hung storm windows.

What’s the Difference Between Single Hung and Double Hung Windows?

Single and double-hung windows look almost identical – there’s just one difference between them. On a double-hung window, both sashes move. So you can move the top panel down or the bottom sash up. And, in some cases, they tilt in for easy cleaning.

Single Hung and Double Hung

On a single-hung window, the top sash doesn’t move – only the bottom does.

Double-hung windows are a little more expensive than single-hung windows, but not by much. They are a great choice if you want a window that provides maximum ventilation and is easier to clean.

On the other hand, single-hung windows are the better choice if you want a tighter seal and a window that’s less prone to damage.

How Can You Tell Whether You Have a Single or Double Hung Window?

Single and double-hung windows both have two sashes. But in a single hung window, the top sash doesn’t move. The easiest way to determine which window you have is to go outside and look at the upper sash. If there’s a space between the top sash and the jamb, there’s a good chance it’s double-hung.

If you can’t tell from looking at the window, you can try opening it. (Be very gentle, so you don’t break something that isn’t supposed to move.) To do this, unlock your window and gently try to move the top sash down. If it doesn’t budge, you have a single hung window. If your top sash moves downward, you have a double-hung window.

What Should You Look For in a Single Hung Window?

You can find single-hung windows with many types of customizations. There are basic vinyl single-hung windows for less than $100, while more energy-efficient and decorative versions cost more.

Here are the features you should look for in your single-hung window.

  • Frame – You can get single-hung windows in vinyl, wood, aluminum, and composite frames. Vinyl and aluminum will be the least expensive. 
  • Glass and Energy Efficiency – You can get windows with one, two, or three panes of glass. If you’re looking for high-energy efficiency, choose a window with 2-3 panes of glass and Argon in between the panes. Argon is a glass coating that helps insulate windows.
  • Design – Aside from the practicalities of the window, you’ll want something that fits your home’s style. You can find single-hung windows with different colors and types of hardware, screens, and grids.

Which is Better, a Single Hung or Casement Window?

Which is Better, a Single Hung or Casement Window?

Single-hung and casement windows both have simple styles and come in similar sizes.

A single-hung window is vertical, with two sashes. The bottom sash opens vertically for ventilation. A casement window is also vertical but only has one sash and opens outwardly. 

Casement windows have hinges at the side and a crank you turn to open the window. These windows open from the left or right, depending on the hinge placement. Since casement windows have a water-tight seal around the perimeter, they are more energy efficient than single-hung windows. 

The biggest downside to the casement window is that since it opens outwardly, it’s not appropriate if there is an obstruction outside the window.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What are the benefits of single-hung windows?

Single-hung windows have many benefits, including cost-effectiveness, easy installation, and energy efficiency. Since these windows have one sash that opens, they’re more secure than double-hung windows. 

What is a twin single-hung window?

Twin single-hung windows are two single-hung windows installed side by side. Twin single-hung windows are a great alternative to one giant window.

What are the disadvantages of single-hung windows?

The most significant drawback to single-hung windows is that they’re harder to clean than double-hung windows that tilt. Other cons include less air ventilation and a (possible) tight emergency exit.

Can I replace the window sash only in a single hung window?

Yes, you can replace one sash in a single hung window. The ease of this project will depend on the brand of the window. Many top brands sell replacement sashes and have detailed instructions for replacement. Contact a local contractor or window installation company if you don’t feel qualified to replace the sash yourself.

Can you install a single hung window upside down?

No, you should not install single-hung windows upside down. If you do this, on the outside of the window, the lower sash will be on top of the upper sash, creating a place for water to seep in. Plus, improper installation voids your warranty and can pose a safety risk. If you want a window that opens from the top, choose double-hung windows.

Can you install a single hung window horizontally?

While you can install a single-hung window horizontally, it’s not a good idea. Manufacturers create these windows for vertical installation with a stationary top sash. If you install horizontally, your window may leak, and you will void your warranty. Instead of installing a single-hung window horizontally, purchase a sliding window.

Final Thoughts

Single-hung windows are one of the most common types of windows. They feature two sashes – the top is stationary, and the bottom opens and closes to allow ventilation. They are one of the least expensive windows to purchase and install.

Single-hung windows come in many sizes and variations. Basic vinyl single-hung windows can be as inexpensive as $100 per window, while larger, more energy-efficient options can cost a few hundred dollars.