With such a vast array of window types available on the market today such as Casement windows, Sash Windows, Sliding Sash windows, Tilt and turn windows, double glazing windows and triple glazing windows, it can be difficult to decide what works best for you and your property. Having the right windows in your home is essential for bringing natural light and air into your living space. Windows also play a vital role in improving the appearance and functionality of your home.

Over the years, the window industry has really developed, with more window styles available to home and building owners. From traditional classics to innovative modern designs, the choices are seemingly endless, with a variety of windows tailored to suit various architectural designs, climate conditions and modern trends.

In this blog, we’ll explore the most common types of windows, covering their glazing, materials and benefits. Whether you’re planning a home renovation, have a new-build home, or want more information on the types of windows that are available, this guide will provide you with the information you need.

What are the most common styles of windows?

Having the right windows is important to improve the overall design, comfort levels and energy efficiency of your home. Here are four of the most common types of windows available.

Types and designs of windows Homebrite

1. Casement windows

Casement windows are one of the most versatile and commonly available window types on the market, and they can be found in homes and buildings worldwide. Hinged on one side, they open outwards and are usually opened by a handle. Casement windows are a great option if you’re needing more ventilation in your home, as they can be fully opened to allow maximum airflow.

The outward swing also makes cleaning them rather straightforward from inside the property. You can purchase casement windows in various styles and finishes, such as UPVC, aluminium and timber. Casement windows suit any modern or traditional style of property and are a practical and aesthetically pleasing option.

2. Flush sash windows

Flush sash windows have gained popularity because they have a modern and elegant appearance. This window type features sashes that fit flush and tightly into the window frame when closed, creating a smooth and seamless look.

Flush sash windows are often designed to replicate traditional wooden windows, while still benefiting from the energy efficiency of modern materials like UPVC or aluminium. They are available in a wide range of colours and finishes, and are very good for retaining heat in the home, offering high performance and security. Flush sash windows are a good choice for property owners who want a mix of sleek style, energy efficiency and functionality.

3. Sliding sash windows

Otherwise known as vertical sliding windows, or ‘sash and case windows’, sliding sash windows are timeless and classic in appearance, as their style dates back to the 17th century. They’re a great option for traditional properties, or modern properties that have classic architecture in their design.

These windows consist of two vertically sliding sashes, which can move independently, allowing for various ventilation options. It’s common to associate sliding sash windows with period properties, as they’re often a requirement, especially for listed buildings, so that the windows are in keeping with the rest of the property’s design. However, it’s also possible to get more modern versions that are made from UPVC or timber, with modern glazing installed to improve energy efficiency while still keeping a classic aesthetic.

4. Tilt and turn windows

As they are particularly flexible and practical, tilt and turn windows are another option. Tilt and turn windows can be opened two ways – they can either tilt inwards from the top, or swing inwards like a casement window for larger amounts of airflow and/or to clean the windows from the inside.

Tilt and turn windows are a popular choice for modern properties, new builds and high-rise buildings because they offer enhanced security features, good energy efficiency and flexibility in how they can be opened. They are often made from UPVC or aluminium, making them very low maintenance and easy to clean.

What types of glazing are available?

As more property owners seek to find new ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort levels in their homes, they are considering the glazing options on their chosen windows. The window market offers various types of glazing, depending on your requirements.

The most commonly used glazing options include double glazing, triple glazing, and some specialised glazing technologies like Smart glass. Here are some of the most popular options regarding window glazing.

Double glazing

Double glazing is arguably the most common type of glazing on the market. It consists of two panes of glass separated by a space filled with air or a special gas, (like argon). This gap creates an insulating barrier between the panes, preventing heat transfer between the interior and exterior of the property.

Double glazing traps more heat and is more energy efficient compared to single glazing, resulting in improved comfort in a home, and lower energy bills. It also reduces noise pollution from outside for a quieter and calmer living experience indoors. Double glazing is rather cost-effective compared to other glazing options and is, therefore, a popular choice with those looking to improve their windows.

Triple glazing

Triple glazing is designed for higher energy efficiency than most glazing options. Triple glazing works by incorporating three panes of glass and two insulating gaps, creating even more of a barrier between the inner and outer panes of glass. Triple glazing is highly effective in colder climates or regions where extreme weather conditions are common. It’s designed to trap heat in a building, helping it to stay warm and preventing heat loss, maximising energy savings and keeping energy bills low.

While it offers superior insulation compared to other glazing types, triple glazing is considerably more expensive than other options due to the excess materials needed to make the glazing, and manufacturing costs. That said, homeowners looking for optimal energy efficiency in colder weather and improved soundproofing may find triple glazing a great investment for their home.

Low-emissivity (Low-E) glazing

Low-E glazing is essentially glass that has been treated with a thin, transparent coating that reduces heat transfer while allowing natural light to pass through. The clear coating reflects infrared heat back into the room, keeping a home cool in summer yet warmer in winter. This type of glazing is designed to retain heat and improve energy efficiency, and it’s common to find it used alongside either double or triple glazing.

Self-cleaning glass

Self-cleaning glass has a special coating on the outer surface of the glass, which uses UV light from the sun to break down dirt and organic debris, making it ‘self-cleaning’. When it rains, the rain droplets help to wash away the broken-down dirt from the glass, which also helps to keep the glass cleaner for longer. Compared to other types of glazing, this type of glass reduces the need for manual cleaning, and is a great solution for windows that need to be positioned in hard-to-reach areas that can’t be cleaned easily.

Soundproof glazing

Soundproof glazing consists of multiple layers of glass that are designed to dampen sound vibrations, providing a quieter and more peaceful living space. This glazing type is a great choice for those who either live in noisy environments (like cities), who want to reduce noise pollution from entering their home,

It’s also useful for those who perhaps want to reduce sound from escaping from their home due to loud electronic devices or musical instruments (like drums or guitars being played), which could cause a nuisance to neighbours. Soundproof glazing can be more expensive than other glazing types due to manufacturing methods.

Smart glass

Smart glass allows homeowners to control the transparency of their windows electronically via a switch and/or smartphone. The transparency of the glass can be changed according to your preference, from transparent to translucent or opaque, providing privacy and shading when needed.

Which window materials can I choose from?

There are a range of window materials you can choose from depending on your property style and aesthetics, as well as what you’d prefer to prioritise including durability, energy efficiency and maintenance. Here are some of the most common types of window materials.

Aluminium

Aluminium windows have gained popularity, especially in more modern architecture because of their slim and durable frames. Aluminium windows are very tough and durable, and won’t take much looking after in terms of maintenance. They can also come in a range of colours and finishes to suit any architectural style.

UPVC

UPVC windows are a popular and cost-effective choice when it comes to materials. They prevent heat loss, keep energy costs low, and are very tough and resistant to weather, rot, corrosion and fading. As they come in a variety of colours and finishes, are lower in cost and require minimum maintenance, you don’t really need to do anything to look after them once they’re installed. This makes UPVC a great option for many homeowners.

Composite

Composite windows are designed for high performance, and consist of a combination of timber/wood and either aluminium or PVC. The timber interior provides a traditional appearance, while the aluminium or PVC exterior provides strong weather resistance and low maintenance. Composite windows are also designed to give extra security and superior energy efficiency.

Wood

Wood has long been a popular material in the window market. Wooden windows have a timeless charm, and people who own traditional or heritage properties often choose wooden windows to fit the aesthetic of their home, or to meet legal or listed requirements. Wood is a versatile material that complements various architectural styles.

It’s also great at trapping heat, providing good insulation and thermal performance and helping to reduce energy consumption. Wooden windows are however a higher maintenance option, and need regular treatment and painting or staining to protect the wood against weather conditions and damp, which can lead to rot.

Many window manufacturers offer wood treated with protective coatings that are designed to protect the wood from warping, chipping, flaking and moisture damage.

Timber-look windows

Timber-look windows offer the appearance of traditional timber windows but with the performance, durability and benefits of modern materials like UPVC or aluminium. They are an excellent choice for those who want the classic look of timber on the outside of their property but would prefer a lower maintenance option and improved energy efficiency on the inside.

Timber-look windows come in multiple colours and finishes and mimic the natural grain of real wood. They are an ideal option for heritage properties or homeowners who have older homes but want to improve energy efficiency, all while keeping a classic and natural appearance.

Choosing the type of window for your property from the list above will depend on various factors such as the architectural style and age of your home, the energy efficiency you want, maintenance requirements, and your budget.