Common Window Styles of American Homes:
Now that you’ve got a good grasp of some of the more common house styles in the United States, let’s check out some common window styles.
A dormer is a small structure with a roof that extends out on the roof of Colonial, Cape Cod, Victorian, or Federal style homes. They generally have double hung windows and were often designed to allow light into lofts or even attic spaces.
Bay windows are large, segmented windows that extend out from the wall of a house. Bay Windows generally have three angled window panels, and can sometimes have a built in seating area as in the picture above, or add slightly more floor space to a room.
Bow windows are very similar to bay windows except instead of having three panels, they often have five or more panels which creates a more curved look. To remember the difference, try and associate a bow window with a bow and arrow and a bay window with three bays.
Double hung windows are rectangular windows with two panes of glass (called sashes), each of which can be raised or lowered to open either the top or bottom of the window. Multiple double hung windows can be installed in one large opening in order to create one larger window. The picture above shows three double hung windows installed into one opening.
Single-hung windows are identical to double-hung windows except for the fact that only one window sash slides up and down. In most cases, the movable sash will be the lower one.
Unlike double hung windows which open and close vertically, casement windows are hinged on one side to open horizontally into a room.
Palladian windows are made up of one long rectangular panel with a rounded top flanked by two shorter rectangular windows with flat tops.
Sidelights are long, thin, rectangular window panels traditionally installed on both sides of entry doors. In more modern homes, there may be only one sidelight, and instead of paned glass, it will be one large section of glass.
Arched windows are rectangular windows with a rounded top. One arched window makes up the center window for a Palladian window.
Picture windows are large, rectangular windows that are longer horizontally than vertically. Picture windows are made up of one large piece of glass without any separate panes. Picture windows let in lots of sunlight and great views, but generally do not open. The picture above shows a picture window with a casement window section that opens.
Paned windows are windows that are broken up into smaller square sections by wooden frames. They are designed this way because breaking one pane of glass means you only have to replace that single small pane instead of the whole window. Since glass is much cheaper these days and construction costs higher, many modern windows have faux wooden frames to separate a sheet glass window into panes. The picture above shows a paned casement window.
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