When researching window replacement, the options can quickly become overwhelming. Between shape, color, frame and glass selection, (not to mention gas-filled windows!) educating yourself on window types can lead to a bombardment of new information and terminology.
If you’re ready to give up and simply swap out your old windows with direct replicas, hold on. Window replacement is a unique opportunity to customize and revitalize your home—and we’re here to make it easier.
In your research, you’ve likely come across two of the most popular window styles on the market: casement windows and double-hung windows. It’s no surprise that customers keep flocking to these classic styles. But what are the differences between the two? Today, we’re here to give you a comprehensive overview of the advantages of each so you can make the choice that’s right for you.
What is a casement window?
A casement window swings open like a door, thanks to hinges in the side of the frame. Typically, it works courtesy of a small crank on the bottom of the window that winches it open or closed. You may hear some folks call these “crank windows.” Designers love the clean lines and wide views that casement windows offer, and you’ll find this style featured on many modern and contemporary homes.
What is a double-hung window?
Double-hung windows feature upper and lower sections of glass (or sashes), with a division in the middle. A single-hung window (or single-sash window) has a moveable lower sash that slides up to open from the bottom, with a fixed upper sash. A double-hung window, on the other hand, can open from both directions — the top can slide down, and the bottom can slide up.
Double-hung windows are a classic—once you know what they are and how they look, you’ll notice them everywhere. This window style is a mainstay on more traditional homes, like Cape Cods or Colonials.
Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows: Aesthetic Differences
You won’t necessarily need to be bound by your home’s style of architecture when you are deciding between double-hung and casement windows. It’s not unusual for a home to feature multiple styles of windows, depending on the needs of the room.
If you’re upgrading your windows in a room with an excellent view that you want to make a focal point, the uninterrupted sweep of a casement window is your best bet. Because double-hung windows by necessity have a meeting rail — the horizontal bar where the top and bottom sash meet — they divide the outside view into two sections.
On the other hand, consider how your casements will look from outside when you open them. If you’re using casement windows on the first floor of your home, you’ll want to be sure they have plenty of room to swing open. Make sure they don’t obstruct any narrow pathways on the side of your home or get in the way when you’re trying to eat dinner out on the patio. Placing multiple casement windows next to each other can also look strange if they are positioned to swing into each other.
There are lots of ways to combine casement windows with other styles. You can design a feature wall that has a large portrait window with casements on the sides, or work them into an existing bow or bay window.
Some homeowners may conclude that double-hung windows are a key part of the original design aesthetic. Double-hung windows come in cute styles with smaller glass panes divided by muntins or grilles, which can be appropriate for a Colonial or farmhouse style. And in certain bathrooms or bedrooms, you may feel the divided glass aesthetic provides more privacy than the open glass of a casement window.
Both casement and double-hung windows come in a variety of wood and vinyl styles and a large selection of colors and add-ons. Take some pictures of your home and upload them into our home visualizer tool. You can play around and see which look best suits your style. Whichever way you go, you can be sure that upgrading your home’s windows will give a major boost to your curb appeal.
Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows: Maintenance and Cleaning
Good news! There isn’t much maintenance that goes into either double-hung windows or casement windows. Every six months or so, you can give the crank on your casement window a few drops of lubrication to make sure it still winches open with ease.
When it comes to cleaning, double-hung windows have an advantage. They have a convenient feature that allows you to access and clean the outside of the glass by tilting the window frame towards you. With casement windows, you’ll have to go outside to reach the outer part of the glass. While this may be less of a concern for first floor windows, it’s something to consider if you want to use casements on an upper floor of your home.
Also consider the weather where you live. If you’re located in a wet climate, double-hung windows may have an advantage. Because casement windows open outwards, the window is more exposed to the elements and can degrade a bit faster. Double-hung windows are less likely to be damaged in wet weather because they sit securely in their frames.
No matter which you choose, both styles are covered under Window Nation’s excellent warranty program. Window Nation warranties are transferable, and offer lifetime coverage on parts.
Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows: Ease of Use
Do you want to be able to open your window while juggling a mixing bowl or toddler in the other arm? Consider a casement window. Opening a double-hung window is a two hand job—something to take note of if anyone in your home has mobility issues. Window location matters as well. Casement windows are particularly handy in hard-to-reach areas, such as over the sink in the kitchen or over the tub in the bathroom.
The advantage of a double-hung window is that it can be closed in a jiffy. Imagine a summer evening with all of the casements wide open. If a rainstorm is coming, it will take you longer to close a whole house of casement windows.
Sometimes closing and opening a window is a safety concern. Many parents (and pet owners!) enjoy being able to open the top part of a double hung window for ventilation. They don’t want any little hands or paws pressing through the screens and falling out.
Casement windows are usually wider than they are tall. Before installing them in a bedroom, you’ll want to make sure that members of your family will be able to crawl through them in an emergency. Bedrooms should always have an accessible secondary exit, and for that reason double-hung windows may be a better option.
Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows: Ventilation
You know that glorious moment between seasons when it’s not quite time for A/C and you don’t really need to turn on the heat? The longer that season lasts, the better. It may sound simple, but opening windows is one of the most energy-efficient choices you can make for your home utility spending. Even the CDC recommends airing out your home regularly.
When it comes to ventilation, casement windows come out slightly ahead. When you turn the crank to open your casement window, it swings outward, allowing you to funnel the breezes right into your home. If you have a room with multiple casement windows, you can get an excellent cross-ventilation effect.
That said, double-hung windows can also help you freshen up your home. If your room features double-hung windows, you have the option of opening them from either the top or the bottom. If your room has ceiling fans, you can coordinate the two to work together. Opening a double-hung window from the top and turning on a fan is a great way to freshen your home’s air.
Both styles work with screens, so you won’t have to worry about little critters flying into your house. Take note: double-hung windows have screens on the outside, while casement windows have screens on the inside.
If you’re in the habit of installing a window air conditioning unit in the summer, you’ll want to do some research. While there are casement window A/C units on the market, they are a bit harder to come by. If you have a window unit you already like, you may not be able to continue using it if you change out window styles.
Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows: Energy Efficiency
Any high efficiency window replacement project is going to increase your homes energy efficiency — after all, nearly 40% of the average person’s annual heating and cooling costs is attributable to worn out, drafty windows.
If energy efficiency is your top priority, consider choosing casement windows. These windows seal on all four sides, creating an airtight closure that virtually eliminates drafts. When casements are cranked shut, you can actually feel the airtight seal locking into place.
However, you won’t be completely sacrificing energy efficiency if you opt for double-hung windows. While you may not feel that extra little tightening when you close a double-hung window, you can maximize your energy efficiency by locking your windows and keeping your sashes clear of dirt and debris.
You can also increase your energy efficiency for both styles of windows by upgrading your window’s glass. Invest in double- or triple-paned glass, and have your glass coated with a low-e coating and/or filled with argon gas. Proper installation can also contribute to energy efficiency. Replacement windows from Window Nation are measured down to the millimeter to guarantee an airtight seal.
Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows: Pricing
When it comes to window installation cost, there are many factors to take into consideration. Where are the windows being installed, and how many are you replacing? Will you be changing the size of the window opening to create more light in your space? What materials will you be choosing for the frame?
Similar casement windows and double-hung windows usually come in at around the same price point, so don’t let cost be your tie breaker. Choose the window that works best for you.