Rethinking Your Home (part 6)

Windows Outside in —fresh air!

Not only do windows allow natural light to flood our homes, but they also let fresh air IN! As we spend more time at home, creating light filled spaces is beneficial to our well being. In addition, windows also help define the style of our home.

Thinking about windows for your home? Here’s a window of opportunity to get familiar with the basic options that are out there. Let’s start with the most common Operable Window Styles:

Single hung sash – consists of two window panels stacked vertically, where the bottom panel moves and the top panel is fixed.

Double hung sash – consists of two window panels stacked vertically, where both panels move all the way up and down.

Sliding – consists of window panels mounted horizontally that open and close by sliding on a track.  

Casement – window panel(s) hang on hinges that enable the window to be opened like a door.

Awning – a casement window that is mounted vertically, with the hinge at the top so the window pushes out. Hopper windows are similar but open to the interior.

Window Types: 

Let’s explore The Anatomy of a Window.  The window below is decoded its by components. This is really helpful to know so that you can speak “window” lingo with your designer and contractor, to feel confident that you are involved in the selection process.


Window Divisions:

The next level of detail in window design is the glass division pattern called Divided Lites. What does that mean?

Before modern manufacturing existed, all windows had individual window panes held together by individual pieces of wood or metal.  Now windows have continuous glass that is for better energy performance. However, to achieve a certain look or design, you can choose to have divisions/lites applied to the glass (either between the glass or on top of the glass).  For our clients, we always recommend Simulated Divided Lite (SDL) windows to achieve more authenticity and better definition and shadow lines from the outside.

Window Material Types:

The most common material for windows are vinyl, wood, aluminum and composite. In addition, wood units can be clad on the outside with aluminum or vinyl.  Before you decide which is the best option, take into consideration the amount of maintenance you are comfortable with.  The “all wood units” will need to be painted after a certain amount of time while the composite and exterior clad units do not need any maintenance. The higher the quality of the window, the better the seams and details are on the cladded units. See the cut section of a clad window below.

What about style? Now that you have the basics down, let’s take a look at how our windows help define the home and create light filled rooms that can be opened to let in the fresh air.

This Modern Farmhouse has double hung windows with transoms above to frame this built-in breakfast nook. These are traditional wood window frames and sashes with a dark color to make the look more modern. This breakfast area is framed by 2 walls that are mostly windows that all can be opened.


Traditional meets modern. This ranch renovation is punctuated with single casement windows that open to the outside.


These casement windows have thin narrow frames to make them look more contemporary on the inside and out and 4 divided lites to make them feel somewhat traditional as well.


Modern and minimalist, for the room with a view —and an open opportunity for a nice breeze. These sliding units have narrow stiles and no divides lites to make the view even more expansive!  They are clad in aluminum on the outside and painted black on the inside.

This playful “eyebrow” window and curved roof add detail to the outside of the house and allows light to fill the room above.  It is a curved fixed wood window with 3 SDL divided lites.


A simple fixed window strategically placed high in the stairwell to naturally light the space. No need for lites!

Hope you  enjoyed our “sash” course on windows. 😆 Remembering that fresh air and natural light are both good for our well being, consider windows that have the technology and style to meet all of your design wishes! We can help you with ALL of those choices.

Many thanks to Moss architecture:design:green  and Marvin for content, images and inspiration.

As always, special thanks to Jeff Herr for the gorgeous shots of our windows!

Love Life at Home


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016© RedPapaya Blog. Privacy Policy.