When you are ready to start replacing home windows, homeowners take a number of factors into consideration: Price, style and energy efficiency, just to name some. But before considering features, styles and installation requirements, you should understand the common types of windows available for replacement.
A couple of the most common window frame types are single-hung and double-hung. While these two traditionally popular frame styles offer many similarities, knowing how they differ can go a long way toward helping you determine which one is a good solution for your needs.
What Does Single- or Double-Hung Mean?
Many people hear “single- or double-hung window” and confuse these window styles with single- and double-pane glass windows. Adding to the confusion, single-hung and double-hung windows both include an upper and lower sash. It’s a similar design structure that makes the two window types look similar from a distance.
However, the two are different. “Hung” is a window term that refers to the number of moveable window sashes. On a single-hung window, only the lower sash moves. Double-hung windows, however, allow movement in both the upper and lower sashes. Because of that, homeowners may find that one window structure works better for their design and budgets better than the other, even though they look similar.
Some reasons to choose a single-hung window
A timeless style, single-hung windows have been the standard window selection used in newer home design, apartment buildings and business spaces. Single-hung windows provide both a cost-effective choice for a replacement window, and one that continues to be chosen for homes all around the country.
Since the upper sash is fixed on single-hung windows, installing a single-hung window can also make construction work more convenient, since there are fewer moving parts.
Single-hung windows are a great selection for homeowners who are looking for:
- A cost-effective choice for multiple windows
- A traditional, historic look
- A stress-free option for first-floor window replacement or in buildings where windows are close to the ground
Some reasons to choose a double-hung window
The adjustable second sash on a double-hung window brings increased flexibility for homes.
Thanks to tilt-in (also called tilt-out) design allows reaching the outside of double-hung windows from inside the house. On single-hung windows, the lower sash normally moves only vertically, impeding the upper sash. This can create problems when cleaning the glass on single-hung windows. In some situations, that inconvenience can become hazardous when cleaning the outside of the upper sash from inside.
Being able to reach the outside of windows at ground level is one thing but dealing with an upper-level window can be an entirely different case. While a few single-hung windows feature a tilt-in, or removable lower sash, the moveable second sash on double-hung windows brings much more convenient cleaning, especially for windows on upper floors.
Allowing for multiple sashes to be adjusted makes double-hung windows a good choice for rooms needing more ventilation. With hot, damp air in the bathroom, for example, reduced ventilation can develop issues with humidity and moisture. Left ignored, that lack of fresh air can mean increased odor issues and even mildew growth. Opening each of the sashes of a double-hung window can help cool off hot, humid areas and keep moisture out of your room.
Double-hung windows also offer a unique difference to single-hung windows when considering window maintenance. Since it is stationary, repairing the upper sash on a single-hung window requires a visit from a glass repairman. However, since many double-hung windows feature a removable upper sash, homeowners can change their window sash without a time-consuming visit for a glass repair job.
For these reasons, double-hung windows are a strong choice for homes that:
- Have a second story
- Deal with ventilation issues
- Have an architectural style that traditionally requires double-hung windows in their look, such as Colonial, Cape Cod, Craftsman or Victorian homes
|# of Operable Sashes
||Difficult to clean the exterior of the top sash since it does not tilt in.
Tougher to clean for those living on an upper floor.
||Easier to clean since both windows can be tilted to wash inside and outside surfaces.
Both sashes can be cleaned from the inside of the house.
||Bottom sash can open to let air in.
||Both sashes can open to let cool, fresh air in through the bottom and release warm air through the top.
||Similar design options
||Similar design options
What’s the difference in installation costs?
A number of features and options go into determining the final cost of replacing your home windows. Everything from the material and added features to your region of the country and style of window can impact] the ending price tag.
In the past, single-hung windows have had the image of being less expensive (and, as a result, often more popular) due to their continual use in new home construction. However, the extended benefits of installing double-hung windows should be taken into consideration.
While some features, such as reduced mildew levels from greater ventilation and architectural style can be calculated over time, it’s difficult to put a price on the relief of flexible cleaning options and greater safety for children that come with double-hung windows.
Here are some of the factors that can impact just how much you spend on your window replacement:
- Features and options
- Number of windows needed
- Location of home
While DIY may seem like a save on costs, consider working with a Pella® professional to help find the window that best meets your needs, design and budget. They’ll not only work to determine the right window, but offer the proper know-how to get your new windows installed properly.
Call or stop by your local Pella Windows and Doors showroom or contact us online to set up a free, no-cost, in-home consultation to discuss how you can get started on your window replacement project.