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 a few. But before considering features, styles and installation requirements, it’s important to understand the most popular types of windows available for replacement.
Among the most common window frame types are single-hung and double-hung. While these two traditionally popular frame styles have many similarities, looking at how they have different uses can go a long way toward helping you determine which one is right for your needs.
What Does Single- or Double-Hung Mean?
Many homeowners hear “single- or double-hung window” and mistake these window styles with single- and double-pane glass windows. Adding to the confusion, single-hung and double-hung windows both have an upper and lower sash. It’s a similar design structure that makes the two window types look similar from afar.
However, the two are different. “Hung” is a window term that reflects the number of functioning window sashes. On a single-hung window, only the lower sash can be opened and closed. Double-hung windows, by comparison, allow movement in both the upper and lower sashes. With that in mind, homeowners may find that one window type works better for their needs and budgets better than the other, even though they look almost indentical.
Some reasons to choose a single-hung window
A timeless style, single-hung windows have been the standard window option used in newer home builds, apartment buildings and commercial spaces. Single-hung windows provide both a cost-effective choice for a replacement window, and one that continues to be appealing in homes all around the country.
Since the upper sash is attached on single-hung windows, installing a single-hung window can also make construction work easier, since there are fewer moving parts.
Single-hung windows are a great choice for homeowners who are looking for:
- A cost-effective solution 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 unlocked second sash on a double-hung window brings increased flexibility for homes.
For example, tilt-in (also called tilt-out) design allows reaching the outside of double-hung windows from inside the house. With single-hung windows, the lower sash normally moves only vertically, blocking the upper sash. This can create problems when washing the glass on single-hung windows. In some homes, that inconvenience can become dangerous when cleaning the outside of the upper sash from inside.
Reaching the outside of windows at ground level is one thing but dealing with an upper-level window can be an entirely different situation. While some single-hung windows have a tilt-in, or removable lower sash, the moveable second sash on double-hung windows allows much safer cleaning, especially for windows on upper floors.
Allowing for multiple sashes to be opened makes double-hung windows a strong choice for rooms that need more air flow. With hot, damp air in the bathroom, for example, limited ventilation can lead to issues with humidity and moisture. Left alone, that lack of fresh air can develop increased odor issues and even mildew growth. Opening each of the sashes of a double-hung window can help cool off steamy, humid areas and keep moisture out of your room.
Double-hung windows also offer a unique difference to single-hung windows when dealing with window maintenance. Since it doesn’t move, repairing the upper sash on a single-hung window means a visit from a glass repairman. However, since many double-hung windows include a removable upper sash, homeowners can change their window sash without a service call for a glass repair job.
For these reasons, double-hung windows are a strong option for homes that:
- Have a second story
- Deal with fresh air issues
- Have an architectural style that traditionally uses double-hung windows in their style, 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 are considered when 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 influence] the final price.
Historically, single-hung windows have had the image of being less expensive (and, as a result, often more popular) due to their frequent use in new home construction. However, the longtime benefits of selecting double-hung windows should be considered.
While some factors, such as reduced mildew levels from greater ventilation and architectural style can be valued 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 points that can influence just how much you spend on your window replacement:
- Features and options
- Number of windows needed
- Location of home
While doing the job on your own may seem like a way to save money, consider working with a Pella® professional to help choose the window that best meets your needs, design and budget. They’ll not only pair you with 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.