Choosing the Right Replacement Window Type

energy efficient windows Edmonton AlbertaPlanning on replacing some windows?  You have some decisions to make, starting with the type of replacement windows you wish to install.  Let’s take a look at the most popular types of windows, when to choose them and the advantages / disadvantages of each.


Single and Double Hung Windows

Traditional and versatile, single and double hung windows come in a wide range of sizes.  A single hung window only has a lower sash (the part of the window that moves.), in a double-hung window you can either raise the bottom or lower the top sash. Both types feature a sash lock for security and to prevent rattling. Screens are installed on the window’s exterior


If you use a window mounted air conditioner, a double or single hung window is your best choice. You can get air conditioning units for casement windows, but you have fewer models to choose from, and they’re more difficult to install.



Sliding windows slide open on a track to the left or the right – similar to a sliding patio door. They provide a great view and maximum ventilation. They are also the easiest type of window to open and close, making them well suited to hard-to-reach areas like over a kitchen sink or stove, in a laundry room, or in a bathroom.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are tall, narrow windows with a hinge at the side. They open outwards, either left or right, via a crank mechanism. Screens are installed on the interior side of the window. Casements provide a lot of natural light and ventilation. They are very elegant in appearance and can make a room look taller.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are similar to casements but instead of being hinged at the sides they are hinged at the top and open outwards from the bottom.  Awning windows are best used for windows that are wider than they are high.

Fixed Windows

As the name implies, a fixed window is one that does not open or close. These let in a lot of light but won’t provide ventilation.  Fixed windows typically have a wide, contemporary-looking frame.

Shaped Windows

Shaped windows are a type of fixed frame window. Octagon, circle or half-round windows are popular. These are small windows used as decorative accents.

Picture Windows

A picture window is type of fixed window with a low-profile frame to maximize glass surface for an unobstructed view.  They are commonly installed on the front of a home, but are appropriate on any area that offers a scenic view.  Picture windows can be installed with matching or attached casements, sliders, or hung windows on either side, to provide some airflow.

Bow and Bay Windows

These windows extend outwards in a semicircle from the side of your home. Visually, these windows become the focal point of a home. Like picture windows, they are best suited to the front of your home, but could also overlook a pretty garden. They open up the space in the room they are in and let in more light than other window types.


What’s the difference between a bow and a bay window? Bay windows have 3 openings – a picture window with a narrower window on each side. The other windows can be fixed, hung or casements.  Bay windows have a more contemporary appearance and typically protrude farther, giving you some additional floor space or a cozy window seat.


Bow windows have 4 or 5 openings, and are referred to as a “4 lite bow” or “5 lite bow”, respectively. These openings can be fixed, casements, hung, or a mixture. They usually provide more light than a bay window, are wider, and can even be wrapped around the corner of a building.


Bow and bay windows are beautiful, but more expensive and trickier to install than a flat picture window.


Other considerations in choosing replacement windows include:


  • Type and color of frame
  • Type of glass
  • Availability of window types in various sizes
  • Cost
  • Feasibility to install.


Need help planning your window replacement project? Schedule a free consultation with Reflect Window and Door. We have been serving homes and businesses in the greater Edmonton area since 1985 – our window pros have the knowledge and expertise to answer any of your questions and help you make the best choice for your home and your budget.