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Different Types of Window Opening

How do your windows open? Simple question, you think. Just open the catch and push the window. But in reality, there are many ways to open a window, and all have different advantages.

The best thing about summer time is sitting by the Med, enjoying a glass of Sangria as you listen to the lapping waves, watching the yachts sail by…

But if that’s not in your immediate future, the next best thing is to open your windows and let the British breeze flood through your home, and pretend the Med is just around the corner.

But just how do your windows open? Simple question, you think. Just open the catch and push the window. But in reality, there are many ways to open a window, and all have different advantages. Let’s take a look at the common methods of opening your windows.


Commonly used for smaller windows, the awning window is pushed open from a lateral hinge. It then provides an awning – hence the name. A latch is generally used to keep them open, but some have self-locking mechanisms in place, similar to what you may see in a caravan window. This kind of opening is usually only utilized for smaller windows, as larger windows would protrude too far. You can control how far you open it, allowing the amount of breeze entering the room to be controlled. This type of window can also be opened when raining, as it offers protection from moisture getting in while still allowing air to circulate.


Not so common, hopper windows are the reverse of awning windows. They hinge downwards and can be used to direct the breeze in a different way.


Just as the name suggests, these windows slide horizontally, one behind the other. These are a great option when there is not much opening space. The disadvantage is that only one half can be opened at one time, as they slide behind each other, thus restricting the air flow.

Double hung

Similar to the sliding window, this opening consists of overlapping panes. The difference is, the panes move up or down on a track. Again, a good option if opening space is an issue. They also have the advantage of directing the breeze higher or lower, depending on which window you open. It’s important with this type of windows to keep the track in good condition, and clear of debris, otherwise they can stick and jam. A modern double hung window may have the option to tilt the window in or out for cleaning purposes.

Single hung

These windows are similar to double hung, except only the bottom window can open. They may be used in tall window frames, where it is more difficult to open the top window.


Like awning windows, casement windows are hinged, but swing to the side instead of outwards. Commonly seen on bigger windows, they offer effective and versatile ventilation options. As they are usually just one pane (compared to hung windows which are often made from several small panes), they are generally good insulators.


These look a little like Venetian blinds, in that they are made of many slats of glass. When the lever is pulled, each slat tips to allow many air gaps. They are not common in Britain these days as they are not highly insulated, but often seen in warmer climates or on older homes.

Safety openings

Seen in hotel or office windows, safety openings prevent the window from being opened wide. This is particularly important when the window is high.

So, next time you crank open your window, give a thought to how it opens and why it’s designed in that manner. You’ll start seeing your windows in a completely different light!