A guide to popular window types
It’s all about the true divided light
Casement windows in Germany.
There are many different types of windows out there—double-hung, fanlight, and Palladian, just to name a few—but most designs are based on a few common styles. Master these fenestration types, and you’ll have people believing you’re a window expert in no time.
Double-sash windows are the most common. A double-sash—or double-hung—window is made up of two sashes. These sashes can either have single sheets of plate glass or many separate panes of glass divided by muntins. These dividers are typically made of wood in older houses, but can theoretically be made of almost any material.
The number of panes of glass in each sash can further organize the window into a specific type. A term like “six-over-six window” means that there are six panes of glass on the upper sash, and six panes of glass on the lower sash. The number of panes of glass in each sash can modify the taxonomy: “eight-over-eight,” “twelve-over-twelve,” and so forth.
The term “true divided light” may also come into play here. That’s when the panes of glass are actually divided into discrete pieces by the muntins. In modern construction, what’s often found are sashes made up of sheet glass that has a muntin pattern overlaid onto the glass to give the look of divided light, when in reality the window isn’t truly divided into separate panes.
Fanlights can be quite intricately designed, with muntins made of lead or wood, separating the panes into sunburst or other patterns that appear to spread like a fan outwards.
Used frequently in the 19th century, “eyebrow windows” are squat windows used to illuminate the second floor of a house.
Sometimes, eyebrow windows are rectangular and located just below the eaves of a roof. The regular presence of eyebrow windows across the second floor of a house will classify the house as an “eyebrow colonial.”
Other times, the eyebrow window will be semi-round and extend above the roofline. The line of the window resembles an arched eyebrow. The rounded eyebrow window became popular in the later 19th century with the Shingle Style of architecture.
Casement windows are one of the earliest types of windows that can open. Unlike sash windows, which slide vertically along a track to open and close, casement windows are hinged so they swing outward like a door to open.
Sometimes, they are separated by metal muntins
In France, casement windows would often swing inward. “French doors” in America aped on the style of French casement windows. After all, they are essentially floor-length windows that often swing inward.
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