Types of windows

Learn about different types of windows and how they are used

Certified windows

Some windows can be categorised according to their unique performance. Many of our most impressive window profiles have gone through rigorous testing to receive purpose-specific certificates, for example.

Take our passive house certified products, for instance. These windows have been engineered with excellent thermal insulation in mind, whether this be from the addition of multiple chambers or carbon fibre inserts. These features have the profiles meet the Passive House Institute's Uw-values of 0.8 W/m²K or below and reduce energy bills.

Another example are our hurricane windows which, given their reinforced glass and durable exteriors, have met pressure load and impact tests meaning they have received accreditation from Miami Dade.

For something as seemingly simple as glass in a frame, windows are as diverse as their locations and usage. From transoms located above a window or door to gable windows under a roof or single hung windows, you could fill a book with the construction types, opening types, designs, and purposes. But we won't go quite that far. Instead, learn more about the most common designs in use today including their intended use and benefits. 

The main categories: Location, certified, opening style, and design

There many different types of windows from casement to arched and transom. However, to better clarify the differences, it is useful to divide them into these main groups: certified profiles and then windows named for their location, opening mechanism, and design. Nevertheless, these categories can and do overlap as shown in the examples below. 

Windows named according to their location

A number of window types are named simply according to their installation location. Consider front doors, side doors, and back doors, for example. The name denotes nothing more than location and leaves the opening style, material and design to be discovered. Neuffer offers a wide range of specialised windows, including:


  • Balcony Windows
  • Dormer Windows
  • Gable Windows
  • Kitchen Windows
  • Roof Windows
  • Skylights
  • Transom Windows

Each of these examples can be customised with different sizes and opening styles such as tilt, pivot, and casement. However, in these cases the location usually plays a large role in determining the window's performance needs as well as available options in terms of security, insulation, opening mechanism, and more. Therefore, they are often discussed as a category in and of themselves. 

Windows defined by their opening

The next major category of different types it that of opening style. It is primarily defined by the sash and handle function. While basic hinged casement windows were standard for much of history, advances in fenestration technology and manufacturing have seen a number of new options come to market. Alphabetically, these include:

Window Type Description
Awning Window Top-hung. Swings out and up forming an awning.
Casement Window The casement is side-hung on hinges and swings like a door.
Double Hung Sash window in which upper and lower sash slide vertically
Jalousie Windows Parallel slats of glass that open and close like a Venetian blind.
Inswing/Outswing The window swings either inwards or outwards
Parallel Action The casement can slightly open, parallel to the frame for ventilation
Pivot Windows The window pivots/swivels on an axis, centre or offset
Sliding  The sash slides horizontally. It does not swing.
Single Hung Sash window in which lower sash only slides vertically
Tilt and Turn The casement can both swing open or tilt inwards
Tilt Only The casement only tilts inwards

These options can be combined with many other window styles. At times, the location or shape of the window can limit your options though, particularly with less common shapes such as trapezoids, triangles or round windows. However, modern window fittings can offer up to four different operating mechanisms at a time, for example: closed, tilt, turn and parallel action. Old-fashioned single and double hung windows however, are limited by their outdated technology and design.

Design windows

The final main category of window types is based largely on design rather than opening function or location. Bay windows can come in different configurations, sizes, and colours, for example. It may only have fixed casements, operable ones or a combination of both. We differentiate the window type from others based on the overall design, however  –  it's a window that projects outwards from the main wall to form a small bay.

Additional window types that are primarily characterised by their design include:

Window Type Description
Arched Windows Feature an rounded, arched top
Bay Windows Three windows in angled intervals
Bow Windows Four to five windows in a rounded form
French Windows A set of double casement windows
Garden Windows A mini bay window by the kitchen sink for plants
Picture Windows Fixed with no sash
Panorama Windows Large, wide windows, usually fixed

Frame Materials: wood, uPVC, and aluminium

Neuffer offers window frames in a variety of different materials including wood and uPVC, or aluminium clad versions of each. All of these materials bring their own unique benefits so the choice comes down to personal requirements and design preferences. Where uPVC is the most insulating, timber adds sturdiness plus charming woodgrain patterns and pure aluminium gives great impact resistance.

Adding aluminium cladding to wood or uPVC profiles will boost durability, security, and design.

While wood boasts great natural strength and creates a cosy look, a higher level of maintenance is required. Adding aluminium cladding offers an excellent solution here by combining the best of both materials with durable low-maintenance metal on the exterior and natural timber on the inside. For those on a stricter budget, aluclad uPVC is another alternative combination which provides solid security, insulation, and aesthetics for a great price.

As with all windows, there are a wide range of further add-on options that can then be fitted to reach the design, sound reduction and security needs of your project. These make our profiles become bespoke final products.

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