Whether you are envisioning your office space or building your dream home in your head, you can’t leave doors and windows out of the picture. Windows are what make the paint and wallpaper pop. They are, sometimes, what makes the place perfect, complete.
Now, while French windows are possibly the ones with the most popularity and fancy design, the windows that are undoubtedly more versatile and all around you most of the time are casement windows. So, let’s learn a little about these widely used windows and find out if they are outdated or underrated.
What Are Casement Windows?
Casement windows are the most common design you will find out there. They are windows that open outwards, attached to the frame with a hinge. They come in a variety of configurations and can be attached on the sides or top or bottom. While attaching them on the sides is a common practice world over, they are designed to be hinged on the top and cranked outwards in regions that experience wet weather because of their efficiency in keeping rainwater away from the building. They are hinged at the bottom mainly when designed for basements.
Their popularity comes from their practical utility. They are also called double-layered or box-type windows and can be made from a variety of materials like white uPVC to aluminium. They can be made to fit spaces of any height and width. So it is no surprise that the origin of side-hung, hinged casement windows can be traced as far back as 17th century Europe. These earlier casement windows were made with timber frames and had glazing bars or leaded lights. They were bound with spring catches and hinges made of wrought iron and were in H or HL shapes.
Although some fashion choices and the availability of large glass led to the onset of sliding sashes, casement windows continued to be popular in central Europe through the mid 19th century and mid 20th century.
However, being popular in “ancient historic” times doesn’t mean they are good only for vintage designs. These box windows are extremely contemporary and rather convenient for everyday use.
The Many Varieties
There are three main types of casement windows. Their popularity comes from their elegant style, energy efficiency and versatility. They are all more of less the same so your choice of a casement window depends on your budget, the weather and your attention to design details.
Single Frame Casement Windows
This is a basic model and the cheapest casement window but doesn’t compromise on durability. As the name suggests, it comes in a single wooden frame with glass fittings. By the way, in architectural language, the panels of glass are often referred to as lights.
The panels can open inwards or outwards depending on the design of the window and how it is mounted. It is a popular choice for residential spaces because the wooden frame allows for great ventilation while ensuring security. These windows are touted to last long since their connection with the frame is on the side. So while they are cheap, they are branded as providing value for money.
Double Casement Windows
In the past, the double casement window was also referred to as French casement windows. This model has two windows which are hinged on the sides and meet at the centre. They basically complement French doors and are a pretty fit, symmetrically speaking, in the overall design.
The sash allows you to open them up to 90 degrees which lets more light in. They can also be used as an emergency exit in case of a fire. The hinges make it easy to clean and maintain these windows. They are slightly more expensive than a single frame casement window but come in a bit more elegance too.
Push out Casement Windows
This model comes in single and double styles. You can use a handle to operate them instead of a crank like the others. These are possibly the fanciest of the casement windows models. They are often coupled with leaded glass patterns, which breaks the monotony of one giant glass window.
These windows also give you the option of multiple locking points which ensures security along with the promise of a great design. Since a handle is used to tilt it open, these windows allow superior ventilation. It requires very little hardware to make and install a push out casement window. Unfortunately, is the least popular of the casement window models.
Pros of Buying Casement Windows
Like any other product in the market, there are advantages and disadvantages to using casement windows. Here’s a list of the good things about it.
- Versatility: They are a popular choice because they can be designed for any space. They come in a variety of affordable materials. There is enough variety to fit different spaces while giving it a classy colour finish that matches the rest of your house.
- Insulation: They are fully sealed and the sashes create an air-tight seal. This keeps the outside weather at bay. So whether it is hot air in the summer or cold draft in the winter, they stay out and that makes it easy for you to keep your home energy efficient.
- Uncomplicated: They are the simplest design of all the window types out there which makes it easy to use. All you need to know is how to push and pull a window.
- The View: Not the TV show, but the actual view. When you open your windows, you will not only get an unobstructed view but also let in a healthy amount of light and breeze. You can also open them at an angle to customise the amount of air you let in, depending on the weather outside.
- Safe and Secure: Along with insulation, the fact that they can be shut to an air-tight seal makes them one of the safest options out there.
Cons of Buying Casement Window
Now to a bit of bad news. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it is not without flaws. That rule applies to architecture just as it does in high school. But with casement windows, it is not so much a list, so thank God for that.
- Size: Since they are hinged on one side and opened towards the other, whether they are side or top or bottom opening, the frame needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the rest of the frame and the glass of the window. This makes it tricky to make large single and double frame windows or thick push out casement windows. It restricts you both in terms of weight and dimensions.
- Compatibility: Since casement windows need to be pushed outwards, you cannot install window screens (like a mosquito net) or storm windows outside the panel. If you want it, you will have to get the same material and design it as another set of casement windows in sync with the existing model.
Impact on the Pocket
Since it is the cheapest type of windows, you need not worry about pricing too much. But for those who are worried about it, the average casement uPVC window ranges from @@ to @@. Of course, you must keep the material (I mean, if you want timber like the ancient Europeans, the price will be upwards) and add-ons in mind.