Tilt and Turn Windows: Modern, Practical and Ingenious

“To the window, to the wall”. You know those words if you know Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz. Or, you know, are familiar with pop culture from back in the day. Similarly, you’ve noticed windows and walls in general if you’ve ever seen a pretty building. Or, you know, lived in a structure with holes in it. But, architecture nerd or not, these little square (or rectangular) spaces are nothing to ignore.

Picking the right kind of windows makes all the difference in the world to the look and feel of the room while also enabling (or destroying) the comfort and security of the space, be it an office area or your dream house. While it is easy to go with the most predictable designs, a little bit of research about windows will go a long way in giving your rooms a dapper look.

So here’s a look at the configuration of tilt and turn windows.

What Are Tilt and Turn Windows?

Tilt and turn windows use handles and can be opened in two ways which makes them a practical choice. How? Let’s see. 

When it is pointed downwards, the window is locked. To open it, you must turn the handle 90 degrees from the window and pull it inwards. You could also turn it 180 degrees to open it partially.

A tilt and turn window can open completely like any standard casement window. The difference is that this design only permits opening inwards. Casement windows are the most common type of windows. They are hinged on one side (left, right, top or bottom) and swing open outwards or inwards depending on how they are mounted.

The second way to open a tilt and turn window is to tilt the bottom and pull open the top into the room. This lets you open only a portion of the window providing ventilation on those breezy evenings. This is for the benefit of security while allowing a limited airing of the room and perhaps shielding off rain.

Tilt and turn windows are a practical but also modern design addition to whichever space you are decorating. Apart from looking suave, they also guarantee security as they open inwards instead of outwards like traditional windows. A window which is tilted at an angle is not only cool but also allows increased ventilation. Tilt and turn windows also provide fantastic insulation from the outside weather.

These are just a few reasons that make this design popular with homeowners.

Types of Tilt and Turn Windows

A typical tilt and turn window model is available in two materials: Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) or rigid PVC and aluminium. This is a huge factor in the overall pricing of the window.

Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) Frames

uPVC frames are the cheaper option when compared with frames that are made of timber, aluminium or a composite, which are on the expensive side of the spectrum. A tilt and turn window made from uPVC is also easier to maintain when compared with its wooden counterparts which can rot or attract pests over a period of time. And aluminium gets rusty. But there is a downside to this material. Since it is cheap, you can expect the quality to be poorer than the other options. So it tends to warp or develop discolouration over time.

Aluminium Frames

Frames that are made of aluminium are more expensive than uPVC but they are great for long-term usage due to the excellent strength and durability of the raw material. It is also recyclable and easier to maintain when compared to frames made of timber.

Timber Frames

These are possibly the most expensive frames in the tilt and turn window model. They are not as easy as the other in terms of maintenance. When you put in timber frames, you run the risk of a pest attack if they are not well-maintained regularly. But if that is not an issue, please be sure to get it from a manufacturer who provides sustainably-sourced timber and if they are heat treated. It is a process whereby natural wood sugars that let bacteria grow in the timber are evaporated.

You could also find wooden and aluminium composites in the market. Be sure to check for the same specifications even in those frames.

Pros of Tilt and Turn Windows

There are many advantages to installing the tilt and turn window model in your home. The list is long, so get comfortable.

  • Design: It is a very flexible design which allows just the right amount of ventilation. Since the windows can be opened at an angle, there is an inherent guarantee of security. The design also makes itself useful in cold and wet weather equally well. The tilt keeps rainwater away from the surface of the house while allowing you to enjoy the smell of wet mud.
  • Size of the Dwelling: A tilt and turn window is actually perfect if you live in a small space. You could get a single frame that allows just the right amount of light and air. If you have a big house, you can still install it in your restroom.
  • Maintenance: These windows open inwards making it easy to clean both sides of the window without having to step out or lean outside. Cleaning the house shouldn’t be about how athletic you are. And you’re not Spiderman, so don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • Insulation: These windows are quite good at providing insulation because of how they are designed. Much better than single/double-hung windows or sliders anyway. So you can have an air-sealed house which makes it easy to manage room temperature, especially in regions where the weather is extreme. It makes your heating and cooling systems more effective and keeps your energy bills under control.
  • Safety: As mentioned earlier, the fact that it is designed to open at certain angles and opens only inwards gives you more control over the window space and makes it safer than the other models in the market. This is great for families with young children who tend to mess with handlebars. These windows also make for great emergency exits.

Cons of Tilt and Turn Windows

Despite the big list of advantages, there are a couple of downsides to the tilt and turn window design.

Space Constraints: The frames of these windows are wider than other models. Which means, they take up more space. This is because of the slightly complicated mechanism of the design.

Cost of Maintenance: The mechanism itself is complex and is meant to make your life easy. But as is the case with anything that offers more security, there is a price. In this case, that might be literal since repairing them is a bit more expensive than other basic models. 

Opening Mechanism Can Be Limiting: Space is something to take into account while arranging decor. Since they open inwards, you cannot place furniture or objects in front of the frame and obstruct the opening mechanism. That defeats the whole purpose of getting a tilt and turn window. 

Using Blinds: If you are a fan of blinds, there is an extra step for you to take before you settle for a tilt and turn window. Since they open inwards, you need to place the blinds strategically. However, because this is a popular choice, there are companies which have come up with innovative ways of using both tilt and turn windows and blinds.

Designs and Colours

Thanks to the popularity of the design, tilt and turn windows come in a variety of colours and finishes. We’ve already looked at the raw materials in which you can get the frame. You can also ask your designer to match the windows with the colour theme and design of your house or a particular room. If you nail it, your windows might just end up looking like those vintage models with traditional hardwood frames.

You can also pick the direction in which the windows will tilt. Talk to your window installer’s representative about the available options for your home and within your budget.

How Bad on the Pocket?

If you go all out on the frame with timber then there is no telling how high it can go but otherwise, there is a range within which you can keep your costs while getting good-looking and safe windows.

You can get an estimate based on the size of the window. These are the standard options.

But expensive raw materials or not, this model is slightly more costly than casement windows.

Last Updated on October 28, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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