a 3-frame picture of windows and hurricanes

You’ve long known that you’re interested in getting hurricane windows installed in your home, but you never realized there was more than one type.

Now you find yourself mulling over your options all over again. 

This guide will go over seven types of impact windows. But, more than that, we’ll review the pros and cons of each window type so you can choose which hurricane windows best suit your home’s needs!

So, what are the various types of impact windows?

The 7 Types of Hurricane Windows and How to Choose 

The different types of hurricane windows available include:

  • Single-hung
  • Double-hung
  • Skylight windows
  • Bay windows
  • Sliding/rolling windows
  • Picture/fixed windows
  • Casement windows 

Though there are a handful of hurricane window styles to choose from, some are more applicable depending on the circumstance or specifications. Let’s consider which might be best for your unique situation.

Single-Hung Hurricane Windows

The first type of hurricane windows is the single-hung or single-sash style. 

These are considered the least complex. This impact window may include an upper sash (usually fixed) and a lower sash that you can use to open and close the window at will. 

In other words, you can slide the bottom half of the window open or closed while the top half of the window does not move. You can also lock single-hung windows. 

Pros 

  • If your home has a lot of openings for standard-size windows, single-hung hurricane windows are a perfect solution. 
  • Due to their rather simplistic design, these windows are among the most low-cost impact windows you can buy. 
  • Single-hung windows are straightforward to use and allow plenty of fresh air in if you want it.  
  • The simplicity adds a certain charm to these windows. 

Cons

  • Without a screen for the bottom sash, single-hung windows can pose a risk to families with children, as a kid could easily climb right out of the window.
  • Cleaning the bottom sash of a single-hung window is easy enough, but the same cannot be said for the top part. 

Double-Hung Hurricane Windows

The next hurricane window style is the double-hung window, also known as the double-sash window. 

While a single-hung window only has one movable sash and the other remains stationary, both can open or close with a double-hung impact window. The sashes will usually tilt outward.

Closeup on the center crossbar of a double-sash hurricane window

You can select from standard sizes for double-hung windows and possibly even custom sizes. This window style’s energy efficiency is another winning trait that makes it preferable among homeowners. 

Pros

  • Double-hung hurricane windows promote better airflow compared to single-hung. 
  • You might have the option for custom double-hung windows, which cannot be said for single-hung windows.
  • Double-hung windows boast more energy efficiency than single-hung. 

Cons

  • Compared to single-hung hurricane windows, the double-hung style is costlier
  • The risk of air leaks is higher with double-hung windows since both sashes can open. 

Skylight Hurricane Windows

Although they’re certainly not seen as often as single-hung or double-hung impact windows, skylight windows are a viable option. You can replace the skylights in your home with new windows that use hurricane-resistant glass. 

Even if you don’t have skylights, but you’ve always wanted them, now that you’re getting hurricane windows, you might opt for new skylight construction.

Skylights are a great way to allow in more sunlight (and moonlight at night), so the rooms in your home are bathed in that natural glow. 

Looking out through an open skylight on the slanted ceiling of a home

You can choose from the motor or crank-operated skylights to open them up and control just how much airflow you’re interested in. 

Pros

  • Skylights are small additions to your home that make a big difference, as they can let in more light to darker parts of the house.
  • Skylights provide excellent peace of mind that your home will be protected from top to bottom in a storm. 
  • Depending on your needs, personal preferences, and budget, you can choose from various skylight sizes and styles.
  • Opening and closing a skylight is fairly effortless, especially through motorized operations

Cons

  • Skylights might be deemed the most extraneous compared to the other types of hurricane windows on this list. 
  • If your skylight is too large, you might find all the sunlight in the house excessive on particularly sunny days. 
  • Heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer can be a problem with some skylights. 

Bay Hurricane Windows

Next is a hurricane window style that many homeowners find appealing, bay windows. A bay window typically includes a series of three windows that will protrude over the wall. 

The window in the center is usually the biggest, and the two windows flanking it will be of equal size. They may be single-hung or double-hung style, whereas the main window does not open.

Due to the protrusion of bay windows mentioned, they can make any room look larger. The views outside are also incredible due to the size and number of windows available. 

Pros

  • Bay windows are an attractive addition to the home, especially in rooms such as the living room, sitting room, or dining room. 
  • Your home’s curb appeal could go up with a set of bay windows.
  • You can often open the windows on either side of the large window to let in air. 
  • Even though a room looking bigger with bay windows is merely an illusion, it’s still a desirable effect. 
A view peering at some trees and a waterfront outside a home through some hurricane windows in the living room

Cons

  • Bay windows can sometimes reduce your sense of privacy, especially if you don’t have sufficient window coverings. 
  • The cost of bay windows will be more expensive than many of the other kinds of impact windows due to the quantity and the complexity of installation.
  • Your home must be deemed structurally sound for bay windows even to be viable. 

Sliding or Rolling Hurricane Windows

Sliding windows are also known as rolling windows. Both names refer to how the horizontal windows feature double windowpanes that slide on a track. 

The best way to think about sliding windows is by comparing them to sliding glass doors but on a smaller scale. You can also think of them as sideways double-hung windows, if that helps. 

Most sliding windows cover the entire wall to let in the optimal sunlight. Therefore, you’re likeliest to see these windows in parts of the home such as large bedrooms or dining rooms.

Sliding windows can open and close as much as you want, which allows you to control the amount of airflow with expert-level precision. If you only want a slight breeze, leave the window somewhat ajar. You can also open it fully to experience the warmth and sunlight of the day. 

Pros

  • Rolling windows are another type of hurricane window that’s charming and attractive—your home’s curb appeal will surely go up.
  • A set of sliding windows might allow in more sunlight than even a bay window depending on the size and placement of the sliding window.  
  • The design simplicity and ease of use of sliding windows are two excellent traits. 

Cons

  • Since these windows are so encompassing (often floor to ceiling), you will need sizable window coverings for privacy.
  • Without curtains, sliding windows can let in too much sunlight.
  • As the windows age or wear down, they can get stuck on their track, which is inconvenient. 

Picture or Fixed Hurricane Windows

Picture windows are another type of impact window to consider. These windows are also known as fixed windows since they don’t open. They’re simply stationary. 

A picture window is built from solid glass sheets that comprise a single pane. 

You can select from various sizes and designs for your picture windows, such as small windows in a living room or bathroom, to floor-to-ceiling styles akin to a rolling window. 

A south-facing window in a net-zero house..

By installing several fixed hurricane windows in one room, you can make it look much more open through this change alone. Picture windows are usually quite energy-efficient as well. 

Pros

  • Fixed windows are beautiful, allowing sunlight to enter and making any room look larger and more open. 
  • You can customize the style of your picture window to suit any room in the house. 
  • The sizable pieces of impact glass that comprise a picture window make them ultra-durable. 

Cons

  • That same durable construction is usually quite expensive unless you get a smaller set of picture windows. 
  • You can’t open the windows, so you don’t get the benefits of airflow. 
  • When a picture unit experiences wear and tear, rather than repairing it, the only suitable option is usually a replacement. 

Casement Hurricane Windows

That brings us to the last type of hurricane window, the casement window. Casement windows features a frame connected to at least one hinge but usually a series. 

a window being cracked open showing a person's hand on the handle

Some open outward, but most will open inward via a crank that you rotate to open the windows as much as you wish. Depending on your preferences, casement windows can come in singles or pairs, and dual windows can occupy the same frame.

Outside hinges keep the entire window setup stable; there’s no need for the center brace bar that some other windows require to enjoy an unobstructed view into the beauty of nature right outside your window. 

The energy efficiency of casement windows is also certainly worth considering. These impact windows feature fortified seals each time a breeze hits the panel from the outside. 

Pros

  • The energy efficiency of casement windows will surely interest you, as you could enjoy energy bill savings over the long term.
  • Casement windows provide excellent airflow as they open inward or outward to let in the day’s breeze.
  • The window locks when not in use, which is an excellent safety feature. 
  • The architectural design of casement windows is very striking. 

Cons

  • Casement windows have many moving parts, from the head jamb to the keeper, the sash, the side jamb, and more. That means there’s more than can go wrong with the hurricane windows.
  • Casement windows are incredibly costly, likely due to the moving parts mentioned.
  • You might not be able to add screens to a casement window. 

Conclusion 

Hurricane or impact windows come in various styles that suit any budget and taste.

So whether you want your new hurricane windows to match the old windows in your home or you’re ready to try something completely different, there’s an accompanying window style for you.

Hopefully, this post has made it easier for you to pinpoint which is ideal for your situation!

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