Double-Hung Windows: Traditional Style with a Modern Twist

Contributed by Joe Ronzino


Planning on having your old, worn-out windows replaced soon? Are you still deciding  which style to pick for your upgrade? If you’re confused by the myriad of window style options available on the market, why not simplify the process and go back to the basics? Consider, for instance, the simplicity and versatility that classic and  elegant-looking double-hung windows can bring to your home.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Double-hung windows are a perfect foil for the traditional architecture of styles of Victorian and Colonial homes. They work well with modern homes, too.

The double-hung window is a hugely a popular window style among American homeowners. Introduced in the 17th century by the scientist Robert Hooke, this window style enjoyed  popularity throughout  the 18th century and, today, continues to be a favored style that’s can be used  in pretty much any room in the home. Its minimalist, yet elegant design works well with various architectural styles. On the more practical side, double-hung windows help boost the home’s functionality by allowing in natural light and ventilation. In today’s post, learn more about the features of double-hung windows, as well as their numerous benefits.

Window Features: Double-Hung Must-Haves

Traditional homes usually have a classic, old-world aura, boasting warm colors and an elaborate design. These homes typically feature an exterior with intricate components, while the interior of traditional homes often have practical layouts specifically designed to suit the homeowner’s needs. This is the reason double-hung windows are the perfect choice for these types of homes. Modern homes, on the other hand, often exude a minimalist and practical design, both inside and out. They are notable for their angular shapes and abstract design, making them look airy and vibrant at the same time. Double-hung windows are known for their simple, yet practical design, and these attributes make them a good addition to modern homes.

Regardless of your home’s style, though, you can be confident that double-hung windows have what it takes to boost your home’s curb appeal and function. Here are some of the unparalleled features of this window style:

NATURAL LIGHT AND VENTILATION: Double-hung windows have movable upper and lower sashes. You can open them simultaneously or one at a time, depending on your lighting and ventilation needs.

  • Bottom and Top Sashes – Double-hung windows stand out from the rest primarily because they have bottom and top sashes that are both operable. These allow proper ventilation from both ends, either simultaneously or one at a time.
  • Tilt-in Sashes – Both sashes of double-hung windows can also be tilted inwards. This feature makes the maintenance process much easier, because you can clean your windows from inside your home.
  • Full-Length Lift Rails – These rails make your double-hung windows look stylish, while helping facilitate smoother operation for the sashes.
  • Constant Force Balance System – This feature makes it easy for your windows to be opened or closed, regardless of their placement.
  • Weatherstripping – By helping resist air infiltration, weatherstripping protects your windows from drafts and wind damage.

FRAMING MATERIAL: The frame material plays a key role in the overall durability and energy efficiency of your windows. Choosing insulated frames should be a top priority.

  • Insulated Frames – These frames help prevent significant energy loss, keeping necessary heat inside the home and regulating interior temperature.
  • Low-Emissivity Glass – This glass combats damage caused by harmful UV rays. The low-e coating is almost invisible, that’s why you can still enjoy a healthy dose of sunshine even as the glass prevents harmful UV rays from entering your home.

The Real-World Benefits of Installing Double-Hung Windows

As mentioned earlier, double-hung windows are versatile, primarily because they have the ability to complement a wide range of home styles, from traditional Victorians to the contemporary houses of today. But aside from that, they offer far more interesting advantages compared with other window styles. For one, they are very easy to maintain. Every part of this window style can be reached easily, and because they have tilt-in sashes, you can wipe both the glass and the frame from the inside without hassle.

Another benefit of installing double-hung windows is the excellent ventilation they offer. You can open the entire units fully, allowing natural breezes to enter your spaces more effectively. These windows are also safer than most other options because their sashes don’t swing out. This means there’s no risk of accidentally hitting someone or something  outside while you’re opening your windows. Lastly, double-hung windows are difficult to break into, as they are equipped with full-lock features.

Ideal Placements for double-hung Windows

When investing in a window replacement, planning the placement of your new units is very important. This can be easy to do when you’re simply replacing damaged windows that have been in your home for decades. However, if you’re having new windows installed for a major renovation, you’ll want to consider a lot of things, such as where you can capture the best views or how you can get the quality–and quantity–of light you want.

The key to a successful project is to match your room with the right replacement windows. If you’re looking to install double-hung windows, these are the ideal rooms to place them in:

  • Bedroom – As your personal sanctuary, your bedroom should offer the most beautiful views and receive lots of natural light to boost the ambiance. It should also have great ventilation, especially on hot summer nights. Double-hung windows are ideal for bedrooms because they have the largest movable sashes among the various available styles you can pick from.

KITCHEN DOUBLE-HUNGS: As one of the busiest areas in the home, the kitchen needs to be well-lit and ventilated. Double-hung windows can provide these benefits and more.

  • Kitchen – This is where you cook, prepare meals and wash the dishes. Therefore, your kitchen needs excellent air circulation, or else it will eventually end up smelly and stuffy. Installing double-hung windows is a great idea to enhance natural ventilation in your kitchen.
  • Bathroom – While natural light and air are essential in making your bathroom experience pleasant, privacy should also be a top concern. Be sure to pair your double-hung windows with the right window treatment, such as shades and shutters, for a complete and relaxing experience.
  • Living Room – As the largest room in the house, living rooms usually require equally large windows. Double-hung windows are a smart choice because they have expansive panels. If you’re worried about sunlight making your spaces too hot on sunny days, be sure your double-hungs are equipped with low-E glass packages to help filter UV and infrared rays. They help make your indoors comfortable without high energy bills.

Put simply, with the wide range of features and benefits double-hungs can offer, they aren’t just a smart choice for traditional homes;they work great with modern homes, as well. To liven your style up further, you can also combine three or more units to combine the versatile double-hungs to create a faux bow-window style. To have a bay window, on the other hand, place a picture window in between two double-hung windows. Either way, you can enjoy a more stylish, comfortable and functional home by choosing this window style.


About the Author

Joe Ranzino is the president of Renewal by Andersen of Long Island. A lifelong Long Islander, Joe has vast experience in the replacement window and home remodeling industries. With roots in the home improvement business going back to the mid-70s, Joe understands what it takes to make Long Island, NY customers happy with their new windows. For updates from Joe, check out the company blog!

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