Posts Tagged ‘ double hung ’

Choosing between Single Hung and Double Hung Windows

This question is related to vinyl windows primarily. Wood windows are double hung by default. You can easily turn your wood windows into single hung windows. Read on to find out how.

Definitions first. Single hung windows have only the bottom part (sash) operable. The top part is fixed and cannot slide up and down.  A sash, is either the top or bottom part of a window, the part that holds the glass. The frame of a window will encase the sashes creating a complete window unit.

Choosing between single and double hung windows will be easy once the following questions are asked.

Why choose single hung windows?

  1. Less money. They cost less, possibly between 15% or more depending on manufacturer.
  2. Less maintenance. Should anything go wrong with an operable sash, there are less sashes to worry about. The screen that comes with the window is half size as only the sash that opens needs it – so less screen to get damaged.
  3. Less energy loss. There is less likelihood of air leaking on the sides of the sash.

Why choose double hung windows?

  1. Easier to clean. Top sashes being operable, can flip open inside so they could be easily wiped clean.
  2. More natural. Transitioning from wood to vinyl windows will not cause re-learning the way windows are open. If one is used to opening the top mostly, the window will comply.

When not to choose a single hung or disadvantages of single hung windows.

  1. Increased liability. If a window is installed close to the floor it may become a liability when children and pets are around. If the only bottom sash is can open, then a child can push against the screen of an open window and a pet can damage the screen easily.
  2. Cleaning. If a window is high off the ground and hard to reach from the outside with a ladder, cleaning a window may result in hiring a professional window cleaner. Nothing wrong with that unless cleaning costs matter. It is worth mentioning that some single hung windows do offer the possibility to open the top, fixed sash for cleaning rendering this concern mute. YKK windows offer this feature.
  3. Access. Under rare circumstances a window can become a point of access into the house. A large window, will help you bring that beloved chest into the house. If that is of interest make sure that only that room has a double hung window and have the rest of the house single hungs.
  4. Proximity. If a piece of furniture is placed in front of the window it might be impossible to open that window.

Elements of style can influence the choice a window. No one is going to argue with that, so I leave that with you.

Having said all these, it is worth mentioning that people tend to choose single hung windows.

If you are an investor and own rentals, single hung vinyl windows are a must.

Now, in answering the question of how a wood double hung window can be changed into a single hung hire a sloppy painter. Your guess is correct: thick, wet paint can turn a double hung window into a fixed one over night.

Maybe a next article should address sticky windows. Stay tuned.

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