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Fixed vs Operable Windows: What’s The Best Option?
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Fixed vs Operable Windows: What’s The Best Option?

Having new windows installed adds to the peaceful enjoyment of any living space. But homeowners sometimes have difficult choices to make. One of the key decisions is choosing between fixed windows and operable windows. By understanding the pros and cons, as well as accounting for the stylistic options, you will be able to make an informed decision about the best windows for your home.

Newly installed operable windows in a home in Southwestern Ontario

Pros and Cons of Fixed Windows

In the simplest terms, fixed frame windows do not open and close. One of the primary reasons people select stationary replacement windows involves customization. Because this class of windows does not have a functioning sash, they can be tailored to fit any space. These are pros and cons to consider.

Pros of Fixed Windows

  • Fixed Frame Windows are cost effective
  • Stationary Windows provide uninterrupted views
  • Fixed Windows are more energy efficient

Cons of Fixed Windows

The benefits of fixed windows must also be weighed against their limitations. These are some of the drawbacks of installing stationary windows.

  • Fixed Windows are heavier and potentially more fragile
  • Stationary Windows can be complicated to install
  • They do not allow fresh air into living spaces

Pros and Cons of Operable Windows

Perhaps the main reason operable windows are popular is that they open and let fresh air into your home. A nice cool breeze on a warm summer day or the smell of blooming flowers adds to the enjoyment of being home. These are other pros and cons to consider.

Pros of Operable Windows

  • Operable Windows can be cleaned from the inside
  • Operable Windows are easier to install
  • Operable Windows are lighter by comparison

Cons of Operable Windows

When investing in any home improvement product, it’s also essential to recognize the inherent limitations. These are reasons why some homeowners shy away from operable windows.

  • Sash and Grills interrupt views
  • Components may reduce pane height and width
  • Operable Windows typically cost more

Types of Fixed Windows

The types of fixed windows can be broken down into three basic categories — bay, bow, and architectural. These are how they function and are used in homes.

Picture Windows

Picture windows are often custom designed to accommodate non-standard and unique spaces.

Bay Windows

Bay models are designed with a large picture window in the centre and panes at a 30-40 degree angle on either side.

Bow Windows

Featuring a curved design of four or more large panes, homeowners often select bay windows for expansive views and to flood a room with natural light.

Types of Operable Windows

The types of operable windows can be broken down into three basic categories — awning, casement, slider, and hung. This is how they work.

Awning Windows

Also called a “crank window,” these models include a hinge at the top that allows you to open them outwards.

Casement Windows

Casement windows have a hinge on the side and also open outwards.

Sliding Windows

Slide windows employ a track that allows homeowners to move them horizontally.

Single-Hung and Double-Hung Windows

Hung windows are the most popular option. They work with a sash that allows you to open them vertically. In single-hung windows, the bottom section can be raised. Double-hung models allow you also to lower the top section.

Are You Ready for New Windows for Your Home?

We hope this comparison of fixed vs operable windows proves useful when choosing models in Southwestern Ontario. If you have additional questions about home windows that we at Brookstone Windows & Doors can help you answer, contact us today! We’re always available to help homeowners choose the best replacement window.

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