March 2, 2024
Learn everything you need to know about identifying the type of windows in your home with this comprehensive guide. From step-by-step instructions to pictures and descriptions of different types of windows, this guide will help you identify your windows with ease.


As a homeowner or renter, you’ll want to know what type of windows you have in your home. Understanding the type of windows you have can help with maintenance, cleaning, and even energy efficiency. In this article, we will cover the essential steps and tips to help you determine which type of windows you have in your house.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Identifying Which Windows You Have

Follow these steps to identify your windows:

Step 1: Look for Labels or Markings

Check the window frames for any labels or markings. Some manufacturers put stickers or labels on the windows at the time of installation. Look for the manufacturer’s name or any other information you can find; this may lead you to a specific window type or style.

Step 2: Measure the Window Frame

Measure the width and height of the entire window frame from inside the house. Record the measurements accordingly. Ensure to note if the window is a square or rectangle shape.

Step 3: Look at the Window Glass

Take a clear view of the window glass. If the glass is plain, there is a possibility that it is single-paned or double-paned. But if there are additional aspects like grills, encryptions, energy-efficient coatings in between the glass panes, it can help you analyze the type of window, e.g., casement, single-hung or double-hung, picture window, etc.

Step 4: Determine the Operating Mechanism

Examine the window to discern how the window operates. Look to see if the window opens from the bottom or lifts from the bottom; if it opens from the side, it is perhaps a casement window. If it slides up and down, it is probably a single or double-hung aluminum or wooden window. Operating mechanisms may differ between styles, which will give you information for identifying the type of window you have.

Step 5: Check the Frame Material

Wooden, vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass are the most commonly used in window frames. Check for any defining characteristics, such as the color of the frame, the thickness or shape of the frame, or any other unique characteristics of the window trim.

Step 6: Confirm Your Findings

After determining the specifics of your window, ensure to compare the details with online resources to make sure that your identification process is accurate. Sites like the Window and Door Manufacturers Association database provide an accurate and comprehensive guide to the most popular window brand lineup.

Pictures and Descriptions of Different Window Types

Let’s look at the most common window styles and their descriptions.

Single-Hung Windows

A single-hung window comprises two sashes; the bottom sash is fixed in place while the upper sash slides up and down to open and close the window.

Double-Hung Windows

The double-hung window displays a classic design, most commonly found in residential homes. The double-hung window style allows both the upper and lower sashes to slide vertically open and closed in a single frame.

Casement Windows

Casement windows open outward using a crank mechanism. They offer excellent ventilation and air circulation when opened. Casement windows are a popular choice in modern homes and can be easily identified by their hinge placement on the side.

Slider Windows

Slider windows open horizontally, often referred to as sliding windows. One or more panels slide on a track to open and close the window. Slider windows are commonly used in large spaces, providing ample natural light and ventilation.

Bay Windows

Bay windows are a set of three windows organized side by side, creating an angle between the walls. Bay windows add character, charm, and value to a home and providing a sweeping outdoor view.

Picture Windows

Picture windows are built to provide a maximum view of the surroundings. Rather than being opened for ventilation or airflow, picture windows remain stationary in place, providing an unobstructed view of the outdoors while keeping a room’s interior sealed.

Awning Windows

Awning windows open from the bottom and tilt outward. The opening mechanism helps provide ventilation without the fear of rain or debris entering your home.

Other Less Common Types of Windows

There are other less common types of windows, including skylights, which are installed on top of a roof or ceiling, and jalousie, which consists of parallel louvered glass panes.

Common Window Types and How to Recognize Them

Window frames are made of various materials, and the type of frame often helps narrow down the type and style of the window. Below are some of the most common types:

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are an increasingly popular choice due to their affordability, low maintenance, and energy efficiency. They display unique characteristics like white-colored frame, double glaze, energy-efficient, and soundproof glass in each panel.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows are strong, durable, and highly resistant to the elements. They are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making them an excellent choice for residences situated in coastal locations. Often recognizable by their slim framing edges, aluminum windows can last decades before requiring replacement.

Wood Windows

Wood windows are suitable for older homes, and they give a warm and natural vibe. Often custom shapes and sizes, these windows are beautiful, but require maintenance to protect from rot, warping, and termites. Wood frames are identifiable by their natural color and visible wood grain.

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass windows have similarities to vinyl windows but display much stronger properties. In addition to being energy-efficient, it is also more sustainable. Opting for these windows allows you to make a responsible contribution to the environment. Unlike vinyl, fiberglass has substantial color variation, which is easy to spot.

Tips for Identifying Windows by Brand

Overview of Different Window Brands

Window brands provide an assortment of window products targeted to meet window needs for the construction industry, repair and replacement, and DIY enthusiasts. Some of the more popular brands include Andersen, Pella, and Milgard.

Unique Designs That Are Highly Recognizable

Each brand maintains a recognizable design. For instance, Pella casement windows usually contain a fold-away cranking handle that creates a simple, clean appearance when closed. Andersen can typically be recognized by their black cam lock that secures the sashes.

Tips for Researching to Narrow Down the Possibilities

With each brand’s uniqueness, conducting research at home through online resources or getting in touch with an expert is the perfect way of narrowing down the possibilities. Normally, experts can often detect the brand type upon conducting a physical inspection or through questioning the specific features of a window.

Quick Ways to Determine if Windows are Double-Paned

Double-pane windows are a popular choice due to their superior energy efficiency and sound insulation. Here are some quick ways to determine if your windows are double-paned:

1. Looking for a Seal

A double-paned window has two glass panes that are sealed around their edges. Look for this seal, often visible from the side of the window frame or by peering through the glass.

2. Using a Flashlight

Shine a flashlight at the glass pane at an angle perpendicular to your vision, looking for the reflection off of the glass surface. The reflection will typically show two images of the light source, indicating that it is double-paned.

3. Conducting a Draft Test

Hold your hand near the edge of the window and detect any cold air seeping through with a draft test. Double-paned windows will have less/no draft compared to a single-paned window.


By going through this comprehensive guide, you now possess valuable information on how to identify different window types in your house. Remember, knowing the type of windows you have can help with maintenance, cleaning, and energy efficiency. Seek professional help if needed – especially if you need to replace your current windows.

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