Casement Windows: Up Your Style and Security
If you want to generate a comforting breeze throughout your living space and have extensive views, a casement window is a wise investment. Their energy efficiency, security, and timeless design make them a popular feature in historic and newly constructed homes. Here is what you must know about selecting, installing, and taking care of casement windows.
What Is a Casement Window?
Modern casement windows are hinged at the side and open outward, similar to a door. They look like a picture window because, unlike double-hung or sliding windows, a casement window has no rail. Some casement windows will push open, but the majority have a hand crank. When fully open, casements allow easy cleaning and excellent ventilation. They are generally more airtight than double-hung windows since the sash locks against the frame when closed.
Original casement windows trace back to the Medieval period when windows were unglazed. It was during the reign of Elizabeth I that the general population began to afford glass windows.
Fast-forward to this century on the east coast of North America and across the globe, where these striking windows have become iconic. Popular in period buildings and new construction thanks to the increased popularity of industrial design and the widespread repurposing of industrial architecture worldwide.
What Types of Casement Windows Are Available?
These seven casement window types are popular abroad and domestically: French casement, In-swing casement, Push out casement, Push out French casement, In-swing French casement, Hopper, and Tilt-turn.
Here are highlights for each of the types that bring character and energy efficiency to your space:
- French casement – open from either side with two casement sashes. There is no center astragal bar, allowing for ventilation and an unobstructed view.
- In-swing casement - Opens up into the interior of a room. This window operates with a "pull" motion.
- Push out casement - This window operates with a turn of a handle and gentle push.
- Push out French casement - Two casement sashes that open from the center with a push. This design provides the unobstructed view of a traditional French casement with an alternative operation style.
- In-swing French casement - This casement includes two in-swing sashes that open into the room.
- Hopper - Resembling an awning window, but this type vents at the top, opening into the interior of a room.
- Tilt-turn - A popular European design, tilt-turn windows offer alternate ways to open. The handle can turn 90 degrees to swing inside your room or 180 degrees to tilt in and vent from the top.
Once you have picked the correct type of casement windows for your space, you will have many materials and colors to select for the finishes. For example, new and replacement casement window frames use aluminum, vinyl, wood, clad wood, and steel. Standard exterior colors include black, tan, brown, bronze, cream, and white.
Wooden casement window frames usually come unfinished. They allow flexibility for paint or stain to be applied that will suit your home's style and design. Certain brands are available in primed versions. Wood frames offer an advantage as they minimize condensation and will not become as cold as other types of window frames.
Aluminum casement windows are light, durable, easy to install, and insulated to protect against moisture buildup and prevent heat loss.
Vinyl casement windows are cost-effective, moisture and heat resistant. However, they are more likely to be less energy efficient as they can leak air over time.
Clad-wood casement windows have an exterior protected by aluminum, while the interior is either painted or stained wood.
Steel casement windows have historic charm and can be a more significant investment than other types of casement windows.
How Much Energy Do ENERGY STAR Casement Windows Save?
The Department of Energy's consumer resource guide (Energy Saver) recommends considering how a window's glazing or glass can make your home more energy-efficient. Remember to check that the casement windows you choose are ENERGY STAR-certified for your area to make sure your home operates efficiently.
Here are three other ways to reduce the cost of your window purchase:
How Long Do Casement Windows Last?
On average, your windows will last up to 25 years if you purchase them from a reputable brand. It is essential to have them installed by a professional. If you keep them in good shape, they could last even longer. As a reference point for buyers, brands generally offer guarantees ranging between five and fifteen years.
How Do You Install Casement Windows?
Even the most energy-efficient windows will struggle to deliver the look or comfort you expect if installed incorrectly. As a result, major window manufacturers train and certify installers for their specific windows.
A benefit to using the same contractor for purchase and installation means that you will know who is responsible for fixing it if a problem arises later.
Other best practices include getting multiple estimates and looking online for certification from the American Window and Door Institute or Installation Masters. Once you receive a bid, ensure that it contains specific items such as window brand and model, number of windows, size and type, and any additional features. Installation details need to be in writing as well as material and labor costs.
If you are a successful do-it-yourselfer, replacing existing casements with similar size windows can be tackled with the help of another person who is willing to hold up the weight of the window as it's fitted into an existing opening.
Home Depot also supplies this general overview of steps reference and a better understanding of what it takes to install a replacement casement window. A good approach includes reading the steps over carefully to determine if your skills align with the actions needed.
What Are the Best Brands of Casement Windows?
Andersen, Marvin, Milgard, and Pella are popular casement window brands. Many more prominent manufacturers in the window industry market multiple brands. Andersen and Marvin sell specific product lines exclusively to authorized installers, and home centers such as Home Depot and Lowe's sell numerous lines.
Renewal by Andersen LLC is the full-service window replacement division of Andersen Corporation. They are also winners of the US EPA's 2019 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – sustained excellence award. Renewal by Andersen also offers a replacement process that includes custom manufacturing, in-home consultation, and installation through their large nationwide networks of window replacement specialists.
Marvin is a family-run business proud to have provided customers across the United States with quality doors and windows for over 100 years. But they are not content to rest upon their heritage. They created Infinity from Marvin to provide homeowners with a new way to shop for replacement windows, which provided ease, confidence, and a quality experience each step of the way. Infinity from Marvin backs up its products with innovative materials and timeless designs that support the goal to be the best.
Founded in 1958, Milgard offers a full line of fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum windows and doors for builders, homeowners, and dealers. Owned by MI, the company operates plants in California, Oregon, and Washington. MI is one of the nation's largest suppliers of energy-efficient windows and doors. With 10+ manufacturing plants across the United States, MI brands manufacture high-performance and market-preferred products for new construction and replacement applications.
Pella Corporation designs and manufactures doors and windows for both commercial applications and residential homes. Since its founding by Pete Kuyper in 1925, the corporation has been proud to support the communities they work and live. They are headquartered in Pella, Iowa. The corporation employs over 8,000 people with 17 manufacturing locations and more than 200 showrooms across the country.
What Are the Benefits of Casement Windows?
Although a window will not stop intruders from breaking into your house, casement windows are more secure than other windows.
Why? Compared to other windows, casements are challenging to breach. With double-hung windows, the intruder only has to reach in and turn the latch on top of the lower sash. The intruder can also lift the sash and enter the home without dealing with the broken glass while entering.
But casement windows are opened by turning the crank. Breaking the glass allows access to the crank, but it is challenging to turn the crank on top of broken glass. Savvy homeowners make their casements even more secure by removing the crank from the window and keeping it nearby but out of reach.
Casement windows offer other benefits over other windows. For instance, sliders have a sash that slides sideways on a track. When slider tracks gather debris, they can become hard to close and open. Slider windows are not quiet: they close with a distinctive noise. By contrast, casements close quietly and do not have a track that collects debris. Also, the inside screens are easier to handle from a cleaning lens, especially if the window is on the second story.
What Are the Cons of Casement Windows?
Today's casement windows are well designed; however, they do have a few issues. One challenge is the possible failure of the casement windows' operating systems. As risk mitigation design solutions, many manufacturers have improved their opening and closing systems. Window air conditioners are challenging to install with a casement window. If you have a standard air conditioner window unit, they will not fit in these windows.
How Can You Protect Your Windows?
One of the casement windows' significant benefits is that both sides are easy to clean from the inside of your home. Casement windows need a scheduled cleaning, once or twice a year, and periodic checks to determine that screws, hinges, and hardware are securely operating.
To clean casement windows, unlock each casement, open the windows wide, and use a brush to clean debris and dust from the windows' tracks. Use your handheld vacuum to pull out the dirt inside the window tracks. Wash sills, tracks, glass, and the frames with a mixture of soap and water and dry with a clean cloth as needed.
Remove window cranks, and clean the cranks' working parts with a wire brush; lubricate the gears, hinged hardware, and window tracks with a silicone spray.