When it comes to building a custom home, one element that can completely transform a house’s exterior and interior style are windows. Windows are vital to a home design, both in terms of aesthetic and practicality. They allow light to come in, help regulate temperature, add style, and help with ventilation. Windows are important- so we’ve taken the time to break down the different styles of windows that you can use on your Toronto custom home!
Arched windows have a more traditional style to them. They’re usually found on traditional, Mediterranean, Tuscan, or Spanish style homes. Their rounded tops add an elegant architectural detail to both the interior and exterior of a house. Most arched windows aren’t designed to open or close, so they’re mainly used to allow light in and add style rather than ventilation. Not everyone enjoys arched windows, but they are beautiful in the right home.
Awning style windows aren’t typically found in Toronto, but they’re ideal for climates that have a lot of rain. This style of window opens outwards on the bottom, creating an awning, hence the name. They’re commonly used in tropical locations, where they keep the rain out but allow air flow into the house.
Bay windows are one of the most charming styles of windows. They add a ton of character and style, which is why buyers are so attracted to them. They’re often found on Craftsman, Victorian, and Tudor style homes. This style of window protrudes from the home’s exterior, allowing more natural light in and creating a little nook inside. This style of window is one of the priciest, but they’re so worth it!
Casement windows are built with hinges on one side that allow them to swing outwards, rather than up or down like hung windows. A huge benefit of this style is that they can be constructed using a solid piece of glass, which offers better sightlines. Casement windows are great at insulating homes and work well with many styles from Victorian to modern.
Double hung windows are a very popular design for homes. They cost a bit more than some other styles, but they add a lot of value to a home and appeal to buyers. This style of window has two panels, both of which can be lowered and raised unlike single hung. Double hung windows work well with almost any style of home, making them extremely versatile.
Egress windows are found in basements and are more for safety than anything. These windows provide a safe escape route in case of a fire. When and where an egress window goes is usually dictated by local safety and building codes. This style of window has to be large enough for a grown adult to climb through. They’re less about style and all about safety.
Garden windows aren’t as popular these days, but they’re very charming. They’re basically a mini bay window that is meant for plants, hence the “garden”. This style of window protrudes out, creating a tiny greenhouse for plants. They let in a ton of light, but can’t be opened so they’re not meant for ventilation. They’re usually found in front of kitchen sinks and are on the expensive side.
Glass block windows are usually accent windows, meant to let in light while maintaining privacy. This style of window is compiled of blocks or cubes of glass. They’re often used in bathrooms, basements, or on entryways. They don’t open and can be difficult to remove later on so be sure you like the look. They were very popular in the 80’s, but are starting to come back in style.
Hopper windows are kind of the reverse of awning windows. They open from the top and crank to tip down. They’re great for compact spaces and are usually used in basements or bathrooms. Hopper windows are great at insulating a home and let in a lot of light.
Jalousie windows, also known as lourve windows, are unique and not typically used in Canada anymore. They’re used a lot in warmer climates as they provide good airflow. These windows are made with slats of glass that open at a tilt. They’re not great for insulation, so they’re not practical for Canada, but you’ll find them in if you visit anywhere tropical.
Picture windows are one of my favorite window styles. This style of window is just one large unobstructed piece of glass. They don’t open, but they provide beautiful sightlines to the outdoors. They’re called picture windows because they frame nature like a picture. They work with a number of different home styles from traditional homes to ultra-modern ones.
Round windows are a category that includes circular, half-round, elliptical and oval windows. This style of window is usually a complimentary one, used in just a few places on a home to add architectural interest. They have a historical and coastal vibe to them.
Single hung windows are one of the most popular styles you’ll find in homes. This style of window has two sections. The bottom panel can move up and down, while the upper panel remains stationary. Due to them being so commonly used, they’re some of the most cost-effective. A great thing about single hung windows is how versatile they are. They can fit on almost any style of home.
Skylights have become very popular in the GTA. They’re windows installed on the roof to allow more light to enter places where windows cannot be hung on walls. Skylights remain shut and also be opened depending on the style. They can be a little pricey, but they’re great in attic additions.
Sliding windows are like mini sliding doors. Two sections are made from single windows and open horizontally to each other. Sliding windows are often used on shorted homes like Ranch style houses because they don’t take up much vertical space.
Storm windows are exterior windows that are installed in the same frame as a home’s current windows. Usually, you cannot tell if a home has storm windows or not. They’re not meant to replace windows, just add another layer of protection. They’re usually found in areas that exterior extreme weather like tornadoes or hurricanes.
Transom windows are decorative windows installed higher up than normal windows. They often installed above doors or even other windows. Lately, people have been using them on interior walls to let natural light into a room without sacrificing privacy. They’re great for areas that need privacy, like bathrooms.
There are a lot of window styles out there! It can be a bit overwhelming, but hopefully, this quick guide helped you understand the basics of each style. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of each window style with your architect to pick the perfect style for your custom home!