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building & construction > Windows & doors

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Windows & Doors

Main types of windows are:

Fixed: a window that cannot be opened, whose function is limited to allowing light to enter (Unlike an unfixed window, which can open and close). Clerestory windows are often fixed. Transom windows may be fixed or operable. This type of window is used in situations where light or vision alone is needed as no ventilation is possible through fixed windows.

Single-hung sash: one sash is movable (usually the bottom one) and the other fixed. This is the earlier form of sliding sash window, and is also cheaper.

Double-hung sash: a sash window is the traditional style of window in the United Kingdom, and many other places that were formerly colonized by the UK, with two parts (sashes) that overlap slightly and slide up and down inside the frame. The two parts are not necessarily the same size. Currently most new double-hung sash windows use spring balances to support the sashes, but traditionally, counterweights held in boxes on either side of the window were used. These were and are attached to the sashes using pulleys of either braided cord or, later, purpose-made chain. Double-hung sash windows were traditionally often fitted with shutters. Sash windows may be fitted with simplex hinges which allow the window to be locked into hinges on one side, while the rope on the other side is detached, allowing the window to be opened for escape or for cleaning.

Casement: A window with a hinged sash that swings in or out like a door comprising either a side-hung, top-hung (also called "awning window"; see below), or occasionally bottom-hung sash or a combination of these types, sometimes with fixed panels on one or more sides of the sash. In the USA, these are usually opened using a crank, but in parts of Europe they tend to use projection friction stays and espagnolette locking. Formerly, plain hinges were used with a casement stay. Handing applies to casement windows to determine direction of swing; a casement window may be left-handed, right-handed, or double. The casement window is the dominant type now found in the UK and parts of Europe.

An awning window is a casement window that is hung horizontally, hinged on top, so that it swings outward like an awning. Emilie Poisson designed this window.

Tilt and slide: a window (more usually a door-sized window) where the sash tilts inwards at the top and then slides horizontally behind the fixed pane.

Tilt and turn: a window which can either tilt inwards at the top, or can open inwards hinged at the side. This is by far the most common type of window in Germany, its country of origin. It is also widespread in many other European countries.

Transom: a window above a door; in an exterior door the transom window is often fixed, in an interior door it can open either by hinges at top or bottom, or rotate on hinges. It provided ventilation before forced air heating and cooling. A fan-shaped transom is known as a fanlight, especially in the British Isles.

A French window (when hinged French door) is a large door-sized lattice light, typically set in pairs or multiples thereof. Known as porte-fenêtre in France and portafinestra in Italy, they often overlook a terrace.

 

Many kinds of doors have specific names, depending on their purpose. The most common variety of door is the single-leaf door which consists of a single rigid panel that fills the doorway. Many variations on this basic design are possible, such as the double-leaf door or double doors and French doors that have two adjacent independent panels hinged on each side of the doorway.

A half door or Dutch door or stable door is divided in half horizontally. Traditionally the top half can be opened to allow a horse or other animal to be fed, while the bottom half remained closed to keep the animal inside. This style of door has been adapted for homes.

Saloon doors are a pair of lightweight swing doors often found in public bars, and especially associated with the American west. Saloon doors, also known as cafe doors, often use bidirectional hinges which close the door regardless of which direction it is opened by incorporating springs. Saloon doors that only extend from knee-level to chest-level are known as batwing doors.

A blind door or Gibb door is a door with no visible trim or operable components. It is designed to blend with the adjacent wall in all finishes, and visually to be a part of the wall, a disguised door.

A barn door is a door characteristic of a barn. They are often/always found on barns, and because of a barn's immense size (often) doors are subsequently big for utility.

A French door is a door (installed singly or as one of a matching pair or series) consisting of a frame around one or more transparent and/or translucent panels (called lights or lites); it is also called a French window as it resembles a door-height casement window.

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