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Published on February 7, 2024 6:25 PM
Casement windows are versatile and common fixtures in both traditional and modern homes. These windows are attached to their frames by one or more hinges at the side and can be single or double glazed.. Often made from materials such as uPVC, timber, or aluminium, casement windows offer clear views and can be tailored to suit a range of architectural styles.

They swing open like doors, typically outward, thanks to their hinge mechanism. This design enables homeowners to maximise ventilation and capture side breezes. Casement windows have various configurations, and their ability to fully open distinguishes them from other window styles. Whether you’re considering installation, replacement, or simply learning about window types, casement windows bring a combination of functionality and aesthetic appeal to your property.

Key Takeaways

• Casement windows are hinged and swing open, offering full opening capability for maximum ventilation.
• They are customisable, available in a variety of materials like uPVC, timber, or aluminium, and suit various home styles.
• Maintenance, security features, and operational ease are critical aspects of casement windows for homeowners.

Standard uPVC Flush casement windows Anthracite grey
UPVC casement windows top hung

Defining Casement Windows

Casement windows are a traditional yet versatile window style that can be tailored to suit your home’s aesthetic and functional requirements.

Unique Characteristics

Casement windows feature a sash that is attached to the window frame by one or more hinges. Key differences set this window type apart:

• Hinged Design: Casement windows are typically hinged at the side (side hung) but can also be top hung or bottom hung, with the latter often referred to as a hopper window.
• Single or Double Sashes: You can choose between a single casement window, with one sash, or a double casement window, featuring two sashes that open out.
• Variants: There are special types, such as French casement windows that offer a mullion-free design for a broader view and the flush casement window, which sits flush with the frame for a sleek appearance.
• Glass Panes: Options range from single, for a minimalist design, to multiple panes for more traditional aesthetics.

Casement Window Styles

Casement windows have a few different styles:
• French Windows: These resemble French doors in design and generally consist of two panes that open without a central pillar, differing from the typical casement style.
• Bay Windows: These project outward from the building, forming a bay in a room, as opposed to casement windows that lie flat with the wall.
• Fixed Casement: A fixed casement doesn’t open and is designed purely for letting in light. It’s quite different from the operable casement window which allows for ventilation.
• Push-out Casement Windows: Often called top hung windows are a type where the sashes push out to open.

Each style offers unique benefits, but your choice may depend on factors such as ease of operation, ventilation requirements, maintenance, and aesthetic appeal.

Components and Mechanisms

In exploring the components and mechanisms of casement windows, you’ll gain an understanding of what allows these windows to function effectively. Each part plays a critical role in the window’s operation and integrity.

The Sash and Frame Structure

Your casement window consists of the sash, which is the moveable part holding the glass, and the frame, which provides structural support. The sash fits into the frame and can be made from various materials, including wood, uPVC, or metal. The frame is typically composed of the head, jambs, and sill, where the sill (or cill) forms the bottom horizontal part. It’s essential that both the sash and frame are properly maintained to ensure the window’s smooth operation and longevity.

Flush uPVC casement windows
White uPVC casement windows
• Sash: The movable panel containing the glass.
• Frame: Comprised of:
   o Head: Top part of the frame.
   o Jambs: Vertical sides.
   o Sill/Cill: Bottom horizontal part.

Types of Hinges and Handles

The types of hinges and handles used in your casement window affect both functionality and aesthetics. Commonly, friction hinges are used, allowing the window to stay open at various angles without closing. Butt hinges are another option, often seen in traditional timber window frames. Your casement window might also include a tensioning device to adjust the friction level on the hinge. As for handles, they come in various designs, but all serve to provide ease of use when opening or closing your window.

• Hinges:
   o Friction hinges
   o Butt hinges
   o Tensioning devices (for friction adjustment)
• Handles: Various designs for ease of opening/closing.

Opening Mechanisms

The crank handle is a common opening mechanism for casement windows, particularly in modern designs. When you turn the crank, it operates a geared mechanism that opens or closes the window. Other windows might utilise push-out hardware or stay arms. Proper tension and lubrication of these mechanisms are paramount to ensure that they operate smoothly without requiring excessive force.

• Crank Handle: Operates a geared mechanism to open/close the window.
• Other Mechanisms:
   o Push-out hardware
   o Stay arms (for holding the window open)

Material Options for Casement Windows

When selecting casement windows for your home, you’re presented with a variety of material choices, each bringing its distinct advantages in terms of aesthetics, insulation and sustainability. Understanding the differences will help you make an informed decision.

uPVC casement windows

Wooden Casement Windows

Wooden casement windows, traditionally known as timber casement windows, combine classic aesthetics with natural insulation properties. Timber is a renewable resource, making it an eco-friendlier option. However, wood requires regular maintenance to prevent warping and weather damage.

• Advantages:
   o Aesthetically pleasing with a natural look.
   o Offers good thermal insulation.
• Maintenance:
   o Needs repainting or staining to protect against the elements.

UPVC Casement Windows

UPVC casement windows are a popular choice in the UK due to their durability and low maintenance. Made from unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, these windows don’t fade, rust or rot, and they provide excellent insulation. UPVC is a cost-effective option and is available in a range of finishes, including wood-effect, to suit various property styles.

• Advantages:
   o Minimal upkeep, no need for painting.
   o Good thermal and sound insulation.
• Sustainability:
   o Some concerns exist regarding UPVC’s environmental impact, but recycling initiatives are improving its sustainability.

Aluminium Casement Windows

Aluminium casement windows offer a sleek, modern appearance for contemporary buildings. This metal is strong, meaning thinner frames and larger glass areas are possible. Aluminium is also recyclable, which adds to its sustainability profile.
• Advantages:
   o High durability with resistance to warping and rust.
   o Sleek design suitable for modern aesthetics.
• Maintenance:
   o Resistant to the elements with minimal upkeep required.

Functional Benefits

Casement windows offer a range of functional advantages that enhance your living space. These include improved ventilation and natural light, better energy efficiency, and robust security features.

Ventilation and Natural Light

Casement windows are designed to catch side breezes due to their ability to swing open fully, unlike sliding windows. You enjoy maximised airflow and can control the amount of ventilation by adjusting the angle of the opening. The design of these windows also allows for an unobstructed view and an abundance of natural light to enter your room, creating a brighter ambience.

Energy Efficiency and Insulation

The energy efficiency of casement windows is attributed to their ability to seal tightly against the frame when closed, which offers superior thermal efficiency. This property helps in maintaining a consistent room temperature, thereby reducing your reliance on heating and cooling systems — leading to potential cost savings on your energy bills. With the option of double-glazing, you will find these windows to be highly energy-efficient.

Security and Durability

In terms of security, casement windows are recognised for their high-security features. They have lockable handles and are difficult to pry open from the outside, which gives you an added peace of mind. The durable design and quality materials used in casement windows contribute to their longevity and your home’s security.

Design Considerations and Customisation

When selecting casement windows for your home, you have a variety of design elements and customisation options to consider that will influence both aesthetics and functionality.

Aesthetic Variations and Styles

You may choose from traditional designs with timber frames to more modern aesthetics using uPVC or aluminium. Flush casement windows integrate seamlessly with the wall, offering a clean and consistent look. For added character, French casement windows provide a symmetrical appearance with the advantage of a fully openable space devoid of a central pillar when both sashes are open.

• Traditional: Wooden frames, often found in period-style homes.
• Modern: uPVC or aluminium frames for a contemporary feel.
• Flush Casement: Sits level with the frame for a sleek finish.
• French Casement: Central mullion-free design, ideal for unrestricted views.

Size Limitations and Configurations

Your home’s architectural details might dictate the size limitations of your casement windows. Manufacturers often provide maximum and minimum dimensions for specific configurations. Customisation in design enables the delivery of both single and double panel setups, along with complex configurations for larger window installations.

• Maximum Width: Varies by manufacturer, typically around 700mm for a single sash.
• Maximum Height: Up to 2,400mm, depending on the design and material.
• Configurations:
   o Single Sash: Suitable for small openings.
   o Double Sash: Ideal for standard window sizes, allows more light.

Glazing Options

Your glass selection plays a critical role in insulation, security, and appearance. You have the choice of double or triple glazing, with the former being more common due to its balance of cost and performance. Triple glazing offers enhanced thermal efficiency which can be important in reducing heating bills.

Double Glazing: Two glass panes, offering good thermal performance.
Triple Glazing: Three glass panes, for superior insulation and noise reduction.

Remember that each of these customisations will impact not only the look of your casement windows but also their performance in terms of energy efficiency, maintenance needs, and durability.

Installation and Replacement

When considering the installation or replacement of casement windows, precise measurement and professional execution are crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

Determining the Appropriate Size

To guarantee that your new casement windows fit perfectly, you must measure the existing window frame accurately. Width should be measured horizontally at the top, middle, and bottom, and height should be measured vertically on both sides and in the middle. Use the smallest measurement to ensure the new window will fit in the opening. Record these dimensions, as they will guide you in selecting replacement windows that are appropriate for your living space.

Professional Installation Process

Professional installation ensures that your casement windows are correctly fitted and sealed. During installation:

1. The old window is carefully removed to prevent damage to the surrounding structure.
2. The opening is prepared, which may involve adjusting for any size limitations or rectifying issues with the frame.
3. The new casement window is installed, which includes securing it in place and ensuring it operates smoothly.
4. Insulation and sealing are applied to eliminate drafts and water ingress, two crucial steps for protecting your home improvement investment.

Window Replacement Considerations

Before proceeding with window replacement, consider these points:
• Age of Existing Windows: If your windows are over 20 years old, replacement can enhance both aesthetics and energy efficiency.
• State of Disrepair: Windows that are difficult to open or show signs of frame decay should be replaced to maintain your home’s security and appearance.
• Energy Performance: Modern windows come with energy ratings; selecting a high-performance window can reduce your energy bills and improve comfort.

By focusing on these key areas, you can ensure a successful casement window installation or replacement that enhances your home’s value and livability.

Operational Challenges and Maintenance

Maintaining casement windows ensures their longevity and optimal functionality. Below you’ll find crucial aspects of maintaining these window types and addressing common operational issues.

Common Issues with Casement Windows

Casement windows may experience several issues that can affect their performance:

• Drafts: These may occur due to worn-out weather stripping or sealant. You may notice a distinct chill near the window or hear whistling sounds during windy days.
• Difficulty Opening: Sometimes, casement windows can become challenging to open. This could be due to a faulty handle mechanism or obstructions caused by debris.
• Sticking: Paint or swollen wood due to moisture can cause the sash to stick, making it hard to open or close the window.
• Misalignment: Over time, the hinges may loosen or shift, preventing the window from closing properly, which might create gaps allowing elements in.
• Broken Divider: The divider or muntin bar can sometimes break, disrupting the window’s structural integrity and aesthetic.

Regular check-ups and prompt addressing of these issues can prevent deterioration and the need for more intensive repairs.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Keeping your casement windows clean and well-maintained is easier with these tips:

• Lubrication: Apply silicone-based lubricant to the hinges and handle mechanism regularly to ensure smooth operation.
• Sealing Gaps: Replace worn weather stripping to prevent drafts and improve insulation.
• Cleaning: Use a mild detergent and soft cloth to clean the window glass. Avoid abrasive materials that can scratch the glass.
• High-Reach Areas: For windows in hard-to-reach places, use extendable cleaning tools or hire a professional.
• Check for Damage: Regularly inspect the window frame, sash, and hardware for any signs of damage or corrosion.

By following these tips, you can tackle maintenance effectively and keep your casement windows in prime condition.

Security and Safety Features

When considering casement windows for your home, it’s important to evaluate the built-in features that enhance protection against potential intruders and to understand their design in the context of emergency exits.

Enhancing Protection Against Intruders

Casement windows are renowned for their security advantages. The design itself acts as a deterrent since the windows are difficult to pry open from the outside due to the crank mechanism that securely locks the window in place. Modern casement windows often also include:
• Multipoint locking systems: These systems engage locks at multiple points along the window frame, providing a high level of security.
• Toughened glass: An option for tougher glass makes it more resistant to breaking.
• Keyed locks: Most come with locks that require a key, adding an additional layer of security.

You should consider these features to enhance protection against intruders, ensuring that your home remains secure.

Emergency Egress Considerations

In an emergency, the ease of opening a casement window is crucial for a quick escape. Casement windows are designed to open fully, which can be a substantial advantage in such scenarios. Key points to consider:
• Full opening angle: A casement window can swing open widely, providing a large enough space for you to exit.
• Ease of operation: The crank mechanism allows for quick and easy operation even in stressful situations.
• Egress window size: Your casement window should meet the size requirements set by UK building regulations to be an official egress window.

In ensuring your safety, you must verify that the security features of your casement windows do not impede their function as potential emergency exits.

Choosing Casement Windows for Your Home

When considering casement windows for your UK home, you are opting for a versatile and popular choice. These windows are hinged at the side and swing outwards, bringing a blend of functionality and style to your property.

• Ventilation: Casement windows offer excellent ventilation, as they can be opened fully to allow fresh air into your home.
• Security: They often come with locking mechanisms that can enhance your home’s security.
• Energy Efficiency: Properly installed casement windows can help reduce energy costs due to their airtight seal when closed.
• View & Light: Their design provides an unobstructed view and allows more natural light to enter the room.

• Limited to external spaces where swing-out windows won’t obstruct pathways or outdoor areas.
• They can be prone to wear due to exposure to weather when opened.

Cost Considerations:
Prices for casement windows in the UK vary, typically starting from affordable options, with cost depending on size, material, and design complexity.

MaterialCost Range
uPVC£200 – £600
Timber£400 – £1,000
Aluminium£600 – £1,200

Casement windows are suitable for a variety of homes, from modern new-builds to period properties. Their versatility allows them to be tailored to individual tastes and home architecture.

When choosing casement windows, consider the orientation of your home, potential obstructions, and local weather patterns. Ensure that you select windows that complement your home’s aesthetic and functional needs, aligning with your budget while not compromising on quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

In your search for the perfect windows for your home, casement windows may have come up as an option. Let’s address some common questions to ensure you’re fully informed.

What is a casement in windows?
A casement is a component of a casement window; it’s the part that moves and is attached to the window frame by one or more hinges at the side, top, or bottom. This design allows the window to swing open like a door.

What is a casement window style?
The casement window style is a window design where the glass pane is set in a movable frame that can swing open to the outside or sometimes to the inside. It operates on a hinge mechanism and is often used for its versatility in various architectural styles.

In what ways does a casement window differ from a sash window?
A casement window differs from a sash window in its operation and design. Casement windows pivot on hinges at the side, top, or bottom, while sash windows slide vertically or horizontally within the window frame. Casement windows generally offer a full opening for ventilation, whereas sash windows typically only allow half of the window space to be open at a time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of top-hung casement windows?
Top-hung casement windows, also known as awning windows, have hinges at the top and open outward from the bottom. Their advantages include excellent ventilation without letting in rainwater and additional security, as they can be left partially open. Disadvantages may consist of limited opening angle and potentially more challenging cleaning from inside the property.

What is the main drawback to the use of a casement window?
The main drawback of a casement window is that it requires sufficient outdoor space to open fully, which could be obstructed by external features of your property, like trees or other buildings, and may pose an issue in high-traffic areas.

Why are casement windows better?
Casement windows are often considered better due to their superior ventilation capabilities, tighter seal when closed for increased energy efficiency, and unobstructed views they offer. They are also considered more secure because of the hook-shaped casement locks which are embedded within the frame.

Colin Greenslade
Written by Colin Greenslade
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.

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