Awning Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

Written by AnonymousJanuary 25, 2011

Examining Awning Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

Awning windows are like traditional casement windows, with one major difference. Casement windows pivot on hinges mounted on the side, while awning windows pivot on hinges mounted at the top.

Awning windows are just as popular as traditional casement windows, despite minor disadvantages such as maintenance and somewhat limited placement options. So, the decision to choose awning windows over other types of windows will depend on the construction of your home, the look you wish to achieve, and price.

The cost of awning windows depends on factors such as the material, size, and manufacturer. Because costs vary based on these and other factors, a top-of-the-line awing window may cost anywhere from $350 on the low end up to $1,050 or more on the high end. Steel and wood are the most expensive materials for awning windows, while aluminum, cellular PVC, composite, fiberglass, and vinyl are the least expensive.

Advantages

The advantages of awning windows are:

  • Good Ventilation. Awning windows can be placed higher in walls than many other types of windows. When placed high, awning windows can provide natural light and ventilation, without compromising privacy. High placement also allows for maximum wall space for design aspects such as art and furniture placement. 
  • Weather-tight construction, good choice in damp climates. Awning windows can protect your home against moisture, even when they’re open during a rainstorm. Because of the way awning windows are constructed, they allow for nearly 100 percent of viable ventilation, without the threat of water seeping into the home. Awning windows also offer a superior seal against air pass through.
  • Attractive, contemporary look. Newer awning windows use friction hinges at either end of the top edge. This allows the bottom edge of the awning window to swing open, creating a fresh, contemporary look.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of awning windows have more to do with maintenance issues and placement than construction. The disadvantages of awning windows are:

  • Unsafe for high traffic areas of the exterior home. Awning windows have open projecting sashes. If an awning window sits overlooking sidewalks, decks, porches, or terraces, someone can easily collide with the windows’ jutting sashes.
  • Require frequent washing. Open sashes on awning windows are exposed. The open slashes slant as well, so they can become dirty faster than other types of windows and require regular washing.
  • Escape may be difficult. Screens and storm windows are mounted on the inside of awning windows. This could make a fast escape difficult in case of a fire or other dangerous situation. However, the construction of awning windows makes entry quite difficult as well.

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