The Complete Homeowner’s Guide to Casement Windows

In this article, you will learn:
1. Introduction to Casement Windows
2. The Parts of a Casement Window
2. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Residential Casement Windows

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While many Canadian homeowners are spending more time at home this summer, there are many of you who will question the quality and efficiency of your windows.

From drafty rooms and whistling wind to ventilation problems and skyrocketing A/C expenses, there are a variety of problems that can develop as your windows begin to age.

While a window replacement is the most effective solution to quality, longevity and efficiency, it can be difficult to determine which window styles are best suited to the needs of your home!

As each room might require different specifications (either aesthetically and/or functionally), it is very important to understand the different needs and purposes of each window before selecting a replacement style.

At Simpson Windows and Doors, we take pride in helping our clients maintain safe and reliable properties.

To help you better understand your options, the following article will provide a complete homeowner’s guide to casement window replacements; including what they are, how they work and any features or limitations to consider.

Introduction to Casement Windows

What are Casement Windows?

One of the most popular window options on the market, casement windows are known for their simple and contemporary style.

Commonly referred to as crank windows, side-hinge windows, hinged windows and/or side-hung windows, these windows are attached from the side and open using an easy-to-use crank handle mechanism.

As they are hinged much like a door, they can be configured to open either inwards or outwards, with optional screens that are removable from the inside of the home.

Unlike traditional sliding windows, casement windows do not require any physical force to slide or move the window panes. Instead, they can be easily opened and shut using one hand!

With an accessible crank handle, casement windows make an excellent choice for out-of-reach window spaces and/or residents with limited mobility.

Practical and versatile, casement windows also come in a variety of styles:

1. Single-Frame Casement Windows
Single frame casement windows are the most common type of casement window replacement. With a single frame, homeowners often place these windows in rooms that require a little extra ventilation and control; such as kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms.

2. Double Casement Windows
Also referred to as French casement windows, double casement windows have two window panes that open from the center (much like French doors). With bright, open views and access to a room full of fresh air, double casement windows are often an excellent choice for grand living areas such as living rooms, family rooms and/or master bedrooms.

3. Push-Out Casement Windows
Although not as popular as the other two styles, push-out casement windows operate by turning a lever and pushing the glass outwards. Available in single- or double-frame styles, push-out casement windows make use of a handle instead of a crank to open and close.

Available in a variety of materials, sizes and finishes, casement windows can be custom-designed to fit almost any height and width specifications, allowing for airtight and reliable efficiency when installed correctly.

The Parts of a Casement Window

Casement windows are made up of a variety of specialized parts that allow them to open, close, lock, insulate and maintain energy-efficiency within your home.

When shopping for replacement windows, here is a quick reference list to help you understand the function of each part:

– Casement: part of the window that holds the glass and opens/closes when cranked.

– Crank Handle: located at the bottom of the window, this handle allows the user to open and close the window with ease. 

– Frame: the permanent edge surrounding the window, including the head running across the top of the window, the sill running across the bottom and two vertical jambs on either side.

– Head: the horizontal bar located at the top of the window frame.

– Hinges: attached to one side of the casement, enabling the window to swing open and closed.

– Jambs: located across the top and sides of the frame, enabling the window to sit flush with the interior wall.

– Keeper: located on the side of the moveable casement, the keeper allows the locking handle/locking cam hook to lock in and secure the window when closed.

– Latches: secures the window when closed, preventing it from opening accidentally.

– Locking Handle/Locking Cam: responsible for locking the window into place.

– Operator/Operator Handle: the handle attaches to the operator and is turned (or cranked) to allow the window to swing open and closed.

– Rail: the horizontal bars located across the top and bottom of the casement.

– Screen: removable screen that prevents bugs, pests and debris from entering the home. (optional)

– Sill: the ledge at the bottom of a window

– Stile: the vertical edges of a casement

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Residential Casement Windows

Casement-style windows have been a popular design choice for many years, with the earliest prototypes dating as far back as the middle ages.

Maintained through the ages due to their sleek appearance and functionality, casement windows make a seamless addition to any style of interior design.

However, it is important to understand that no window style should be considered a “one size fits all” solution, as each room may have specific needs.

To help you better understand the features and limitations of casement windows, consider the following advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of Casement Windows

1. Fully Customizable:
Available in a variety of styles, sizes and materials, casement windows offer customizable options to best complement the needs of your home and decorating style.

2. Increases Energy-Efficiency:
With the ability to lock and seal, casement windows do an excellent job of preventing the risk of air leakage. In fact, stronger winds will actually tighten the casement window’s seal, decreasing your energy expenses in the long run.

3. Improves Air Ventilation:
Hinged windows are an excellent choice for homes that require a lot of ventilation. By using the handle, users can control exactly how much airflow enters the room.

4. Adds Insulation:
Unlike sliding windows, the only moving parts of a casement window are the hinges. As there is only a single piece of glass, casement windows provide more air resistance and can provide your home with increased insulation capabilities.

5. Includes Safety Features:
Equipped with locking safety features, casement windows provide the added comfort of safety from intruders. With the ability to open wide, casement windows also make an excellent fire escape for ground-level rooms.

6. Easy to Use:
As mentioned earlier, casement windows are an excellent solution for hard-to-reach areas (such as above the kitchen sink) as they are easy to operate with one hand. The easy-to-use cranking mechanism allows users to open and shut their windows using one hand, making them ideal for elders and people with limited mobility.

7. Easy to Clean:
By removing your window screen, you will be able to open your window wide enough to safely clean the outside glass from the inside of your home! Without the need for a ladder, casement windows make an excellent choice for hard-to-reach areas.

Disadvantages of Casement Windows

1. Risk of Wind Damage/Exposure to the Elements:
As casement windows often open outwards, they are much more exposed to the elements than their sliding alternatives. As wind, rain and snow can sometimes damage and/or deteriorate the window over time, it is recommended to keep casement windows closed during extreme weather.

2. May Interfere with Outdoor Living Areas:
While many people focus on how their window replacement might fit in with the interior of their home, it is important to consider how the outside might be impacted as well! Since casement windows swing outwards in the open position, placing them over a front porch, sidewalk or patio set may cause outdoor interference.

3. A/C Units Won’t Fit:
For homeowners that use conventional air conditioner units, casement windows may not be the best option. Instead, consider looking at double-hung windows as they will be able to close downward and create an airtight seal on top of the unit.

4. More Mechanical Parts:
With the use of extra hardware, the crank mechanism used to operate a casement window can sometimes freeze up, rust or break down. As a result, casement windows may require a bit more maintenance than sliding windows.

5. Requires a Professional Installation:
When updating your home with energy-efficient window replacements, the installation process is the most important part. While even the smallest of measurement errors can compromise the efficiency of your home, it is important to work with a professional to ensure that the measurements, products and installation process support the integrity of your home.

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If you are interested in learning more about your casement window options, allow our trained professionals at Simpson Windows and Doors to help!

Click here or call us at 905-853-2519 for a complimentary consultation.

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