When planning a new build or renovation, there are countless decisions to be made. Figuring out which types of windows to install might also present a challenge, with everything you need to consider – from thermal insulation and soundproofing to protection against burglaries. To give you a head start, we’ve compiled an overview of the most common options.

Transparency and open spaces have been trending among many contemporary architects. Different types of windows play a huge role in achieving these effects: floor-to-ceiling facades, glassed corners, rooftop installations … the list goes on. But how do you know what works best at your home in each room? Let’s take a closer look at the most common window styles and their special features.

Window-opening types explained

Enough daylight is just as important as fresh air when it comes to maintaining a healthy indoor climate. The easier you can open your windows, the easier it will be to ensure regular ventilation. Different variants might prove more or less convenient at different spots in the house – and to an extent, it also depends on personal preferences.


  • Casement windows revolve around a vertical axe on the right- or left-hand side. The wings can be opened with a handle, either form left or right. You should also think about the opening direction before choosing a product. Those types of windows can commonly be found in bathrooms or smaller adjacent rooms.

  • Tilt-and-turn windows rank among the most popular options.As their name suggests, you can either turn or tilt them. Modern fittings usually require only one hand and allow for an almost draught-free ventilation, thanks to varying tilting positions.

  • Hopper types of windows have a horizontal axe and a narrow opening on the upper part. If the axe is situated on top, the installation is called a folding wind. Hopper windows are particularly suitable for basements or as skylights.  

  • Slider windows often come with thin rims and profiles, which allows for unobstructed views outside. By turning the handle, you can lift them up or pan them out of their guide rail – and then move the wing sidewards. One special variant of this type is the folding window, where separate elements are neatly tucked in. Both sliding and folding models prove useful for outdoor areas such as balconies, patios, or terraces.  

  • Pivoting windows open along a horizontal axe, with one part pointing outside and the other one pointing inside. This provides a space-saving solution to ensure a steady exchange of air, especially on top floors or in the attic.

  • Fixed windows remain shut at all times. They can serve as a transparent house facade along with rotary wings or as a skylight.

  • Combinations of several window styles are also possible – a two-wing installation with a fixed skylight and turn-and-tilt wings or a tilting skylight with a rotary wing below, for example.

Fenstertypen Badezimmer Velux
Floor-to-ceiling windows on a sloping roof invite you to lean back and enjoy the view of blue skies – or starlight at night. Source: Velux Deutschland GmbH

Wood, plastic, aluminium: types of window frames

Of course, windows are not made from glass alone. For the frames, manufacturers mainly rely on synthetics, wood, and metal. These materials are complemented by a layer of colouring – i.e. foils for plastic window frames, powder coating for metal frames, and varnishes for wooden ones.  

  • Wood: natural and versatile

    Pine, spruce, and oak are go-to choices among manufacturers – for good reason. As a renewable resource, wood scores high in terms of sustainability. It also has excellent insulating properties, as well as a cosy feel and high-quality aesthetics. The only downside: wooden types of window frames require a lot of maintenance and need to be repainted on a regular basis.


  • Synthetics: long-lived and easy-care

    Synthetic window frames are normally made from rigid PVC, a light-resistant and robust material. Integrated air chambers and additional modules within the frame’s profile ensure a high degree of insulation. In terms of optics, you will find a wide range of colours. Another plus: synthetic types of window frames are less expensive than other materials.


  • Aluminium: clean and elegant 

    Apart from wood and plastic, there’s one more alternative that has found its way in modern homes recently: aluminium window frames stand out with their elegant, polished aesthetics. They are burglar-proof, low-maintenance, and available in a variety of colours. You should however keep in mind that the manufacturing process is quite energy-extensive, which in turn leads to comparatively high prices.

Fenstertypen Wohnbereich Fensterfront Solarlux
Glass facades let in plenty of daylight, making indoor spaces appear even larger. Source: Solarlux

It’s all in the mix: types of windows with different materials

If you want something unique to catch the eye, you can opt for a frame that incorporates several materials. Wooden-metal types of windows, for example, are protected by a weatherproof aluminium coating on the outside, while wooden elements create a natural look on the inside. A coloured powder coating is also feasible – and you don’t need any repaintings to preserve the original optics. The only potential drawback might be the price range: material mixes of plastic and aluminium are generally less expensive.

Make the most of your windows: blind control in Smart Homes

If you’re already planning a new build or extensive renovation, why not take the opportunity to include smart technology? The Gira System 3000, for example, provides a wireless – and easily retrofittable – solution to automate your lighting, heating, and blinds. You can control all functions via switch, Bluetooth app, or individual time schedules. If you want to explore the full potential of a Smart Home, a KNX system offers even more possibilities – like checking and adjusting your blinds via app from literally anywhere. In combination with the Gira KNX weather station, your home will also react to sudden changes of weather. This might look something like this:

  • When the sun comes out, blinds are automatically lowered.

  • If there’s rain or a strong wind, they are pulled back again.

  • As soon as darkness falls, your blinds will go up as well.

Gira UK c/o Wandsworth, the home of Gira in the UK

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