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Reliable Quality and Safety with Awning Windows

Reliable Quality and Safety with Awning Windows

Exterior renovationsReliable Quality and Safety with Awning Windows

​​Need to replace your windows but find yourself lost amongst all the existing window models? The awning window may just be the right fit.

Whether it be for your bathroom, basement, or even bedroom, we’re going to delve into why it’s a worthwhile option. 

Definition and Characteristics of an Awning Window

awning window

Source: Canva

The term “awning window” can connote two different things: you’re either picturing the awning window, or a straight-up awning (or canopy if its roof is glazed) that shields a window or door from rainfall. However, as it pertains to us, we’re solely going to discuss the former: windows. 

In carpentry, one can account for 8 types of windows: 

  • Cross window (2 frames with inward or outward openings);

  • Pivot window (pivots horizontally or vertically on its axis);

  • Canadian window (2 out of 3 frames open awning-like);

  • Sliding (horizontal or vertical sliding pane);

  • Fixed (remains closed);

  • Awning (opens upwards, hinged at the top);

  • Hung window (single or double);

  • Casement (side-hung).

Casement and awning windows are grouped amongst those operating with a crank or lever:

  • The casement window has a multipoint locking mechanism for which the casement window opens outwardly with the help of a crank while rotating on a vertical axis.

  • The awning window is distinguished from the latter since it opens on a horizontal axis.

Crank awning window

Let’s take a more detailed look at the window crank or lever. As the awning window crank or lever is rotated, it pushes or pulls back a scissor arm, which is connected to the window frame (the bottom frame) by a friction hinge.

Once the window is opened, the mechanism locks into place with the help of a latch. The crank opening and closing mechanism is safe, but also very simple to remove and replace. In fact, it’s just screwed into the window frame and is accessible with a screwdriver. 

The awning-type crank window is also advantageous on account of the very nature of its opening system. In fact, it allows for the following:

  • To be opened even when raining;

  • Used as a transom;

  • Ensures airflow from below;

  • A multipoint locking mechanism.

Its seal renders it impervious to water seepage and significantly contributes to your home's thermal insulation.

Awning windows allow ample natural light

awning window

Source: Canva

What makes the awning window the ideal choice is its size. While it’s not as watertight as the casement window, it can measure up to 48 inches wide, compared to the 32 inches of its rival.

Therefore, the amount of natural light said window allows into a room is bar-none. We’ll delve into this matter in further detail in our basement window section below. 

Double-glazed window

In Canada—on the east coast primarily—single or double glazing doesn’t come into question. Double glazing is without a doubt the preferred choice unless specific rules apply to your dwelling in terms of architectural, landscaping, or historical value. 

Besides, if you want to add a certain time-honoured appeal to your awning windows, note that you can do so by installing spindles for a muntin-like effect that was seen on antique wooden windows. That way, you'll get to enjoy the aesthetic appeal of yesteryears, while also benefiting from the modern efficiency of new-build.

Awning windows are very well-suited to double glazing, which limits 40% of the heat loss from inside, compared to single glazing.  

If you also want to limit the amount of warm air that seeps into your home during the summertime, you can opt for high-performance windows. Given the thin metal oxide coating on one of the interior-facing panes, the glass can reflect infrared rays. 

As for the materials that make up the frame, options aren’t lacking: 

  • Aluminum; 

  • Hybrid; 

  • Wood; 

  • PVC. 

PVC window vs. heat

awning window

Source: Canva

Whether it’s wood, aluminum, or PVC, materials tend to shift with temperature fluctuations. PVC isn’t any different. If you’ve read that PVC window frames may expand under intense heat, well this is true. 

However, it isn’t solely the material that makes up the window frame that’s shifting, it’s also its hardware. And, if today PVC is one of the most used products when it comes to window frames, it’s very much because it’s a highly efficient material. 

PVC isn’t a one-and-done material. In fact, based on the specific characteristics of the finished product, it’ll be designed with either more or fewer lubricants, flame retardants, stabilizers, and other polymers. 

Therefore, PVC window frames aren’t solely designed to withstand bad weather, but also to reflect the sun’s rays. Its reflectivity is rendered possible due to its stabilizer and pigment content. These prevent the frame from reaching very high temperatures, or from doing so as often or for very little time. 

Albeit PVC frames do expand with heat, the added heat-resistant polymers in the PVC window frame formulation very much limit this from occurring. 

If you look around your neighbourhood at the different windows, chances are that the majority of them are PVC-framed. Nevertheless, have you ever had a skilled tradesperson come by to realign your windows?

What are the different types and styles?

PVC awning windows are available in a wide range of colours and can be custom-made as far as to give them a hung-like window aspect. As such, you can choose your window based on the following:

  • Your façade;

  • Your home’s style;

  • Your natural light needs. 

The last point brings us back to our next talking point: the versatility of the awning window. Indeed, the latter can be added to fixed windows, or be installed above another window, much like a transom.

Basement awning windows: Useful or not?

awning window

Source: Canva

Although we’ve already discussed luminosity, specifically in terms of basements, let’s backtrack a little. 

Yes, the awning window is very useful in basements, and for two very apparent reasons:

  • Allows for plenty of natural light;

  • Can be opened when raining.

Basements are commonly known for their lack of natural lighting and their build-up of humidity, thus rendering them moisture-prone areas. As a result, it’s essential to install windows that allow for plenty of natural light and proper airflow. 

Since it can swing open even when it's raining, such a window is ideal for coping with record-breaking weather, such as Montréal's 13 straight days of rain in 2019.

Just think about the humidity level in your basement if you can't air it out for 15 days…

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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