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Opening or fixed frames: many possibilities

Photo of a living room with large windows

Operable and fixed window frames offer different possibilities for light, ventilation and the overall look of your home. Knowing the differences between operable and fixed windows is crucial when replacing the windows in your home. Here are some benefits of each.

Operable window frames

As the name suggests, operable window sashes open and close. They can slide, swivel or swing on the frame.

The most significant benefit of installing operable windows is ventilation, allowing fresh air into the house and stale air out. That’s why windows that can be opened are popular in high-humidity areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Types of operable windows

Opening windows come in a variety of models and styles, including:

  • Awning and hopper windows are hinged on top or bottom. Awning windows extend outward from the bottom. Conversely, hopper windows swing inward from the top. Awning windows are an excellent choice for laundry rooms and bathrooms. Hopper windows are best suited for tight spaces like basements.

  • Casement windows are hinged to the frame at the side and swing outward using a crank. They’re perfect for bedrooms or as part of a bay window kit.

  • Slider windows typically include one fixed sash and a movable pane that slides horizontally. They’re a simple and popular window replacement design.

  • Single and double-hung windows also slide, but up and down. A single double-hung window has one sash that slides over a fixed sash, whereas double-hung windows include two movable sashes for increased ventilation.

Fixed window frames

Fixed windows don’t open, and the glass is mounted directly to the frame. As such, fixed windows can be much larger than operable windows, which are limited by the weight of the sash. Benefits of installed fixed windows include:

  • They give you amazing views and allow plenty of natural light into the room

  • Manufacturers can make fixed windows of any size and shape

  • Fixed windows are slightly more energy efficient than operable windows

  • Fixed windows are easier to clean and maintain because they have no mechanical parts or moving pieces

Types of fixed windows

Fixed windows come in two main styles:

  • Picture windows can be any shape or size. Typically, they’re large squares or rectangles in living rooms, but they can also be arches over an operable window, ovals or geometric shapes.

  • Bow and bay windows comprise several windows that project outward from the building’s main walls to create extra space inside.

Customized PVC windows in Ottawa and the surrounding area

At Canadian Comfort Windows & Doors, we can customize your high-performance, energy-efficient vinyl or PVC residential windows to make your home gleam. Contact us today or visit our showroom to check out one of the largest window inventories in the Ottawa area.


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