When picking out a type of window to install, there are shapes and styles and hinge types that you can look at, but there are also weirdly specific origins. Different countries have figured out windows in different ways. These origins describe the techniques associated with their construction, the plating of glass, the framing, and the function of how they can open or close.

The two mainstay window origins come from the Americas and Europe. Specifically, Germany and France, are well-known countries for precision manufacturing and aesthetics. Here’s how all these windows work, so you can figure out which window will work best for you.

American Windows

Since 1935, the standard of American windows is the double pane, using two pieces of glass to increase insulation. Between the glass plates is a layer of gas which blocks the transfer of heat in either direction, keeping the inside cool in the summer or warm in the winter. They’re smaller than most other forms of windows and can come in forms that will fit in any room to let in some sunlight, or open up to lead in a breeze. They also use energy-saving components like low-emissivity glass material, which lets less light but also less heat through via reflection.

These windows are easy to install, usually form fitted to standard slots or installments, and are cost-effective ways to insulate a home without sacrificing a view. They’re also one of the more soundproof types of windows thanks to the double-thick layering of glass. Because they’ve been standardized for so long, American style windows are cheap and easy to find. However, it’s not all perfect. The technology has been improved but has not changed, since the 30s. Many new windows still fall back on the classic technology with no significant progress being made. The thermal insulation is better than a single pane, but not as good as it could be, and the strength against the heat makes them more vulnerable to the cold.

European Windows

European windows are built for form and functionality. They can open in multiple directions, tilt or turn, hinge or hang. This allows for variable ventilation, where the owner can open them as much or as little as they want without the need for interlocking features. They’re made of sturdy steel core tubing making them highly durable, and a permanent fixture in any home. This also means they weigh much more, so installation isn’t as quick and simple as other types of windows. There are many different designs that range from classical to uniquely modern and are built large enough to fit through as emergency escapes.

Being so mobile makes European windows great for people who like to moderate their circulation. It can open in a way that blocks rain without ignoring the breeze or slotted open to let in some fresh air while leading the stale air out in a cycle. But, they aren’t without issues The versatility along with the high-quality materials makes them a more costly option. And, they’re usually custom-fitted during design, not post-construction. Installing a European window in a non-European home will take a lot of measuring and guessing to ensure it’s the perfect fit. If it is, it offers a very energy-efficient fixture that can last a lifetime.

French Windows

The French style of window has been popular since the Renaissance, so you’re bound to see plenty of them around the world. You may have seen them in your own street. The French window style is to build with the home’s curves. These include multi-panel swinging or sliding windows which give a fuller view than a flat plane could. They’re built to be big enough to be doors to the outside, onto balconies or porches. The wide view it gives allows you to easily observe the outdoors without pressing up against the glass and craning your neck.

They’re very big, though. If you just want a simple way to filter sunlight, French windows offer way more room than you might need. Many manufacturers take up traditional techniques which don’t account for severe weather or wind, which means the windows can get pushed in or knocked out depending on how sturdy they are once installed. If they have a door-hinge swing, opening them too far may damage or break the glass. They are delicate but beautiful things, a common combination for French aesthetic design. But the fanciness matches the difficulties. And if you need bigger windows installed somewhere else, you can move them in through the window!

German Windows

The master class of engineering often has German roots. They are makers of the finest cars, clocks, and even windows. German windows are improvements on the existing designs of the European window standards, but with increased utility and efficiency. They’re easy to clean and provide any amount of ventilation, from a full on breeze to a soft, unfelt exchange of air, allowing the house to breathe with you. They have a variety of different styles and colors for the frame, which is made of both aluminum and uPVC for extremely long-lasting utility. No need to replace or repair it if it never breaks.

These windows offer a focus on something else that gets overlooked: security. A big window is seen as an invitation for criminals and troublemakers. German windows use glass that is rated against intrusion. They don’t break, but they may crack. It takes far more effort than an average burglar can use to open them and lock them from the inside with safety mechanisms. They offer soundproofing up to two times more potent than any alternatives. The only thing that isn’t positive is the weight and installation. This much security requires a hard, heavy foundation. They’re not for just anywhere in the house as a result.

July 25, 2022 — Della Wang