When I wrote a critical article about casement windows
, I received a deluge of responses saying that I was being tough on a very popular window choice. I was asked to reconsider some of my views on casements, so here we go. Let's give casement windows a fair shake.
Casements Provide a Fully Open Window
It has been pointed out to me that no other window can be opened as far. When you open a casement window, you swing the entire window open. Compare to:
- Double hung windows - only the lower half or the upper half open, but never both.
- Sliding windows - only one side of the window can open. The other side is usually fixed.
- Fixed windows - Obviously these never open.
- Other windows - And various other window options that crack open partially, none even as far as sliders or double hung windows.
So if the size of window opening is important to you, you may want to consider casements. However, I cannot resist adding another not-so-great point: casements are not great if you have small children. I live on a second story, have a three year-old boy, and a number of casement windows: bad combination. Why? With double-hungs, we always had the option of keeping the lower half shut and opening the top half. But with casements, there is a greater danger of a kid falling out.
Casement Windows Allow You to Catch Side Breezes
If, by some weird trick of nature, breezes move along your house at an acute angle, it's difficult to get any kind of air moving through your house with most windows. But casements, remember, have that open sash acting as a flap to funnel breezes into your house. This is an entirely valid point. At one time, I owned a house without much space between us and another neighbor. As a result, breezes came in at a sharp angle and were limited. The open sashes did a fair job of scooping the wind into our house.
Casement Windows are Harder to Break Into
Casement windows are very difficult to break into. Casement locks are hook-shaped, and these hooks are embedded within the frame, making them untouchable. Contrast this with double-hung windows, which are easy to break into by slipping a slim pry bar under the sash and lifting. The sash lock's screws pull right out of the wood.