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Double Hung Windows

02 October

Learn more about the traditional look of double-hung windows with this quick read from Houzz.

The double-hung window is about as traditional a window as can be. It’s no surprise that its style fits colonial and more traditional homes, as the double-hung window became the window of 18th-century America.

The double-hung, or sash, window was invented by Robert Hooke in the 17th century. Windows before then were typically casement style. But casement windows were smaller, as the hardware available couldn’t support the weight of a large casement window when it was open. Double-hung windows restrict movement to a simple up and down motion and use a system of counterweights for support, so the size of the window isn’t as limited.

Double-hung windows weren’t considered very efficient until recently. Gaps around the sash and the frame would let in cold air, and there was a constant rattle of the sash in the frame, the result of the wood parts drying out and shrinking over time. But with advances in materials and designs, the double-hung window can be very efficient.

With its traditional styling and appeal and with the new standards that allow efficient windows, the double-hung is an excellent window choice where a traditional or transitional aesthetic is desired.

In its original incarnation, the double-hung window was arranged singly so that there would be an expanse of wall between each window. And each sash, top and bottom, would be divided into a number of separate pieces of glass. Hence terms like “six over six,” referring to how many divisions (pieces of glass) were in each sash. For example, the window shown here is referred to as an “eight over 12.”

Also, some of these windows have an inoperable top sash; these are referred to as single-hung windows. And there are windows with three operable sashes, called triple hung. For the most part, however, what we see are double-hung windows, with both the top and bottom sashes being operable.