What are Picture Windows?

What are Picture Windows?

A picture window is about as simple a window gets: an unmoving pane of glass framed in a wall. Yet this simple design remains timeless and continues to be one of the most popular and versatile window styles.

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What are Picture Windows?

Sometimes referred to as fixed windows or stationary windows, picture windows are essentially framed, unmoving panes of glass. This is among the oldest window style in the world, but they're still popular, even though they predate single-hung and double-hung windows by centuries. 

Picture windows get their name from their resemblance to framed artwork, except that the artwork on display is actually the outside world.  The best place to install a picture window is any room where you'd like an unobstructed view and abundant natural light.  

Common in living rooms, dining rooms and lofts, picture windows are typically large and rectangular-shaped, but countless variations are available. They typically don't have any kinds of bars, but they can be custom designed with a specialty grid pattern. 

Pros and Cons of Picture Windows

When you need a replacement window for your home, picture windows are always an option worth considering. They're versatile, and can be adapted in any type of architecture, from mid-century modern and ranch-style homes to contemporary and modern industrial construction. Of course, it's also important to weigh the pros and cons: 

Pro: Highly Efficient

Picture windows are some of the most energy-efficient windows available, largely because their design is so simple. With no moving pieces, picture windows have a tight seal that eliminates air leaks. 

Pro: Great Lighting and View

With no bars or grids to block your view, a large picture window simply offers an unbeatable visibility. They also let in an abundance of natural light. Many homeowners choose to have them installed overlooking a back yard or garden. 

Pro: Adaptable and Customizable

While the most common version of a picture window is a simple, large rectangular pane, there are actually countless variations. Custom picture windows can be made in virtually any size and shape, including round, half round, diamond and any number of other unique shapes. 

Pro: Great Curb Appeal

Picture windows look great on the from to your home as well as the back, and they can give your curb appeal a real boost. Many homeowners choose tinted glass on front-facing picture windows to create a little more privacy. 

Con: Lack of Ventilation

The benefits of picture windows can also become drawbacks in some situations. Because they do not open, picture windows don't provide any ventilation. They are often paired with other types of windows that can be opened to provide airflow.  

Con: May Create "Hot Spots"

Large picture windows can create something like a greenhouse effect on sunny days, leading to hot spots in the immediate area. This can actually be an advantage in cold weather, but it's usually best to have curtains or shades on picture windows so you can close them on sunny summer days. 

Who Sells Picture Windows?

Most window brands include picture windows in their lineup. Be sure to consider options from these trusted window manufacturers:

When your home needs new windows, picture windows are just one of countless options you can choose from.

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