Windows of Opportunity

A Primer on Basic Styles, Functions, and More

Presented by   |     |  Design Feature

Few features of a house have as large of an impact on both its function and design as the windows. That’s because every type of window has a distinct role to play, whether that’s for added light, air flow, or ease of use. 

To help you decode the wide world of window options, we turned to the pros at Marvin and their premier Hudson Valley dealer, Williams Lumber and Home Centers. With multiple locations, including two design centers in Pleasant Valley and Rhinebeck, Williams has been a go-to for home improvement in the Hudson Valley since 1946. Much like Williams, Minnesota-based Marvin was founded as a family-owned and operated lumber company in 1912.

At either of the Williams Design Centers, you and your designer, architect, or contractor can work with their experienced associate teams to envision and execute an entire plan for your window installations. The experts at Williams can guide you through Marvin’s three premium product collections—Signature (which includes Ultimate and the new minimal Modern line), Elevate, and Essential—each with its own range of customization options.

Window Types 101

There are many factors to consider when selecting your windows. Understanding how each style functions and the value it can add to your space is a great place to start.

Single Hung

The single-hung window is the quintessential window type. It’s a clean, classic style that slides up to let air flow in and out through the bottom window. They’re versatile, affordable, and easy to use.

Double Hung

With double-hung windows, the top window also opens independently for fresh air at the both top and bottom levels. Double-hung windows are great for areas where you have enough space and flexibility to easily reach the top. If you prefer the style but don’t have the space, single-hung windows may be more what you’re looking for.


Casement windows are hinged on one side and swing inward or outward with a crank or push-out operation. That means you get ample daylight through a single, uninterrupted pane of glass, clean sightlines to the outdoors, and plenty of fresh air. If your home already has single or double-hung windows, consider swapping them for casements to reap the benefits above.


Sliding (also known as gliding) windows are a go-to option if you’re looking to save space. They open horizontally, so they’re well suited for tight spaces without a lot of access, like over the kitchen sink.


Awning windows are hinged at the top of the frame and like casements, swing outward with a crank or push-out operation. They’re named for their most-used location—tucked under the awnings of your roof so they can bring in a refreshing breeze even in wet weather.

Bay and Bow

Though known for their cozy interior nooks, bay windows function primarily to open up a room with three-dimensional views and light with three or more windows that form corner angles. Bow windows are similar to bays, but have smooth curves instead of corners and are made up of at least four or more connected windows.


If you have romantic views like a lush garden or mountains in the distance that you’d love to bring to your interior experience, a statement picture window is definitely calling your name. A picture window is a type of fixed window that doesn’t open, but what you trade in access to air flow you get back in expansive views and light. They also pair well with openable windows on either side so you can have the best of both worlds.

You can find examples of all the above window styles on display at the Williams Design Centers in Rhinebeck and Pleasant Valley.

Williams Lumber Can Host Virtual Tours

Want the full tour of your window options from the comfort of your home? Ask a Williams Design Center Associate to set up a virtual tour for you so you can efficiently decide on and place your custom Marvin window order remotely.

Plus, contact your local Williams Lumber and Home Center to ask how they can host a virtual tour with a Brand Ambassador at Marvin at 7 Tide, Marvin’s brand experience center. You’re welcome to include your architect, contractor, and any other decision-makers. Together, you’ll explore possibilities, visualize your specific designs, and find the right solution to move your project forward quickly and efficiently at Williams Lumber, and as their tagline says, “Nail It Right The First Time!”

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