Window basics: Types of exterior windows


A window is an opening in a wall or a roof that allows the passage of light, air and sound. Apart from the typical casement or sliding window in a wall, there also other types of windows. The most common are the following.

Clerestory: It is also called clearstorey or overstorey. By this term we might mean:

  • Any high windows above eye level
  • The portion of a wall above an adjacent roof level, and more particularly the window located in this part of a wall.

clerestory windows

Dormer window: It is a vertical window, set above the line of a sloped roof in a space that protrudes from the plane of a sloping roof surface. Like skylights, dormer windows are a source of light and ventilation for top floors, but unlike skylights (which are paraller to the roof surface) they also increas the amount of headroom in the room and allow for more usable space.

Dormer window

Bay window: It is a window space projecting putward from the main walls of a building and forming a bay in a room. Most bay windows are polygonal or square and when curved the are called bow windows. A bay window with a flat front and angled sided is called canted. Also, triangular bays formed of two windows set at 120 degrees may be found. A bay window supporter by corber, bracket, or similar it is called an oriel window.

Bay window

Bow window: A bow window or compass window is a curved bay window. Bow windows are designed to creare space by projecting beyond the exterior wall of a building, and to provide a wider view of the garden or street outside. They typically combine four or more casement windows, which join together to form an arch.

bow window

Roof window: It is an outward opening window that it is incorporated as part of the design of a roof. A roof window is often a good option when there is a desire to allow both light and fresh air into the space.

Roof window


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