The Pros, Cons, and Costs of Different WindowsGarden Window
Often installed above a kitchen sink, a garden window is a mini-greenhouse with a clear, slanting top, a fixed window in front, two venting side windows, and one or more shelves. They’re great for growing herbs year-round and displaying your pottery collection.
Pros: Adds fresh air, light, warmth, and storage space.
Cons: Increases solar heat gain. Fix: Buy high-quality garden boxes with insulated, low-E glass.
Cost: $1,000 (aluminum) to $1,200 (vinyl). Add 10% to 20% for low-E glass and tempered glass.
The Pros, Cons, and Costs of Different WindowsBifold
Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. Bifold windows have hinged sashes that fold up to provide a clear view of the great outdoors. Bilfolds also can be installed in an interior wall to separate spaces and reduce noise flow when needed.
Pros: Wide, unobstructed view; good ventilation.
Cons: Lots of moving parts to clean and maintain; increased heat gain and loss; wicked expensive; may require structural alterations.
Cost: $2,320-$2,530 for a 3-foot-by-8-foot window.
The Pros, Cons, and Costs of Different WindowsAwning
Want to brighten small spaces? Awning windows pivot on top-mounted hinges and open out from the bottom, saving space. You can also open them in bad weather, because rain runs down and away from sashes, keeping the inside dry.
Pros: Increased light and ventilation; cost-effective; secure.
Cons: May obstruct outside walkways; need frequent cleaning.
The Pros, Cons, and Costs of Different WindowsBetween the Glass Blinds
No more dusting and fussing with blinds when they’re sandwiched between two panes of glass. Some have traditional adjustment cords; some are magnet-moved; and some have motors to position your blinds just so.
Pros: Largely dust-free; little kids and pets can’t mess with the slats; classy look.
Cons: Expensive; limited styles and colors; cumbersome and costly to repair; energy efficiency claims are arguable.
The Pros, Cons, and Costs of Different WindowsTurtle Glass
Sea turtle hatchlings instinctively follow moonlight into the ocean to live their lives. But indoor lights confuse them and encourage the babies to crawl onto land toward certain doom. Turtle glass windows are grey-tinted to reduce visible light pouring out of the house.
Pros: Helps protect sea turtles and sea ecology.
Cons: Costly; low light can make walking outdoors hazardous.