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casement vs sliding windows?

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  • Nov 15th, 2009 1:34 am
Jun 14, 2009
252 posts

casement vs sliding windows?

hi guys, just wondering, is there a difference in functionality for casement vs sliding windows? i presume casement windows are aesthetically better looking?
10 replies
Jr. Member
Aug 17, 2005
152 posts
1 upvote
eilrach wrote:
Oct 13th, 2009 10:20 pm
hi guys, just wondering, is there a difference in functionality for casement vs sliding windows? i presume casement windows are aesthetically better looking?
Off the top of my head...

Functionally - they operate differently. Sliders slide to open. Casements are hinged and crank to open.

Aesthetically - casements are flush with adjacent panes and can be much larger than sliders and still be operable (ie. can be opened) as a single pane. For sliders you will always have a split in the middle and each pane in a slider needs to be offset against the adjacent complementary pane to allow them to slide past each other. You will also have a screen sitting on the one side of the slider so overall, not as nice looking.

Energy efficiency - casements form a tighter seal when closed.

Cleaning - casements are easier to clean since they can be opened to allow access to both sides.
User avatar
Aug 22, 2003
15532 posts
Niagara Falls
I'd add that for casements to actually be functional at getting air flow through the house you need to know your prevailing breezes and choose the appropriate opening side for a casement. They also don't necessarily work well for places like porches and low windows where they can be a hazard for walking into.

Double sliders will have full screens as each pane slides. They will also usually have a tilt in feature for easy cleaning. Ours do. Sliders will also have a safety lock feature allowing them to left open a few inches and still locked. Great for little kids as well as air flow at night or when away from home.
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Deal Addict
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Oct 12, 2007
3004 posts
Funny - we're in the final stages of design decisions on a pretty major reno and all of our windows need to be replaced. Currently, they are wooden casement windows and we are replacing them with aluminum/wood double-hung windows throughout. Our reasons are precisely the ones that CSK's Mom outlines and based only on our personal experience and some research:
  • Casements open outwards and intrude unto decks and porches (I can't tell you how many times an opening casement has knocked things off the kitchen window sill - which is accessible from the deck and where people tend to put drinks, etc.) :rolleyes:
  • double hung are easier to keep clean than casements
  • There is no difference (for us) in terms of ventilation capacity (our larger casement windows are split into two panes with one side inoperable - which is a pretty standard set-up; vs. double hungs which need to be operable on both sides - if only to balance the look)
  • If you open a window for a breeze with a casement, the breeze had better be coming from a direction that the open window isn't blocking. Conversely, casements can sometimes be better at angling some breezes into a house.
  • in terms of energy efficiency - there is no difference between a quality casement and a double hung window by the same manufacturer. I cannot imagine why a slider would be less efficient than a double hung.
If you want a clean panel with no horizontal line dividing top from bottom, double-hung isn't for you.
There are also access differences between double-hung, sliders, and casements - how easily you can reach the locks and cranks, etc.
Deal Addict
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Jan 28, 2008
1177 posts
Occasionally casement windows can be impossible to open in the wintertime if there has been very cold weather and/or icy buildup around the frame. And yes there are times when you want to open a window occasionally in the winter even for just a few minutes and it can be annoying when you can't crank it open because it's frozen shut. Then there's the time you do crank it open and then have a problem cranking it shut that last few millilmeters and it won't form a proper seal or be just enough to lock the latch.
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Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
5749 posts
I have casements downstairs and sliders upstairs in the bedrooms. The windows are 20 years old, all triple pane. Some comments:

One of the casement cranks is broken and has to be completely replaced and that's a real pain. Another window gets stuck when I try and crank it open and I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

The seal is gone in 4 of my casement windows and moisture has gotten in between the glass. No problems with any of the sliders or any of the "fixed" windows. I suspect that the cranking operation stresses the window slightly and is more likely to lead to a seal break over time.

The nice thing about casements (depending on the type) is that if the window is open and it unexpectedly rains the water won't get in. In fact it can sometimes be nice to leave them open when it rains. Can't do that with sliders.

Much better air flow through sliders. Casements generally don't open wide enough.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 10, 2002
5527 posts
Casement window screens need a special screen that has a little door in the screen so that you can have access to the latch.

If you have a portable air conditioner, you'll have to custome make a exhuast/intake plate for the windows.

While there is a case for casement to direct breezes intot he house, same is true of the opposite. If the breeze is going the opposite way, it blocks breezes.
Jun 14, 2009
252 posts
thanks guys! it helps to see the viewpoints of people who actually have used and seen the advantages/disadvantages of each in real life...
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Nov 25, 2007
210 posts
Scranton, PA
Our house has a mix of Casements and Sliders and I find both have their drawbacks. Aesthetically, sliders have improved over the last few years to a point where they are close to matching the look of casements from an exterior viewpoint. Obviously it will never look like a casement but it's not all that bad. The drawback for Casements is the location of the crank. We have faux blinds mounted inside of the window and find the crank gets in the way and the blinds never really sit nicely when fully extended.
Feb 3, 2009
23 posts
I too am in the research stages of my windows replacement project. There is a great (miles long) thread on RFD on the topic which covers everything you may want to know, but you will need a few hours:

http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/merg ... rs-633922/

From what I've seen and read casements are the best choice for thermal efficiency. The idea is that when wind blows at the window it presses it against it's seal. Due to this even a poorly built casement will likely outperform a good slider (thermally). One thing to keep in mind with casements is that the mosquito net is on the inside of the window, which may not be desirable.

I'm a fan of the european tilt & turn windows, which are the opposite of casements and open to the inside with the net on the outside. There are not popular in north america making them expensive. They must also pose interesting sealing challenges, but that's why they have latches around the entire perimeter.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
5749 posts
mkoz wrote:
Nov 14th, 2009 6:45 pm
One thing to keep in mind with casements is that the mosquito net is on the inside of the window, which may not be desirable.
On the other hand some of the outside screens on my sliders got holes punched in them during a hail storm while the inside screens on the casements were fine. Replacing the screens was not fun.
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