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casement vs sliding windows?

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[OP]
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Jun 14, 2009
252 posts
Toronto

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?
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Aug 17, 2005
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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.
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Aug 22, 2003
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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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Oct 12, 2007
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Ottawa
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.
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Jan 28, 2008
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Sarnia
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
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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
Sep 10, 2002
5563 posts
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Vancouver
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.
[OP]
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Jun 14, 2009
252 posts
Toronto
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
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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.
Newbie
Feb 3, 2009
23 posts
Whitby
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.
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Mar 21, 2002
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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.
Newbie
Feb 13, 2017
1 posts
india
Sliding windows are used in openings that are wider than they are tall. They open sideways, with one pane sliding over the other. Casement windows, also known as crank windows, are often chosen for tall, narrow window openings. The windows are attached to the side of the window frame and swing outward.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
CaptSmethwick wrote:
Oct 14th, 2009 6:09 am
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.
I know this is an old post but this is 100% wrong (Energy Star and Natural Resources Canada agree with me based on their tests). Air infiltration on a window (or door for that matter) with sliding sashes is NEVER as sealed as a casement that closes onto weather stripping on all 4 sides. If a sliding window was 100% sealed then you couldn't open it. It's sealed into the frame on 3 sides and then where it slides past the other sash is a tiny piece of weather stripping WHERE A LITTLE BIT OF SLOP IS REQUIRED.

Think of a hurricane against a window with sliding sashes and a joint in the middle vs a single window that is sealed on 4 sides. Sliding windows are ALWAYS less energy efficient.

Also, windows are typically most efficient at the centre of the glass. To add 2 more edges to the mix makes it less efficient in an opening that is 30" wide by 5 feet tall for instance. This is a non-issue when you have a 48x48 opening and are considering 1 sliding window vs 2 casements. However if you put in 2 hung windows vs 2 casements in that opening you still have more "edge" and windows are less efficient around the edges.
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Dec 10, 2008
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St. John's
Casement windows for sure.

Sliders always felt like a lesser build quality to me
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
woof wrote:
Oct 14th, 2009 1:06 pm

Much better air flow through sliders. Casements generally don't open wide enough.
Casements generally open to 90 degrees and better ones open to 120 degrees. Also, I cant get over how people say sliders have better airflow. With a sliding windows, you can only ever open half of the window, and even then only about 40% of the window is open. Casements open 100%. Good casements open all the way will direct breeze in from the opposite direction as well.

Most people who dont like casements are used to builder grade ones that dont fit correctly. Good casements are miles above good sliders.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.

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