The kitchen window has an important roll in the home. It's above the sink so it's small and yes it has to open because, well, what if you burn the chicken? So now what. Typically we see a three foot by three foot window that goes up and down with a bottom operating sash. This is called a single hung window. The locks are in the middle so they can be tough to reach. In fact let's face it, the up and down window is tough to make go up and down with a sink in the way.
Windows that go up and down aren't the only option. Under three feet in width you can use a single casement, or a double casement if wider than 36" as pictured above left. This keeps the locks closer and the opening mechanism is a crank at the bottom.
By contrast the window on the right is a sliding window in vinyl and you'll note that the center bar is very thin compared to the casement. The casement is the elegant and substantial look (much like a wood window or wood casement) but the slider is going to provide more light.
The casement has an outswinging glass panel that hinges and swings to the outside from the side of the window. It has an ability to catch the air and funnel it into the house. The screen is on the inside and is easily detachable.
I sell a lot of windows and getting the right one has to do with the whole house. There are only two or three windows (openings) in any home that can be updated and look noticably upgraded. Picking the right window for the specialty openings is the driver and the other less noticable windows should match. Getting a cool window that says "I did update the windows" means higher resale value for the home but it also provides a great deal of satisfaction as it's the window or opening we see and get to enjoy the most in our day to day life.
This is a great before and after shot of a kitchen single hung that was converted to a hinged casement window. The single hung had locks that were hard to reach and the configuration itself is bad for the vertically challenged among us. By using a casement we get all the controls and locks close to the bottom. It also sports a screen that's on the inside. It's pretty hard to see but it does snap off if needed. This window swings from the right side.
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