Add Fresh Air with Awning & Hopper Windows

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

When you shop for windows for a new home, you probably start by looking at the big ones—the largest panes if the plans call for a statement window design—or the most popular window types—casement and single and double hung—to get a feel for the options. Whatever the situation, be sure to look into awning and hopper windows as well! They specialize in creating natural ventilation and can stand alone or work in series with other windows. Here’s what you should know about them!

Marvin Elevate Awning

The Marvin® Elevate™ Awning windows shown here over the bed brighten the room while maintaining privacy. Top-hinged windows like this are ideal for placing in hard to reach areas and high on the wall.

Awning Windows

The awning window got its name because the window pane creates its own awning over the aperture when opened. This prevents precipitation from coming inside, and the top-hinged swing offers easy operation and reduces clearance concerns—you don’t have to worry about the shape of the surrounding structure or any obstructions on the side that would limit the window’s range. Basically, if you can see out clearly, you can open an awning window. It’s no wonder this versatile option has been a staple in homes for hundreds of years!

The first place most people think of when they think of awning windows is the basement. When only a small amount of the foundation is exposed, a compact awning window can do wonders by adding natural light to the space. But this idea isn’t limited to the basement. Awning windows are also popular in bathrooms, where they are optimally placed high on the wall over showers to vent steam without compromising privacy. Of course, they also make a great choice if you want to brighten and/or air out any other room without creating a clear view inside. High placement helps maintain privacy and naturally maximizes the lighting and venting potential of even small windows.

Marvin Signature Ultimate Awning

The Marvin Signature® Ultimate Awning window is available in heights or widths of up to 8 feet—this isn’t the small-scale awning window you’re used to! What’s more, you can add a motor-drive system for remote operation, discreet retractable screens to keep bugs and debris out, as well as a home automation sensor that indicates whether a window is closed and locked or unlocked.

Looking for a larger scale solution? Awning windows still deliver. You’ll often see large awning windows in the typical wider-than-tall format installed alongside picture windows. This arrangement allows you to maximize glass—fixed picture windows offer the widest uninterrupted expanses available—while still allowing for ventilation through adjoining operable windows. Awning windows are regularly selected for this role because they also offer clear sightlines and are available in a wide variety of rectangular dimensions, making it easy to incorporate them into all sorts of window designs.

Sometimes, awning windows are even used as the main windows in a room. In this case, rather than the typical long rectangular awning shape, square-shaped windows are used to fill the wall space. There are a few reasons why people choose to do this rather than utilize more popular window types—they might want to maximize views with an operable window, appreciate the built-in awning aspect, and/or need to install windows in a series that won’t interfere with each other when opened. Awning windows answer the call thanks to their adaptability.

Marvin Signature Ultimate Hopper

The Marvin Ultimate Hopper window can be used alone or in combination with tilt turn or non-operable windows. Its bottom-hinged tilt-in operation opens without creating clearance issues, and can be a smart solution for adding fresh air or light in a lower level.

Hopper Windows

Similar to awning windows yet preferred for different circumstances, hopper windows are hinged on the bottom and open inward, completely eliminating any exterior clearance concerns. When used alone, they can fill the same niche as awning windows—placed high on the wall for light and ventilation—but hopper sashes are often paired with inoperable sashes to create traditional taller-than-wide window units perfect for historical designs. They can look like single or double hung windows at first glance because of the faux “meeting rail” in the middle—where the borders of the two sashes meet—but opening them is as simple as turning a hand crank or handle.

Marvin Signature Ultimate Tilt Turn

Is it a door or a window? It could be either! Marvin Ultimate Tilt Turn windows tilt from the top like a hopper window and hinges on the side allow them to swing open like a door, making them the perfect choice if an egress option is needed.

If you want something larger that offers the efficient top-side venting of a hopper window, consider the tilt-turn window. This unique casement lookalike tips in from the bottom and swings in from the side. A single handle controls both motions, so it’s very simple to operate! Tilt-turn windows are ideally placed by patios or balconies because they are large enough to walk through, but you should still invest in proper doors due to the increased sill clearance. Although very popular in Europe, tilt-turn windows are usually seen as statement windows in North America, so most homes with them only have a few in key locations.

Whatever sort of windows you need, check out the vast catalog available from Marvin! You’ll find durable and efficient awning and hopper windows to suit all aesthetics alongside dozens of other window and patio door options. Marvin also offers custom capabilities to ensure your home is outfitted to your exact liking—find a local dealer who can help you find the perfect solutions!

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