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What to know about single-hung windows before making a buying decision about them

Single-sash windows are the most common and can be seen virtually everywhere, from humble single-story homes to apartment buildings and commercial premises. Their classic design and simple construction make them an economical choice for homeowners who seek a quick and reliable solution to update their old windows. Nevertheless, if the price is not your top priority, you may want to consider double-hung windows that are also open upwards but offer better security and ventilation. The pros and cons of these two most popular window styles, their characteristics, and distinctive features are approached in this article. Read on to learn about single-hung window replacement costs, sizes, frame materials, upkeep specifics, and other details required to make a well-informed buying decision.

What to know about single-hung windows before making a buying decision about them

What is a single-hung window?

Single-hung is a standard square window with upper and lower sashes that physically and visually separate the unit. The upper pane is always stationary, while the lower can move up and down for better ventilation. When the window is opened, the view of the top sash is partially covered. Besides, single-hung units can only be opened halfway from their bottom part, with no tilted position like in the hopper or tilt & turn windows. This construction limits the airflow and might pose a danger to kids and pets. That is why single-hung windows are commonly replaced with double-hung ones in family-occupied buildings. This type of window is also not recommended to install on upper floors as it might be troublesome to clean the exterior of the top sash. 

The standard single-hung window sizes

The standard size of the window is usually mentioned in the unit listed specifications and label. However, a few manufacturers may use their size notation numbers. To avoid miscomprehension, consider consulting store assistance before making a purchase. Single-hung windows usually have the standard width of 24, 28, 32, and 40 inches, while their height goes from 36 to 72 inches with the intermediate marks of 44, 52, 54, and 62 inches. 

See the single-hung window sizes chart below to know what unit will serve your needs best.

 Window type               Standard heights            Standard width        Size notations          
Single-hung window 24-in 36-in 2030
24-in 44-in 2038
24-in 48-in 2040
24-in 52-in 2044
24-in 60-in 2050
24-in 62-in 2052
24-in 70-in 2060
28-in 36-in 2430
28-in 44-in 2438
28-in 48-in 2440
28-in 52-in 2444
28-in 54-in 2446
28-in 60-in 2450
28-in 62-in 2452
28-in 70-in 2460
32-in 36-in 2830
32-in 44-in 2838
32-in 48-in 2840
32-in 52-in 2844
32-in 54-in 2846
32-in 60-in 2850
32-in 62-in 2852
32-in 70-in 2860
40-in 36-in 3430
40-in 44-in 3438
40-in 48-in 3440
40-in 52-in 3444
40-in 54-in 3446
40-in 60-in 3450
40-in 62-in 3452
40-in 70-in 3460
44-in 36-in 3830
44-in 44-in 3838
44-in 48-in 3840
44-in 52-in 3844
44-in 54-in 3846
44-in 60-in 3850
44-in 62-in 3852
44-in 70-in 3860
48-in 36-in 4030
48-in 44-in 4038
48-in 48-in 4040
48-in 52-in 4044
48-in 54-in 4046
48-in 60-in 4050
48-in 62-in 4052
48-in 70-in 4060

The correspondence between single-hung window sizes and their prices

  Window type                                    Heights vs. width                            Price                                     
Single-hung window 24 x 36 $75 – $125
24 x 44 $85 – $140
24 x 48 $90 – $165
24 x 52 $110 – $210
24 x 54 $125 – $220
24 x 60 $140 – $260
24 x 72 $165 – $300
28 x 36 $95 – $135
28 x 44 $105 – $165
28 x 48 $120 – $195
28 x 52 $125 – $215
28 x 54 $130 – $225
28 x 60 $140 – $260
28 x 72 $145 – $320
32 x 36 $120 – $165
32 x 44 $135 – $170
32 x 48 $135 – $185
32 x 52 $150 – $200
32 x 54 $165 – $230
32 x 60 $180 – $235
32 x 72 $210 – $330
40 x 36 $160 – $175
40 x 44 $175 – $180
40 x 48 $179 – $186
40 x 52 $190 – $235
40 x 54 $200 – $330
40 x 60 $215 – $345
40 x 72 $240 – $255
44 x 36 $145 – $180
44 x 44 $150 – $185
44 x 48 $170 – $190
44 x 52 $190 – $225
44 x 60 $215 – $265
44 x 72 $230 – $390
48 x 36 $140 – $170
48 x 44 $155 – $185
48 x 48 $170 – $200
48 x 52 $190 – $260
48 x 54 $205 – $390
48 x 60 $245 – $435
48 x 72 $260 – $480

Now that you know the standard sizes for single-hung windows, you can pick the unit that will fit your house smoothly. Please note that the prices mentioned above are average and can be slightly up depending on seasonal demand, your location, and the selected frame material. 

What are the pros and cons of single-hung window installation?

There is nothing more conventional in American homes than single-sash windows with wooden frames. Many people accept this window type as a relic of the past, while others are perfectly happy with this budget-friendly and simple functioning solution. If you're in two minds if this window type is worth your investment, the following overview of its pros and cons will definitely ease your agony of choosing.

Pros

  • Cost-efficiency

Single-hung windows remain a top choice for hundreds of thousands of homeowners countrywide mainly because they're cheap and easily serviceable. Their construction does not comprise too many moving parts, so they're cheaper to install and maintain. Besides, they're 20% cheaper than their double-pane 

  • Proper insulation

Single-hung windows come with a fixed sash that remains properly sealed the whole service life. The movable part can be weather-stripped for a cold season to maximize insulation. The half-fixed construction makes single-hung units better resistant to weathering and wear and tear. 

  • No protruding parts

Single-hung windows are commonly installed on the first floor along a patio or inner court as they do not protrude while opened. In contrast to awning and casement units, single and double-hung ones are compact and don't get in the way, making them best for high-traffic areas. 

  • Laconic design

Single-hung windows have a simple construction that is not overloaded with moving parts. That is why they look appropriate in any house room and interior design. 

Cons

  • Limited airflow

Only one sash is operable in single-hung windows, so they cannot promote enough air circulation. That is one of their major drawbacks compared to double-hung windows. Single-sash windows are not recommended in bathrooms as a lack of ventilation can cause moisture build-up.

  • Safety issues

The lower sash of a single-hung window is moveable and is opened vertically, creating an unsecured opening that can become a trap for pets and kids. Nevertheless, an opening of the single-hung windows is commonly not large enough to be used as an emergency exit.  

  • Cleaning difficulties

Due to their construction that does not imply tilting inwards, single-hung windows are complicated to clean from inside the house, especially regarding their upper part.

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Single-hung windows vs. double-hung windows - Which one is the best?

No matter how many advanced window styles appear on the market, double and single-hung ones remain the top choices as they offer an optimal price-quality ratio. Considering these windows' popularity, you will likely select one of them for your home. Look at the table below to better understand the distinctive features of both window types.

Feature type                                           Single-hung windows                   Double-hung windows              
Style Single-hung units are commonly seen in older traditional or classic houses. Double-hung windows are newer than single-hung ones and are often found in contemporary homes and townhouses.
Construction The upper sash is stationary, while the lower sash is moveable. Both upper and lower sashes are operable.
Location Family rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and living rooms. Bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Energy efficiency Single-hung windows have high-performance standards as they have only one operable sash while another remains fixed and does not require additional sealing. The double-hung windows' performance has a tendency to worsen over time as they have two moveable sashes, the sealant of which wears out.
Safety There are two parts of single-hung windows - a fixed and a moveable one which is opened from the bottom. It creates safety risks for kids and pets who can potentially crawl through the opening. Double-hung windows have fewer safety issues than single-hung ones since their top sash can be opened while the bottom one is closed, allowing enough airflow while keeping the opening out of kids' reach.
Installation & replacement Single-hung windows replacement requires less equipment and skills to be performed than double-hung one. They have fewer moveable parts and are often installed by skilled DIYers. Double-hung windows have a more complex structure than single-hung ones and require certain skills and experience to be installed. It's better to rely on professionals to ensure your new double-hung units are mounted the right way.
Ventilation This window type does not ensure enough room ventilation as only a bottom sash can be opened to let air in. This window type allows both sashes to be opened to let fresh air in through the bottom and release warm air through the top.
Cleaning Homeowners may experience certain inconveniences when cleaning the exterior part of single-hung windows as their top sash does not tilt in. Double-hung units are easier to clean than single-hung as both parts can be tilted to wash inside and outside surfaces.

What are the average single-hung windows replacement costs?

The cost of installing a single-hung window is significantly lower compared to other widespread window options like bay or picture ones. Factors contributing to the total price include window size, frame material, glass quality, and brand. Besides, a new single-hung window will always cost more to install than replace. You should expect to spend from $280 to $800 per window of this type without adding extra features like customized window shape, energy-efficient properties, and impact-resistant glass. 

The prices of single-hung windows are usually higher when you're about to install them on the second floor as it might be more complicated to reach this area. On the contrary, easily-accessible window locations will require less investment. 

If you need professional assistance with single-hung windows replacement or installation, don't hesitate to send us your request. We'll be happy to narrow down your search to the top-rated window installers in your area.

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