Single-Hung vs Double-Hung Windows

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Single-hung and double-hung windows look very similar but have important differences that affect the way they function and how they’re maintained.

Both single and double-hung windows have an upper and lower sash. The term “hung” refers to the number of operable sashes. A single-hung window has one operable sash (meaning one of the sashes can move) and a double-hung window has two.

These two window styles are common in homes around the Chicago area, both for window replacement and new window installation. Making the right decision for your home is important since the window type you select will impact your home for decades to come.


What is a Single Hung Window?

A single-hung window is a type of window with one operable and one inoperable sash. The operable sash moves up and down on a track to allow ventilation into the home.

What is a Doube Hung Window?

A double-hung window has two operable sashes. The operable sashes move up and down on a track to allow ventilation into the home, allowing both the upper or lower portion of the window to be open.

How are Single & Double Hung Windows Similar?

Single-hung and double-hung windows look very similar to one another. It’s very difficult to tell the difference between these two window types without getting close to see whether both or only one sash is operable.

How are Single & Double Hung Windows Different?

Because double-hung sashes are both operable, this means that each sash can be tilted inward for cleaning. Both sides of double-hung windows can be cleaned from inside your house.

Home Styles that Pair Well With Single & Double Hung Windows

Single and double-hung windows have a classic design that goes well with a variety of architectural styles including ranch, bungalow, craftsman, farmhouse, Cape Cod, colonial, and cottage-style homes.

Keep in mind that when replacing windows, you don’t need to maintain the same style. Single or double-hung windows can replace a variety of other styles including casements and sliding windows. Talk to your window installer to find out which window styles are best for your home and budget.

Marvin Single Hung Window Installation
Marvin Elevate Series Double Hung Windows

Benefits of Single Hung Windows

Single-hung windows appeal to many homeowners because they’re practical and affordable. When you buy windows from Woodland Windows and Doors, you can be sure that you’re buying a quality product that will look and perform its best for years to come.

Benefits of single-hung windows include:

Cost Savings

For homeowners replacing many windows at once, the money saved by installing single vs double-hung windows is significant. Double-hung windows tend to cost about 20% more than single-hung.

Classic elegance

There’s a reason that single-hung windows are so popular. Single-hung windows have a classic beauty that adds curb appeal and style to your home. Replacing old windows with new single-hung fixtures can improve your home’s value and improve your quality of life.

Period appropriate

Single-hung windows were first invented in the 17th century. In many older homes, single-hung windows look just right.

Easy maintenance

Unlike double-hung windows, most single-hung windows do not have a tilt feature for cleaning. However, some brands like Marvin Signature (aluminum clad / wood), Essential (Fiberglass), and INFINITY Single Hung windows do have a wash mode feature for easy cleaning. You’ll still need to clean the exterior of the upper inoperable sash, but the convenience of the lower sash wash mode is significant.

Benefits of Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are popular because they have the look of single-hung windows, with added functionality. They add value to your home while also improving your home’s ventilation. Below are some of the reasons that homeowners choose double-hung windows for their window installation or replacement.

Benefits of double-hung windows include:


On hot days, both sashes on double-hung windows can be opened to allow cool, fresh air in through the bottom and release warm air through the top. This can be especially helpful in bathrooms or other rooms where extra ventilation can make a big difference.


Double-hung windows have sashes that tilt inward for easy washing. Imagine the benefits of cleaning both sides of your windows from inside the house. This makes cleaning your windows safer, faster, and often less expensive. No need to hire professionals to stand on ladders to clean your windows. You can clean all the windows yourself while standing inside your home.


About 5,000 children fall out of windows every year. Double-hung windows are safer for kids because they allow ventilation through the upper sash, all while keeping the lower sash closed and kids safely inside.

The Choice is Yours

The question of single vs. double-hung windows depends on your preferences and budget. While double-hung windows offer easy cleaning and versatile ventilation options, single-hung windows are more affordable and are highly functional.

If you’re replacing multiple windows but are on a budget, consider splitting the difference with a combination of single and double-hung windows. This maximizes your window’s utility while saving you money. Double-hung windows make excellent kitchen sink windows and bathroom windows.

Need Help Deciding? Schedule an In-Home Consultation Today!

At Woodland Windows and Doors, we sell a range of window styles and window glass options. We know how important it is to replace windows to add natural light to your home, and we offer a range of window replacement options so you can find exactly the right windows for your property.

Making a decision between single and double-hung windows can be tough. Going over the options and getting quotes for window installation and replacement can help you decide which products are right for you. Contact Woodland Windows and Doors to get started with your window upgrade and schedule your in-home consultation.

Woodland Windows and Doors is a trusted name for window and door installation in the Chicago area. Stop by our showroom to see our window products for yourself.

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