What is a Double-Hung Window?

J. Beam

A double-hung window is a window that features an upper and lower window sash that slide vertically past one another in a single casement. Perhaps one of the most traditional styles of windows, this type of window typically features the lower sash in front of the upper sash. Each sash may be a solid pane of glass or may be divided into separate lights by built-in muntins or for decorative purposes, may have a snap-in, removable grid to create the illusion of separate lights.

Double-hung windows are one of the most traditional style of windows.
Double-hung windows are one of the most traditional style of windows.

A double-hung window is designed with two grooves in the side jambs that allow each window sash to slide separate from one another. Some have a full window screen, allowing for ventilation from the top or bottom of the window at any time, while others have only a half-screen that needs be positioned accordingly. The ability to have a ventilation area equal to half of the window’s total area is one reason the double-hung design is so widely used.

Double-hung windows can be installed by a professional or an experienced do-it-yourselfer.
Double-hung windows can be installed by a professional or an experienced do-it-yourselfer.

This style of window is also a popular choice for replacement windows. It is valued primarily for its versatility. Some of the features that modern double-hung windows have include insulation for improved energy efficiency, tilt-in sashes that make cleaning the outside of the window easy, and UV protection.

In addition to versatility, double-hung windows are also stylish. They are available in vinyl and wood casements and additional features, such as transoms, can be used with them. Additionally, a double-hung window can be arranged in different ways. Single window units can replace a worn out or dysfunctional window. In groups of three or more, double-hung windows fill larger wall space while maintaining the ventilation and versatility that are lacking in a picture window.

The installation of a double-hung window is fairly quick and simple and can be done by both an experienced do-it-yourselfer or by a professional. A professional window company can typically replace all the windows of an average home in under two days time. While replacement windows of any kind will add value to a property, a double-hung window is almost a guaranteed value because it is both a stylish and functioning window.

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Discussion Comments


Thanks for a peachy article. I've improved the 1940 vintage casements in our housing as easily. They are prefab and really good, and aren't any worse for their 70 years. I learned a gimmick for sealing: Put a bead of caulk on the pane. When the pane closes, it "squishes" the caulk and makes a better seal. Wipe off the extra caulk. You now have a form-fitted gasket. Since the steel construct is already stronger than any storm window border out there, I simply put 1/8" paint artifact cut to the dimensions of the old pane surfaces- one crosswise and two flanking. They virtually conceal the gasket. This has improved elegance of our windows. Thanks again for the article.


Cunningham Contracting did an awesome double hung window job for me! They're located in Maryland.


I used Distinctive Design and Remodeling in Virginia to replace 14 double hung windows in my town house. They did a great job and had the entire project done in four weeks.


when were double hung windows invented or when did they get onto the market?


Why are sash windows predominantly painted white?

Is it a historical style statement or a functional reason of clearer view across small pieces of glass?

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