NuVu Windows & Vinyl Siding

What’s the Difference Between Single Hung and Double Hung Windows

When it’s time to replace the windows in your home, you have options. Not only do you need to find a trustworthy installation partner, but you’ll also need to make decisions about the style and design of your new windows. Homeowners often want to choose a replacement window style and operation that matches what is currently in their home, and for most homeowners, this means single or double-hung windows. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between single-hung and double-hung windows.

First, let’s define some window terms

When you’re talking about replacement windows, there are a lot of industry terms to understand. The easiest way to think of it is that the whole replacement window sits inside a frame. The part that has glass in it is called a sash and includes both the glass (often called a glass pack) and the hard sides (sash frame) around it. In the case of Infinity from Marvin replacement windows, this sash is made up of a Ultrex® fiberglass sash frame and a Low-E performance glass pack.

What are single and double-hung windows?

Most homes in the Des Moines area feature single-hung or double-hung windows. This window style has two window sashes stacked one on top of the other. In a single-hung window, only the bottom sash of the window can move. In a double-hung window, both sashes can move.

Advantages of single-hung windows

Both single-hung and double-hung replacement windows have their own advantages and challenges. One of the advantages of choosing a single-hung window is a lower cost per window. Unlike a double-hung window that requires additional engineering and material to allow both sashes to move, a single-hung window costs less to manufacture because only one sash moves. Because the window needs fewer internal mechanical parts like balancers or tilt levers, the savings can be passed on to the customer.

While this is not a feature of every single-hung replacement window on the market, when it comes to Infinity from Marvin replacement windows, you can even clean your single-hung windows from the inside! With just a simple press of the tilt release lever, your bottom sash folds into your home, allowing you to clean the exterior of the upper sash from inside your home easily. No shaky ladder or trying to navigate around your landscaping needed!

One other thing to keep in mind is that sometimes a single-hung window may be the only available option for your particular window opening. Because a single-hung window is a bit simpler, it can be made in smaller sizes to accommodate small openings.

Challenges of single-hung windows

A single-hung window can only open one way: from the bottom up. That means you’re only able to catch a breeze from an opened bottom sash. Because of this, some homeowners with small children and/or mischievous pets have found it best to install a locking feature to control how far that bottom sash is able to open. While every replacement window installed by Nu-Vu comes with a window screen, it’s important to keep in mind that these screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep anything in.

Advantages of double-hung windows

Double-hung windows allow homeowners the flexibility to open their windows by sliding the bottom sash up or the top sash down. This allows for added ventilation by allowing cool air to flow in from the bottom while letting warm air out from the top. Double-hung windows also allow you to open only the top sash, if desired, allowing air to come in while reducing the risk of pets or children getting out.

One of the most advantageous features of the double-hung style is that it can also be tilted inside the home to be cleaned without needing to remove the screen.

Color options for single-hung and double-hung windows

As part of the process of purchasing your single-hung or double-hung windows from Nu-Vu Windows and Siding, we’ll send a replacement window expert to your home for a free consultation. One of the choices you’ll have to make after deciding on the single or double-hung operation for your new replacement windows is what color options you would like. Interiors color selections include a variety of maintenance-free shades as well as EverWood® our sustainable engineered wood finish option designed to fit in seamlessly with your existing decor.

Additional options and upgrades

There are a variety of additional options and upgrades homeowners can choose from when purchasing single or double-hung windows from Nu-Vu.


These upgrades include higher performance glass design to provide additional energy efficiency, specialty glass like tempered or laminated to prevent breakage or decorative glass for additional flair and privacy.

Divided Lites

Looking to add more character to your home? Divided lites are a great way to add an extra special touch to your replacement windows. Choose Simulated-Divided-Lite (SDL) bars for a look that mimics the traditional look of divided lites or make window cleaning a breeze with grilles located between the panes of glass.


Make your replacement windows stand out with upgraded hardware finishes. Double and single-hung windows feature a window lock and pull-assist available in nine distinct finish options from white to satin nickel to brass to matte black.


All our replacement double and single-hung windows come with our standard aluminum-surround screen with fiberglass mess or you can choose to upgrade to Hi Transparency for a clearer, brighter view.

If you’ve been considering a replacement window project, now is the time to act. Call Nu-Vu Windows and Siding today to schedule your free in-home consultation and be one step closer to enjoying the comfort, security, and beauty that new windows bring to your home.

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