One of the elements that people often neglect in their kitchen is the addition of natural light. If you have a kitchen that has an exterior wall, adding windows can make a big difference in how the room looks and feels. By working with a general contractor and reviewing the layout of the kitchen and the structure of your home, you may be able to add or expand your kitchen windows to bring in more light. Windows are available in a number of different materials, and the most popular are vinyl, wood and aluminum. Some windows are going to look better in your kitchen than others, depending on the style, so as you seek out windows, keep style, quality and energy ratings in mind. Here are some of the popular window types for a kitchen:

Casement Window

A casement window is a nice option for those who want to have a convenient window with little effort to operate. These windows open outwards by turning a handle, and they offer a clear view of the outdoors. These are best used in a contemporary style home, and installing them over the kitchen sink is very popular.

Awning Window

An awning window is another option for the kitchen, and this type of window options and shuts with a single handle. The window opens out and up, and they are good for climates with a lot of rain, as they can be open to let a breeze in, yet block the precipitation. People often install these windows above or below other windows or above doors, and they are commonly placed over a kitchen sink.

Double-Hung Windows

People like double-hung windows in the kitchen thanks to their ventilation capabilities. A double-hung window gives a traditional look, and they can be open from the top or the bottom. The top sash can be opened to allow warm air from the ceiling to flow through, which is perfect for those who cook a lot. When opening the bottom sash, the cool air from the outside flows in. This is a traditional style that is best installed into easy-to-reach locations.

Single-Hung Windows

A single-hung window is another traditional option for homeowners in the kitchen, and is a variation of a double-hung window. This window style opens only from the bottom, and they are generally more affordable than double-hung windows. Place these windows in an area of the kitchen that can be reached.

Sliding Windows

Instead of opening from the top to bottom or bottom to the top, a sliding window opens horizontally from left to right or right to left. These are convenient, as there is no reaching involved, and are often found in contemporary-style homes.

Bay Windows

You will often find bay windows in a kitchen, and one of the best reasons to choose a bay window is to enhance the view. These windows are generally found in a traditional-style home, and in kitchens that look out to a beautiful view. Since these windows are usually large, however, they are not appropriate for all kitchens.

Garden Window

A variation of the bay window is the garden window. A garden window takes the space that a bay window takes up, and instead serves as a small greenhouse. Garden windows, however, are usually smaller than a bay window, and helps to bring in more light and offers more shelving space.

Fixed Window

A fixed window is one that does not open, and its only purpose is to allow light in and show off the view. These windows are very energy efficient, and they also offer a focal point for both the interior and exterior of the home. You can install a fixed window in almost any home as it works well with all styles including contemporary, traditional and classic.

Special Shaped Windows

Finally, you will find that a special shaped window is ideal in your kitchen. These windows come in a variety of shapes including round, rectangle, triangle or square. They may have special features, such as stained glass, or may add architectural interest to the room. These windows may also be custom made, so if considering one, make sure to add that cost to your budget, as they may be more expensive than traditional windows.

The right windows for your kitchen will greatly depend on the size and style of the room and the tastes of the homeowner. It is best to work with a contractor during your kitchen remodel to decide which windows might be right for you, and which window styles are best left alone. Your kitchen remodeling contractor can further discuss the pros and cons of each window style, and show you examples of each window type. The contractor will also be a great source of information when it comes to answering your questions and sticking to your budget.

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