Casement vs. Awning Windows: What's the Difference?

August 15, 2023

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casement vs awning windows

When it comes to home windows, you have a lot of options. Two popular styles are casement and awning windows. At first glance, they may look similar, but there are some key differences between the two.

So what is the major difference between casement vs awning windows? The major difference between casement and awning windows is that casement windows are hinged on the side and open outward to the left or right. In contrast, awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward from the bottom in an upward swing.

Keep reading to learn the pros, cons, and distinguishing features of casement and awning windows so you can decide which is best for your home.

Casement vs Awning Windows: How They Open

The most noticeable difference between casement and awning windows is how they open.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are hinged on one side and open outward, to the left or right, in a swinging motion. The hinges can be on the side or top, but the window always opens to the side. Casements often open by turning a crank, allowing you to control the amount of ventilation.

casement bathroom window

Awning Windows

Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward from the bottom in an upward swing. The hinge is always at the top, so the window opens upward and out. Awnings are usually operated by a hand crank or lever that allows you to open the window to different angles.

awning window

Frame and Sash Materials

Both casement and awning windows come in a variety of frame and sash materials, including:

  • Vinyl - Low maintenance and energy efficient
  • Wood - Visually appealing but requires more maintenance
  • Aluminum - Durable and long-lasting
  • Composite - Often a wood and vinyl mix for a natural look with less upkeep
  • Fiberglass - Strong, durable, and energy efficient

So when choosing between the two styles, the frame material does not need to be a deciding factor. You can find casements and awnings in any of the common frame types.

casement vs awning windows


Casement and awning windows both have a very clean, sleek look. Casements may appear a bit more seamless when fully closed since they do not have hinges along the top.

Awnings can only open upward at an angle, so when open, they tend to look a bit more repetitive when installed in groups. Casement windows can swing open to varying degrees in both directions, creating more of a custom look.

casement window installation in bathroom


Both styles provide excellent ventilation when open. However, casement windows often give you more control over the amount of ventilation. Since they open via a crank, you can open them partially to let in just a little air or open them fully for maximum airflow.

Awnings only open outward at an angle, so ventilation is basically either on or off. You get great airflow when they are open but minimal when shut.

casement vs awning windows

Weather Protection

Casement and awning windows are both good at keeping the elements out when closed. The outward opening allows any rain to flow away from the window.

However, since awnings open upward, they can allow rain in if open during storms. Casements swing open to the sides, directing rain away even when open. So casements may provide slightly better weather protection when it comes to wind and rain.

hand on rainy window glass

Energy Efficiency

Properly installed, both styles can deliver high energy efficiency. Their tight seal, when closed, prevents air leaks. And the frames offer opportunities for extra weatherstripping and multiple panes of insulating glass.

Casements may have a slight advantage due to their tight overlap when closed. Tests by the National Fenestration Rating Council showed casements performed up to 11% better than awnings in preventing air infiltration.

energy efficient windows at night


The locks and limited opening range of casement windows make them a bit more secure than awnings. With casements, you can control exactly how much the window opens. To lock it, you simply close the window so the overlapping frame fully seals it.

Awnings are secured with locking levers rather than a tight frame closure. And because they open outward, it may be possible to force them open from the outside. Casements are likely the safer choice if security is a top concern.

burglar breaking in window


There is little price difference between casement and awning windows. They are similarly priced for both DIY and professional installation. Some manufacturers claim a small savings for awnings due to slightly less materials needed for the top hinge versus side hinges. But in general, you can expect comparable cost for these two styles.

replacement windows

Wrapping Things Up: Key Differences

To recap, here are the main differences between casement and awning windows:

  • Casements open to the side, awnings open upward
  • Casements usually turn on side hinges, awnings have top hinges
  • Casements have more flexible ventilation options
  • Awnings can let in rain when open
  • Casements may be slightly more energy efficient and secure

As you can see, these two window types have more similarities than differences. The decision often comes down to whether you prefer the classic swinging open style of casements or the upward opening awning. Both are great choices that provide attractive, natural light and good ventilation. So you really can't go wrong with either option!

casement vs awning windows

About Plano Home Window Replacement

Are you looking for the most affordable custom-created windows in your local area? Plano Home Window Replacement is your golden ticket! The company has decades of experience in window and door replacement and installation services. To schedule an appointment with our design team, please call (469) 551-4499.

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