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Traditional Double-Hung Windows a Popular Choice for Pittsburgh Homes

posted by Jennifer Erisman on August 17, 2021 in Pittsburgh

Pella vinyl double-hung windows on home exterior

History of Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows were developed in the UK and came to the US through colonization. They originally relied on counterweights to go up and down, but then developed a simpler frame design that allows users to slide them up and down without heavy weights or a pulley system. Double-hung windows are commonly associated with traditional styles of homes like Colonial, Cape Cod, Craftsman and Victorian.

Benefits of Double-Hung Windows

Homeowners gravitate towards double-hung windows for their many benefits, one of which is their efficient ventilation. Recently we added vinyl double-hung windows to a home in Erie, PA to add more functionality and bring more fresh air into the home. 

Pella white double-hung windows with grilles

Popularity of Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows remain popular due to their timeless aesthetic. Their classic look makes them popular among many different styles of homes. Their popularity is also due to technological advancements such as:

  • Energy efficiency: Our energy-efficient double-hung windows will help provide comfort in your home and lower your utility bill. Our windows also use low-emissivity (Low-E) glass to improve energy efficiency. This glass coating helps to regulate the temperature in your home by blocking heat during the summer and retaining heat in the winter. This glass coating also blocks most of the sun’s harmful UV rays and helps prevent your furniture and carpet from fading. For example, we installed vinyl double-hung windows in this Erie home to improve energy efficiency while maintaining the original look of the home.
  • Sound reduction: Double-hung windows have several features that help reduce noise inside and outside the home. One such feature is insulating gas between the panes that dampens outside noises. These glass panes can also be paired together with varying thicknesses to help diminish different sounds at different frequencies. Insulating frames also reduce noise transfer. A wood frame has natural insulating properties that limit sound. Fiberglass windows have optional foam insulation to help. Vinyl frames have insulating air chambers and optional foam insulation. Overall, with the proper installation, the airtight seal in double-hung windows reduces noise.
  • Ease of cleaning: Double-hung windows are easier to clean, especially to their counterparts, single-hung windows, since both sashes can be tilted to wash the inside and outside surfaces meaning you can clean both sashes easily from inside the comfort of your own home. This added feature makes cleaning windows on upper floors in your home easy, more convenient, and a quicker process.
  • Between-the-glass blinds: Available on Lifestyle Series windows, between-the-glass blinds are protected from dust, damage, and people touching them, which makes them a great low-maintenance option. They are safer thanks to their cordless operation and come in multiple colors to fit other decorative elements in your home. There is also an option to get motorized shades when you pair your integrated blinds with Pella Insynctive technology.

Pella double-hung window with screen

Pella Double-Hung Windows

At Pella, we have several lines and materials that feature double-hung windows.

Wood. Wood has many benefits of historical accuracy. Wood was the original window material; it has a natural beauty and warmth to it. Our Pella Reserve window, specifically, is known for its historical detailing. It has historic putty profiles, through-stile construction, and Integral Light Technology grilles.

Fiberglass. Our Impervia fiberglass windows are known for their durability. Fiberglass is the strongest window material available. The benefits of a fiberglass window frame include that they are engineered to last and withstand extreme temperatures. The finish resists chipping, chalking, and fading. It is also rot and corrosion resistant as well as being naturally resistant to bugs and water.

Vinyl.  Vinyl windows are an affordable option that is still high-quality and energy-efficient. Our unique vinyl formula is performance proven in durability, color retention, and easy care.

Customizable Options on Double-Hung Windows

Hardware. Our double-hung windows come with cam-action locks to securely lock your window and protect your home. A fantastic option for traditional-style homes is a spoon-lock that is available in our Architect Series Traditional wood windows. Our double-hung windows also have sash lifts so you can easily glide the sash open and closed. These hardware options are available with finishes like oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome, and brass while the locks can come in colors like white, black, nickel, or champagne. This means that you can choose a classic brass finish to go with your traditional windows and home.

Finishes. As for finishes for the window material, our wood stain choices are from black to natural to red mahogany as well as paints of varying whites. For the exterior, finishes on aluminum-clad can be of white, red, brown, black, almond, and more. Pella Reserve has even more exterior finishes with colors like green, blue, and other varying shades of the colors listed. While our Lifestyle Series adds more stains of Early American and Provincial. For our fiberglass windows, we have black, brown, or white. Lastly, for our 250 Series vinyl frames, we offer white, almond, or fossil with dual-color frame options of fossil, brown, or black. With this, you can choose a dark stain or paint to showcase your home’s traditional elements or choose a green or red to be contrasting and stand out on your traditional home.

Pella double-hung windows with blinds

Blinds. Along with your Pella windows, you may want to add a window treatment to them. For a traditional home, the focus is on comfort and practicality. Wood and aluminum blinds are a great way to do this! With wood blinds, you have that traditional wood tone and can get a narrow slat that will also keep on the traditional theme. Aluminum blinds are durable and resist dents thanks to their spring-tempered slats. These blinds also come in many different colors and slat sizes so you can control the look and privacy of your window blinds to aid in creating a complete traditional look for your blinds, windows, and home.

Grilles. Integral Light Technology (ILT) grilles are great for when you want to be authentic to your home’s traditional or historic design. The grilles are permanently bonded to the inside and outside of the window glass and non-glare foam spacers in between the grilles cast a realistic shadow like individual windowpanes would, simulating a true-divided light window. There are also simulated-divided-light grilles for another traditional look. In addition, we have multiple grille patterns available including Traditional, Cross, Victorian, Prairie, and more.

Design Ideas for Pittsburgh Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows might be a traditional style but that doesn’t mean they only have to go on traditional homes.

Modern Double-Hung Windows

Walk through Mt. Lebanon and areas of downtown Pittsburgh and you'll likely see a more modern looking home. You can achieve a modern or contemporary look for your home by customizing Pella windows in a number of ways:

  • Add double-hung windows with a black finish to make a statement and add drama to your home.
  • Use multiple double-hung windows or use them in combination with picture windows to create a wall of glass.
  • Use a contemporary style sash split for a double-hung window to have it appear like a fixed window over an awning window.

Transitional Double-Hung Windows

A transitional style home finds the balance between traditional and contemporary; they combine the old and the new and create a timeless style. Some areas in Pittsburgh, PA that have transitional homes are Mt. Washington and State College. New construction homes like those in Wexford, Cranberry, Gibsonia, and Mars, as well as in bigger lots like Sewickley and Fox Chapel also have homes that range from classic to contemporary. You can also achieve a transitional style home with Pella windows with a little customization.

Mix a contemporary-style window with some traditional elements like grilles. For example, in Boalsburg, PA, we were able to help the owner add a contemporary vibe to the addition in their historic home. We used double-hung windows to maintain the traditional windows while also incorporating contemporary style to fit with the aesthetic of their home décor. 

Pella vinyl white double-hung windows traditional

Traditional & Historic Double-Hung Windows

We work with many homeowners of historic or traditional-style homes. Some communities in Pittsburgh with historic or traditional homes are Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Deutschtown, Shady Side, Squirrel Hill, and Oakland, including Schenley Farms with the University of Pittsburgh.

Get a traditional look commonly found on these neighborhood homes through Pella window customizations.

  • Add Integral Light Technology grilles to create an authentic and traditional look with the realistic shadow to provide the look of a true-divided light window.
  • Update original windows with a grilles styles like Cross, Victorian, or Prairie.
  • Ensure a historically correct sash split.

We are able to work with and enhance the historical aspects of your home. For example, we worked with a homeowner in Pittsburgh to install custom Architect Series windows to preserve the beautiful, original stain glass window located at the top. We switched out the fixed windows on the two sides of the bay window for double-hung windows to create ventilation in the home as well. See the difference here.

Historic Window Replacement Requirements

There are specific requirements for replacing historic windows, including the fact that many require approval because replacement is seen as a last resort in order to maintain the original and historic look of the home or building. Some of the recommended repairs are reglazing, patching, and splicing elements like muntins, frame, sill, and casing. If the windows do need to be replaced, the new windows must keep the original configuration and be reconstructed accurately. Any changes in design will have to be approved as well as using any alternate materials. Additions like design screens and security devices need approval and must have minimal visual impacts. Overall, the replacement windows should match the style and detail of the original windows, preserve visibility, and be durable to climate to make sure it lasts for years to come to avoid yet another change.

Want to learn more about replacement window options? Schedule your free design consultation today!

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*Based on a 2020 survey of leading window brands among homeowners.