What is a Casement Window? - Definition & Parts

Instructor: Stephanie Przybylek

Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.

What kind of windows do you have where you live? Some windows open with a simple crank. Ever heard of a casement window? In this lesson, learn about casement windows and their parts.

What is a Casement Window?

Sometimes in the summer, it's nice to open a window and let in some fresh air. But have you ever used a window that opens outward when you wind a crank? This type of window is called a casement window. Sometimes, it's also called a crank window.

Unlike the sash of a traditional sliding window, which hangs in a window frame by ropes, weights or other devices, a casement window is permanently mounted into a space. It doesn't slide up and down, but moves inward and outward with a mechanical crank. Usually, screens for the windows are on the inside of the house.

Casement windows are easy to clean and come in many sizes. They're a good choice for hard-to-reach areas because you can open the window with a single hand. Most casement windows open outward, but there are also designs that open inward. Both kinds have more mechanical parts than sliding windows, so let's learn about them.

Open casement window. This unusual window opens inward.
open casement window

Parts of a Casement Window

A casement window has several parts. The window frame is the permanent outer edge of the window attached to a wall. It's often surrounded by casing, decorative molding that covers the area between the window frame and the wall into which it has been mounted. The sash is the part of the window that moves and holds glass panes. Window frames and sashes can be made out of many materials. Wood, metal, or vinyl are popular choices.

Closed casement window. You can see the hinges on its sides
closed casement window

The sash has hinges on one side that enable it to open. Usually at the bottom of a window is a crank handle. When the handle is turned in one direction, the window opens. When it turns in the opposite direction, the window closes.

Many casement windows have horizontal hardware bars called stays, that support the window when it is open and prevent wind from shifting it around. Some also have latches that secure the window when it is closed. When the latch is connected, the window won't open.

Detail of a casement window. You can see the stays that support it when the window is open.
Detail of casement window

How are They Used in Architecture?

The design for casement windows isn't new - the style was developed during medieval times and used at different points in architectural history. Casement windows were often used in later revival styles like Spanish Colonial or English Tudor.

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