windows 101

Ready to replace your old windows with more energy-efficient options? Perhaps you’re in the market for narrow-profile frames for your new construction contemporary home. Or maybe you want to add new privacy windows to your home’s entryway.

Whatever the scenario, Milgard simplifies the entire window selection process with intuitive designs and materials. Here’s a complete primer on how to start when determining the best windows for your new build or remodeling project.

operating styles

Choose Your Operating Styles

Not sure which windows should go where? Here are window styles and where they work best:

horizontal slider

Horizontal slider window

This window type opens with a sash that slides left or right without protruding. Horizontal slider windows come in both single and double slider styles; double slider means both sashes open.

Ideal for: Rooms facing walkways, porches, patios and bedrooms
Works well in: Contemporary-style homes

single-hung windows


This is your traditional window with a fixed top sash and a bottom sash that moves up for opening.

Ideal for: Rooms facing walkways, porches and patios
Works well in: Any home, including modern construction

double-hung window

Double-hung window

Unlike a traditional single-hung window, a double-hung window allows the operator to slide the top or bottom sash up or down. The double-hung tilt windows from Milgard provide operation where the sashes tilt inward for easy cleaning of exterior glass.

Ideal for: Rooms facing walkways, porches and patios; for cleaning purposes, double-hung tilt windows are great for second- and third-story areas that aren’t easily reached via ladder.
Works well in: Any style home

casement window

Picture window

These windows are fixed windows that don't open and offer a portrait-like space on a wall. The picture windows with insulated glass from Milgard let in natural light while keeping noise out and comfort in.

Ideal for: Hard-to-reach spaces, living rooms and bathrooms
Works well in: Any style home

picture window

Casement window

Casement windows feature hinges on the side and open outward like a door. They have the look of a picture window with the option of ventilation. These windows may feature a push open or a hand crank for operation. Screens are usually placed inside these windows.

Ideal for: Any room of the home, particularly kitchen areas and bathrooms for quick access to ventilation.
Works well in: Any home

Awning window

Awning window

Awning windows open outward from the bottom with the turn of a handle or crank. These windows feature screens placed on the inside to help protect your home’s interior from insects.

Ideal for: Basements or garages and paired with non-operable windows, such as picture windows
Works well in: Any home

specialty windows

Specialty windows

Looking for a unique shape or operating style for a space in your home? Combine standard windows with specialty windows, such as a radius half-circle window, a bay or bow window or a garden window.

Ideal for: Any space
Works well in: Any home

Browse the Milgard window series to find the best fit for your home

learn about frame materials

Learn about frame materials

The three frame materials Milgard offers provide long-lasting strength and durability designed to frame even life’s smallest moments.

vinyl windows

Vinyl windows

Made primarily from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, vinyl-frame windows are a virtually maintenance-free option that offers affordability and work well on any home. Not all vinyl formulations are created equal, however. The vinyl formula from Milgard includes high-quality titanium dioxide and stabilizers. This ensures energy efficiency and high performance throughout the life of your windows and various components.

Milgard also developed a special process for vinyl finishes that allows UV rays to pass through color and reflect off the frame, preserving the longevity of the vinyl.

Learn more about vinyl window styles

Fiberglass windows

fiberglass windows

Fiberglass is the best option if you’re seeking exceptionally strong frame materials with a traditional wood profile. A proprietary blend of resin and glass fibers compose the frame, making it resistant to warping, swelling or rotting in any climate. Four exterior colors can be paired with a white interior or your interior can match the exterior color selection. 

The material’s unique properties enhance energy efficiency, as materials expand and contract very little despite temperature changes. Milgard regularly tests its fiberglass for color uniformity, gloss, film thickness and chemical resistance to ensure quality and longevity. 

Browse fiberglass window options


aluminum windows

Aluminum is a great choice if you’re looking for slim-profile frames. This low-maintenance material is lightweight but incredibly strong. Milgard aluminum frames feature anodized or baked-on finishes for long-lasting color, with sealed, mechanically joined corners that keep their shape over years of use.

Milgard uses a Thermally Improved Aluminum frame that is excellent at conducting heat and cold, therefore helping with energy efficiency. We don’t recommend aluminum for coastal homes as salt water and air can affect hardware operation and frame performance.

Learn more about aluminum frames

glass options

Select the right decorative options

Don’t underestimate the role that decorative options play in creating ideal comfort inside your home. Not sure where to start when choosing glass coatings or hardware? Milgard provides a range of options, whether your goal is privacy, energy efficiency, affordability or a mix of all three.

Aquatex Obscure Glass Option


You have a lot of options when it comes to glass. Laminated glass provides sun protection and noise reduction, while obscure glass offers privacy options. Learn more about glass tints and textures.

decorative grids enhance your home


Grids can add a special touch to your windows and patio doors. If you are looking to match an architectural style, or you want to make a decorative statement, there are many grid options available. From simulated divided lites to grids between the glass, get creative and make it your own.



Milgard windows and doors are equipped with quality hardware that is easy to operate and can help provide added security to the home. When considering hardware for windows or patio doors, there are four main things to keep in mind: the lock, opening and closing handle, tilt latch and the finish. 

prepare to be inspired

Inspiration Gallery

Gain inspiration by browsing the homes and spaces in our gallery to see which styles may suit your needs.

visualize new windows in your home

visualizer tool

Use our visualizer tool to see how new windows can enhance the look and feel of your home.

contact a milgard dealer

Find a Dealer

Contact your local Certified Milgard Dealer to help take the guesswork out of your project.