double windows: do you use the upper sash

haj56March 3, 2013

I'm remodeling and adding on to my fifties bungalow, one story, Texas. I'm in the process of learning everything I can about windows so I can make a considered decision about each and every one of them.

Right now I'm thinking about single- vs double-hung windows. These would be in living, bedroom, study, so easy to reach. The current windows are single-hung. I haven't felt that to be a problem, but I want to explore my options. (These windows may or may not be replaced.)

If you have double-hung windows, do you really use that upper sash? Or is it closed most of the time? Do you love that flexibility or do you wish they were single? All opinions are welcome; I'm really fishing for experience stories.

Thanks to this awesome and informative forum!

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Windows on Washington Ltd

Some folks do, some don't.

If they are easy to reach/clean and you won't ventilate through the top, go with the single hung. They will be a bit cheaper and more air tight.

Where in Texas are you located?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:56AM
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The general concensus is that most people never open their top sash. I do because it creates the best air flow. Actually to get the beat possible air flow you should open both. I guess it depends on the savings.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:00AM
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If you are considering wood or wood clad, you pay extra for a single hung as they start with a double hung and add parts to stop the top sash from opening.
I have found the top sash opening is convenient in bathrooms and when you want both sash open to get an in and outflow of air circulating.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:01AM
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If you don't use the upper sash, I still recommend double hung .
Why ? For re sale value. If you choose not to use the upper sash, so be it but at least you have the option . On a single hung, that option doesn't exist as there is a small chance it can effect the sale of your home.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I agree with mmarse1, in my area single hungs seem to be a builders window and associated with lower quality builds.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Didn't think of it in those terms. Good point mmarse and MWM.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:58PM
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+1 to mmarse and mwm. While in theory, a sh should be more airtight, most manufacturers offer their flagship products with the best performance as dh's. Sh's are usually the "price-point" offering, so they are often flimsier and stripped of all bells and whistles. That is not always the case, but it is fairly common. The resale aspect is very valid as well.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Don't worry about resale value when it comes to windows in Texas. Most people do not know the difference between single-hung & double-hung. Most Builders use the cheepest window they can buy, even in million $ homes. Sad!!! However, for your own personal satisfaction, use the highest quality window with the Lowest S.H.G.C. # you can afford. Look at casements if they fit the style of you home(great seal & vent). Quality=Satisfaction

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:36PM
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I highly disagree with you "high port". If your realtor knows how to sell a house, he or she will make sure that the prospective buyers are aware of the quality/ style of any new windows.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:22AM
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+1. I think it is pretty universal that builders install junk these days, hence the term "builder grade" having a negative connotation. Not sure how that fact should lead people to replace those windows with more of the same?.... The ability to clean the entire window from the interior is going to be a plus for anyone, particularly in 2 story homes.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:45AM
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And you put the best glass with the best SHGC put it in a piece of crap window and you will still have a piece or crap window.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Double hung windows are much easier to clean and when combined with a full screen the upper sash can be opened out of reach of young children. Before you decide on a window check out these windows at they have any style window you might want and the have blinds between the glass. Royal-tech also ships windows nation wide

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:15PM
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They are also

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:47PM
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If the windows are directly below soffits, with double hung you also have the option to lower top sash only to keep rain out.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Recently refinished my kitchen double hung, and now the uppers WORK! So, use them. Otherwise no.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 7:04AM
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