Picture Windows 101: What They Are and Why You Really Need Them | Northwest Exteriors

Picture Windows 101: What They Are and Why You Really Need Them

Choosing windows for your home can be an overwhelming task. There are so many different types and styles to choose from, as well as material choices. But there’s one type of window that homeowners don’t consider as much as they should. Picture windows add aesthetics to the exterior of the home while they let loads of natural light into the home. Not to mention the views a picture window provides of the outdoors can be exquisite.

What is a Picture Window?

But let’s begin by defining what a picture window is. These windows are manufactured as an oversized window with a fixed pane of glass. The window cannot be opened or closed but is permanently fixed. Their purpose is to provide a spectacular panoramic view of the outdoors. And because they are fixed in place, they are easy to repair and maintain.

What makes a picture window? It is a large window, usually rectangular in shape, with one pane of glass. Most of the time, picture windows are installed in living rooms, dining rooms, or other rooms with the potential for a great view of your property. They are generally not installed where ventilation is absolutely necessary.

Other types of windows include double-hung, casement, and sliding windows. All have their pros and cons, but the picture window alone provides a wondrous, picturesque view. And because of their large size, they create a great focal point in a large room as well as curb appeal from the street.

Picture windows impact your home’s energy efficiency due to their fixed position. As they don’t open or close, they cannot let AC or heat escape, nor provide ventilation when needed. To make your picture windows more energy-efficient, choose energy-efficient glass when designing your window. To mitigate the ventilation problem, have smaller single-pane windows installed on either side of your picture window.


Benefits and Drawbacks of a Picture Window

Every window type has its advantages and disadvantages. For picture windows, these include:

Advantages – Incredible views, low maintenance, and loads of natural light.

Disadvantages – Negative impact on energy efficiency if efficiency glass is not used, less privacy, higher cost.

Types of Picture Windows

Picture windows can be manufactured in several variations:

  •       Single pane
  •       Double pane
  •       Triple pane
  •       Low-E glass
  •       Tempered glass

Single-pane windows are your basic window, the familiar type that’s been around for centuries. They are also the most budget-friendly.

Double-pane and triple-pane windows provide better energy savings than single-pane and better insulation.

Low-E glass reflects heat back into the home, keeping the interior climate more consistent.

Tempered glass is a durable safety glass that’s also shatter-resistant.

Maintenance Tips

As previously stated, picture windows are easily maintained due to their lack of moving parts. However, to keep them looking their best, you can take the following steps:

      Clean them often using mild soap and a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners that could scratch the pane.

      Inspect for damage often. Look for scratches, cracks, or chips in the pane. If you find damage, have it repaired quickly before it becomes a bigger, more expensive problem.

      If you find leaks, seal them quickly and adequately with caulk to prevent air from entering and exiting the home.


Picture windows make your home stand out in a sea of homebuilder sameness. They also provide spectacular views of the outdoors. They provide an incredible amount of natural light into the house, so they are ideal in living rooms, dining rooms, and other large rooms that are darker than they should be during the day.

Learn How Picture Windows Can Upgrade Your Home

If you’re considering picture window installation for your home, come talk to the expert design team at Northwest Exteriors. Take advantage of our expertise when designing the perfect picture windows to enhance the beauty and value of your entire property.

Because picture windows come in a wide array of sizes, styles, and designs, they can be constructed to complement the architectural style of your house while providing the benefits of more natural light and picturesque views.

Installation is a critical component of any picture window project, and at Northwest Exteriors, our installations are done to the highest standards. Our team of professionals utilizes the latest installation techniques and the highest-quality materials to ensure your windows are installed securely for years to come.

In addition to our exceptional design and installation services, we also offer comprehensive warranty options on all our products, so your investment is protected. If you have questions about our services or products, we are known for our customer service excellence.

If you want to add beauty and functionality to your home with picture windows, trust the experts at Northwest Exteriors to get the job done right. Call us today for a free design consultation.

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