Choosing custom windows in Chicago isn’t as straightforward as going with the one you like. Anyone who has designed or renovated their home can attest to that.

If you’re getting ready to outlay some considerable funds to improve your home, learning which custom window styles are the most popular, and especially the most popular for your style of home, can easily influence your decision.

So today, we’re lining up the 10 most popular custom window styles in Chicago. We’ll show you what they are, why they’re great, and what kinds of applications suit them best.

We like to call it…


Choosing Custom Windows in Chicago

Before we get started with our top 10 custom windows in Chicago, it’s important to consider our local climate.

This area can be exposed to some pretty extreme conditions. Torrential rains, near-gale force winds, sub-zero winters and stifling summers are all par for the Chicago course.

We need windows that can withstand the elements.

Say yes to:

  • SHGC and U-values of 0.3

Say no to:

  • Single-pane windows
  • Double-pane windows without insulation or a low-emissivity coating
  • Aluminum window frames that allow warmth to seep out of your home in winter

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to our top 10 custom windows list.

#1. Double Hung Windows

Why we love them:

Double hung windows are one of the most common window styles in the U.S. They’re easy to clean, easy to repair, look striking, and appeal to many different local applications.

Another reason for the double hung window’s popularity is its size. It can allow plenty of natural light into your home, whilst maintaining a pretty classic footprint—meaning it’s easy to find ready-to-hang window treatments that fit.

What style of homes they suit:

As one of the most popular window styles, they’re well suited to a large amount of homes and design eras. Colonial- and Cape Cod-style designs look striking with a double hung window.

Chicago bungalows have the classic double hung window, too.

The beautiful Craftsman design can suit a combination of picture windows and double hung windows for a creative but classical look.

Finally, you’ve got the Chicago two-flat. Because the windows in a two-flat are (traditionally) stand alone, we recommend sticking with the double hung at ground level, and glass block windows for the basement.


#2. Casement Windows

Why we love them:

These are a classic, side-hinged window on a crank or handle. Chicago window companies recommend casement windows if you’re in an especially windy part of the city or surrounding areas, as they are a strong, solid performer in high winds.

Casement windows are often used as a complement to picture windows. Because a picture window can’t be opened for ventilation, bracketing it with casement windows can be a good way to get fresh air into the room without compromising the view.

What style of homes they suit:

A casement window style with a small squared grid pattern is a fantastic, striking choice for prairie-style homes.

A border-style square pattern with a plain center is an attractive, not-entirely-traditional alternative that would suit a range of traditional older and contemporary modern homes.

#3. Arch-style Windows

Why we love them:

Arch-style windows are very rarely used in modern architecture, but are extremely popular with Gothic and Renaissance builds. They are used to create a very specific, classical façade, that is well suited to European classic design.

When we talk about arch-style windows, we are thinking of the traditional horseshoe, the lancet (the Gothic cathedral-style shape), segmental, and semi-circular temple-style design.

What style of homes they suit:

The arch-style window is well suited to classic European architecture, renovated churches, or classic octagon-style bungalow architecture.


#4. Trapezoid Windows

Why we love them:

Trapezoid windows are a quirky, attention-grabbing window style that is most common in contemporary home design. Trapezoid windows stand out in any neighborhood, and can be used as the accent to a home.

Trapezoid windows allow extra light into your home, and are a great way to capture sunlight in an area where windows are only possible on one side of the room—or in an open plan space.

Trapezoid windows can also be used to maximize light in a stairwell or bathroom, although window treatments can be more costly because of the non-traditional shape of the window space.

What style of homes they suit:

A trapezoid window can be incorporated into any clever, contemporary home design. We’ve seen trapezoid windows installed to striking effect in barn conversions, chalets, and ranch-style homes.


#5. Pentagon Windows

Why we love them:

Much like a trapezoid window, pentagon windows take a little more effort to fit and dress. Also like a trapezoid window, they’re an attention-getter. Pentagon windows are well suited to contemporary home design, and let a lot of light flow into your home.

What style of homes they suit:

Pentagon windows are still quite a novelty in Chicago, and something you’re likely to see in a modern commercial building, more than a local home. The exception would be modern chalet- and ranch-style homes with floor to ceiling windows.

#6. Sliding Windows

Why we love them:

Sliders are simple, easy to clean, and a great way to give your home a clean, minimalistic look. They offer a sleek, low profile, and exceptional security with double-cam locking.

What style of homes they suit:

Sliding windows are a great fit for 4 square home designs, and a nice low-profile alternative to the double hung window. They can also suit some applications in an American Craftsman, prairie, or ranch-style home design.

#7. Awning Windows

Why we love them:

Simply put, the awning window is a casement window that opens at the bottom, with the hinges along the top of the frame. They’re a good fit for openings where you’ve got a lot of space, and fit a second-storey well. For added security, most window installers will add safety stays that stop kids and animals accidentally getting out the window—or would-be criminals from getting in.

What style of homes they suit:

The awning window is a good style for the 4 square or Craftsman home, as well as a nice addition for a modernized bungalow. Be sure to install it in areas that are free from trees and obstructions—and keep in mind that they can be a hazard at head-height.


#8. Hopper Windows

Why we love them:

Technically, these are also a type of casement window—this one opening at the top, with a hinge along the bottom of the frame. They’re an excellent way to ventilate basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and areas that don’t get a lot of light or fresh air in your home. They’re also an excellent choice for areas where there isn’t a lot of space, since they are typically shorter than a standard casement window.

To get the most out of hopper windows, they are often installed as a pair on opposite sides of a room. This allows cross ventilation, and minimizes the risk of mold and mildew build up in your home.

What style of homes they suit:

Hopper windows are more of a practical ventilation element than a decorative element in a home. The exception to this would be in a bungalow or traditional Cape Cod, where you might incorporate a stained glass hopper window as a design element around your front door area.

#9. Bay Windows

Why we love them:

The perennial bay window achieves to goals effortlessly: it lets in an abundance of light, and adds a decorative statement from the interior and exterior of your home. A bay window is, effectively, an expansion growing out of your house. From the interior, it is its own space—ideal for reading, working, relaxing, and generally soaking up some sunshine.

What style of homes they suit:

This is a classic part of the Chicago Craftsman home, bungalow, or Cape Cod. It can also look quite at home as an addition to a Dutch Colonial design.


#10. Garden Windows

Why we love them:

A garden window is many homeowners’ favorite part of the home—a miniature greenhouse that extends like a bay window. These are often found as a kitchen extension, with two small casement or awning windows on either side. They allow us to grow plants or herbs indoors, let sunshine into the kitchen, and easily ventilate one of the busiest rooms in the house.

What style of homes they suit:

Most kitchens can be renovated to include a garden window of some kind, although they are most aesthetically suited to older style homes.



Choosing the best window style for the local environment and your home’s specific style is likely to improve your investment. Keeping to the style of window your architect envisioned can add to the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

Now that you know Chicago’s custom window trends, you’re in a better position to increase the value of your home. Experimenting with a non-traditional window style is always another option for the more adventurous, and understanding the different window shapes gives you more scope to do that.

Whatever you decide, enjoy the renovation and design journey, and focus on workmanship and quality materials that support your design vision.