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Side Hung or Side Guided Windows

The vast majority of bespoke window we install have a hinge at the side of the frame, and open outwards. But there are two main types of side hinge, and most customers make the choice after trying out both side hung and side guided option in our showroom. Since it’s not always convenient to see this in person, please read on for the summary of the main differences between the two systems.

Side Hung Windows

  • You will see the hinge on the outside: galvanised steel, stainless steel and powder-coated colour matched options are available, depending on the manufacturer.
  • If the handle is put down at any point when the window is open, a brake will engage and hold the open window in place. This limits the opening to 90 degrees.
  • Side hung offers the best “clear opening” area for the size of the frame because the pivot is right on the edge.
  • No easy way to clean the outside of the glass from the inside.
  • Best for fire egress routes.
  • Reference Side Hung window

    More images from this project can be found in our Hampshire Major Home Renovation with Danish Windows gallery.

Side Guided Windows

  • If you would prefer not to see a hinge at all, then a “guided” hinge is what you need. You will not see any part of the hinge, when the window is closed, inside or outside.
  • The hinge has some built-in friction, so is designed to stay where you leave it if you let go of the handle. This is not quite as strong as a sidehung friction brake.
  • Side guided windows have a poor “clear opening” because the hinge will slide the window across as you push outwards.
  • Thanks to the sliding feature, you can clean the outside of the glass whilst standing on the inside.
  • Usually a little more expensive than sidehung.

Reference Side Guided window

As you can tell from the above, there are both usability and aesthetic reasons to go down either route. Since the act of removing the hinge doesn’t hugely stand out on a property, perhaps unless it was specifically pointed out, it’s not uncommon for customers to mix-and-match to suit the needs of each room.

By default, we tend to quote using side hung if we’re unsure. Partly because they’re very slightly cheaper, partly because it’s easier to achieve fire-egress compliance with them, but mostly because that is the more popular choice overall from our previous orders.

Please bear in mind that, sometimes, there isn’t a choice available. Factories stress-test all their hinge types to find a safe maximum size and weight of an opening casement for each hinge. In some cases, only one type is available, and it depends on the factory chosen whether a larger window can be only hung or guided.

If you’re unsure and would like to talk through the best option for you and your home, feel free to get in touch with us! And remember, there are other types of hinge too…

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