Sliding windows, also called gliding windows, offer the most unobstructed view of the outdoors due to their slim and sleek frame design, which allows the most window glass of any operable window. This design features two sashes with a movable sash that slides past a fixed sash. Some models have a movable sash that either lifts out or tilts inward on its axis for easy access to clean the window or to allow for maximum ventilation.
Sliding window cost factors
As with any window, cost is largely determined by frame material and choice of glass. Aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass window frames offer lower price points than windows constructed with wood frames, but costs can jump rapidly with specialty or tinted glass and custom grill work.
To help you better understand baseline costs, consider the following price points:
- $330: the price for a 5-foot wide by 3.6-foot tall window from Anderson Windows and Doors, including standard double-pane glass
- $927: the price for the same sized window, but higher end, featuring high performance glass
That's quite a difference already and doesn't even take costs for grills, screens, installation, tax or delivery into account.
Sliding windows are extremely popular due to the clear views they provide, but they also are a great choice for installation over kitchen counters and sinks because of the instant ventilation they offer. Most major window manufacturers offer sliding windows with a variety of different frame options to meet different renovation budgets. The following are several of the most well-established sliding window manufacturers:
- Milgard Windows and Doors
- Anderson Windows and Doors
- Gorell Windows and Doors
- Marvin Windows and Doors
However, there are many more quality window companies out there. Some window companies specialize in lower-cost aluminum and vinyl windows, while others feature high-end windows with custom wood frames. Window companies and window contractors have sales representatives to help homeowners narrow down their choices and find windows that meet their budgets.
Styles and materials
Material choices include standard or heavy-duty vinyl and aluminum, or a variety of woods. To keep the movable sash operating smoothly, the typical maximum width for vinyl or aluminum sliding windows is around 6.6' and the maximum height is 5.5'. Windows made with wood can be as wide as eight feet, but they have triple sashes with smaller side windows flanking a larger fixed center window. Popular frame color options include white, almond, oak, cherry, walnut, clay, brown, but there are an infinite variety of custom color options as well.
Energy efficient sliding windows
Sliding windows offer excellent energy efficiency, but keep in mind that the higher-performing windows cost more. Upgrades to counter heat loss include window glazing and tinting, insulating foam wrap around the frame, foam-filled frame chambers, and weather striping. Laminated glass can reduce noise and eliminates nearly all the sun's ultraviolet rays from entering the home.
How to buy sliding windows
Due to their popularity, sliding windows can be purchased at major home improvement retailers, or by ordering from a window reseller or direct from the manufacturer. However, because there are so many different options available to homeowners, it can be a good idea to discuss a window renovation project with a certified professional. Complete the form at the bottom of this page to get in touch with a qualified window contractor in your area who can help narrow down your choices and help you stay within your renovation budget.