The Best Types of Windows for Oceanfront Properties

The Best Types of Windows for Oceanfront Properties

December 29, 2022
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
coastal home with sea view

It's all about the landscape. The mild winters and varied landscapes of the west coast are attractive to many people. Whether it's a marsh, oceanfront, deep sea, or tidal creek, each location's scenery is spectacular. With the home's location, design, and orientation, window selection is one of the most crucial stages of the building process. Many coastal homes have the view as the main attraction, but the level of safety and storm protection offered by the windows is just as important. There is a wide variety of window styles, materials, and features to choose from when outfitting your home with new windows. In this blog, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about windows for oceanfront properties.

Styles of Windows Found in Oceanfront Properties

The breathtaking views and sunsets from a coastal home make it seem like a dream come true for many. Living by the seaside has its advantages, but there are also many drawbacks, such as the potential for or intensity of storms, which may cause extensive damage to your windows. Therefore, choosing the best options for your environment and the right window frame structure and style is crucial.

The first thing you'll need to do when designing a house is to pick out the windows for oceanfront properties, especially if it’s your new house. Moving is often stressful and challenging. That’s why it’s wise for you to get the help you need during relocation. Hiring moving services in California should be your safest bet. 

However, below, we'll look at some possible window options, but we won't get into the 1800+ different labels.

The Wide Opening Casement Window

Casement windows can open like a door because of their hinges, which you can place on either the right or left side. Casement windows let in a lot of air and are an excellent choice for damp places and places that are hard to reach, like above the kitchen sink.

Porcelain teapot on a windowsill

Crank windows, or casement windows, may be opened outside by turning a single handle. You can open casement windows to let in the freshest air and light. Turning the crank in either direction will open or close your casement window.

This type of window seals more securely when the wind is blowing in the direction of the house. Moreover, when open, they act like a sail to bring the most airflow possible to the home. However, its stability and functionality depend on adequately functioning hinges and seals.

Single or Double-Hung Windows

Whether a home is modern or historical, you will likely find single- or double-hung windows along the shore. You lift one of the two sashes up or down to open and close them. A double-hung window, in contrast to a single-hung one, may be opened from either the top or the bottom.

These kinds of windows are often simple to operate. Open the top sash of a double-hung window to let fresh air into your home. Tracks are easier to maintain since dirt is less likely to settle on them when they're vertical. Their greatest utility is in homes with small children, as they prevent even the tiniest of occupants from escaping through the sill of the lowest window. Single and double-hung windows are widely produced, so you'll have many options, and the prices are usually rather fair.

On the other side, the sash cords and counterbalance springs might eventually wear out or break. These glass panes need frequent servicing to function properly as windows for oceanfront properties. With its sizable pane, this type of window may provide a risk of entry for determined intruders.

Awning Windows

These windows are hinged at the top and open by tilting outward from the bottom. When opened, awning windows mimic the appearance of a real awning. They are a great pick as windows for oceanfront properties and bathrooms in general.

It is usual to see awning windows in basements and other underground structures. Installing them on ground-floor windows is common practice in areas with a high risk of break-ins or in wet climates where an open window during a downpour is necessary. Since the glass acts as an awning, the windows may be left open even while it's raining outside.

However, unlike casement windows, which are fully open to let in outside air, awning windows are only partially open. Awning window cranks tend to break down quickly, like casement window cranks.

The Alternative Hopper Window

The difference between a hopper window and an awning window is often misunderstood. When closed, the windows may look the same, but when you open them, you'll realize there is a distinction. When opened, the sash of an awning window swings outward from the building. However, when it comes to hoppers, the sash opens up to the inside of the house.

Either one will do a great job of letting in breezes and protecting the home from light rain, so it's really up to you to decide which one is best for you. Large or inconveniently located rooms, such as basements or bathrooms, often have hopper windows installed. Also, since a hopper window opens instead of only halfway, it may let in more air than a slider or double-hung window.

Picture Windows

Every non-operable window with a large, stationary pane of glass in its frame is a picture window. When natural airflow and an easy exit means are not necessities, you can use picture windows to bring in extra light and expand the view. They are great windows for oceanfront properties as they provide the best viewing experience.

Modern building with picture windows

Since they are permanently sealed, picture windows are more efficient in preventing heat loss than other types of windows, and they are also often less expensive. In addition to lowering utility bills, the simple layout of many modern homes lets in a lot of natural light and gives residents a wide view of the outside world.

Since picture windows are usually fixed, and you can’t open them, they may let in too much heat, making it hard to get fresh air in sunny, hot climates.

Frame Material Selection for Your Oceanfront Windows

The second consideration when picking windows for oceanfront properties is whether or not they are made from materials that can withstand harsh sea conditions. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons of several window frame materials before settling on one for window replacement or new construction.


Aluminum-covered frames are in great demand because they are resistant to corrosion and comply with coastal construction regulations in hurricane-prone areas, making them a potential option for wet and humid climates. The tensile strength of an aluminum window is comparable to that of a fiberglass frame, and it is eight times stronger than vinyl. When comparing frames, there is no noticeable difference in strength or durability between those clad in aluminum or fiberglass, although the former is around 10% cheaper. Despite their robust construction, aluminum-clad window frames are poorly known for their ability to prevent heat loss. Thermally cracked aluminum-clad windows require special attention to building features during installation. The U-value of most metal frames is relatively high. (A greater U-value means a frame loses more heat; a higher number isn't always preferable.)

Windows with a view of a city

Compared to vinyl or wood, the U-value of aluminum window frames can reach a staggering 2. As a result, the finish only lasts around 15 years before rusting and becoming unappealing. We don't suggest aluminum-clad frames due to the fragility of the coating. Corrosion is inevitable for aluminum in the presence of moisture and salt. In around a decade to two decades, aluminum will rust. That is not a structural problem (yet), but it does affect how the product appears to buyers.


Fiberglass is the most cutting-edge frame material, and it is the best option for coastal locations because of its durability, lack of maintenance, and low energy consumption.

Frames of fiberglass windows are more costly than vinyl or wood frames, but they last longer and look better. To counter the weaknesses of hardwood and vinyl frames, manufacturers created glass-reinforced plastic (often known as fiberglass). The frames made of fiberglass are sturdy and won't break down over time as vinyl ones. Thanks to their improved resilience, they will not twist, bend, decay, or attract insects. They are an appealing alternative to their vinyl counterparts because of their sleeker, more streamlined look due to their thinner frames and lower profile.

Since the coating on fiberglass frames is fused to the outside, they endure far longer than their metal counterparts without displaying any indications of wear. Exterior fiberglass may be tinted to seem like wood, and inside walls can be painted to fit any style. If the look and feel of wood are required, fiberglass may be textured to achieve that. Fiberglass windows can be up to 100% more costly than insulated vinyl windows.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel, the most corrosion-resistant metal available, is most commonly used in coastal construction. High-quality stainless steel may last for decades. Unlike many other materials, it won't need regular care and attention. It's important to remember this while shopping for windows for oceanfront properties.

Windows with a lakeside view

Grade 316 stainless steel is the most popular steel used in marine settings, while there are over 150 distinct types of steel. The combination of 16 percent chromium, 10 percent nickel, and 2 percent molybdenum in its alloy metals makes it highly durable and aesthetically pleasing. This grade's extraordinary resistance to salt results from the molybdenum it contains.

Compared to COR-TEN steel, another type of "weathering steel," stainless steel is superior since it will not rust. Carbon steel fails miserably in maritime environments, making stainless steel the superior material. Although carbon steel is treated to increase its durability, this does not make it immortal. Powder-coating carbon steel after galvanization is a standard method.

Copper and bronze

Windows made of bronze or copper are among the most aesthetically pleasing options.In contrast to more common materials like steel, wood, and aluminum, high-value metals like bronze and copper add an eye-catching accent to any building's exterior.

For example, bronze and copper are highly prized because of their outstanding resistance to oxidation—patina forms on bronze and copper instead of rust on iron and carbon steel. Bronze and copper are popular because of this technique, which is highly unique. The bronze jewelry will first tarnish due to oxidation caused by contact with rainwater or saltwater. However, bronze can give a patina to a bluish-green color over time. It is usual for this color to deepen with time.

The outside patina, the coating of greenish blue, keeps the inner layers from deteriorating. In this sense, patina functions as a defense mechanism.

Your home's windows will be shielded from the elements and maintain their good looks as they age. Various bronze and copper alloys and techniques can be used to achieve the desired appearance. They'll help us determine how it would respond to seawater submerging.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are hard to beat regarding quality, efficiency, and price.  Since they never need painting or refinishing, they are incredibly low-maintenance and straightforward. The vinyl construction ensures excellent resistance to the elements and color stability over time. Because the sashes and frames of vinyl windows are welded together, they are highly durable.

Interior of a living room

The many chambers of the vinyl window frame both insulate against heat loss and strengthen the panes. You may pick from various hues to find one that complements the decor of your oceanfront properties.

In Conclusion

The preceding information may help you understand what kind of windows you'll need if you live in a coastal area. It's essential to give careful thought to the windows you choose. It's possible that picking the best option will put you in a great spot, but if it doesn't, you'll have to deal with some serious issues. Your home may lose its individuality, beauty, and, most importantly, practicality. When making material choices, it's crucial to keep in mind the site's specific environmental conditions. But after finishing this guide, we’re sure you’ll make a good decision when implementing windows for oceanfront properties.

Professional window installers should install high-quality windows in your home for enhanced protection and durability. Choosing US Window & Door for your home improvement project means you don't have to worry about which windows and doors are best for your coastal home. 

beachside of town

The benefits of efficiency, maintenance, and clarity that come with high-quality windows are worth the investment in your home. When you plan ahead, you'll be able to select windows that will transform your home, save you energy, and last a lifetime. Consult US Window & Door experts to discover how to achieve the whole beach house experience. Schedule a free in-home estimate to get started today!