What Are Tilt and Turn Windows? This European Design Can Improve Your Home’s Functionality

Tilt and turn windows are becoming a popular choice for American homes thanks to their functionality and refined style. Originating in Europe, tilt and turn windows have multiple turning mechanisms that make it easy for homeowners to manage how open their home is to the outdoors.

“The inward tilt accomplishes many things: It promotes a fresh flow of air into the home, and it allows the homeowner to enjoy the outdoors without fear of kids and pets escaping,” says Bogdan Glushko, CEO of Seemray, a window and door company in Cleveland.

When in an inward tilt position, these windows can also prove to be a deterrent to would-be burglars. And if the weather turns on a dime, the inward tilt can keep out the rain.

The windows are also designed to swing open fully, giving homeowners even more access to the outdoors. This also makes them easier to clean.

Photo by the Window Replacement Co.

How do tilt and turn windows work?

The window handle allows the window to turn in a particular direction. To open the window either horizontally or in a tilt position, you’ll rotate the handle, then pull the window toward you.

To lock the window, rotate the handle 180 degrees until it’s pointing down. You’ll feel the locking mechanisms click into place.

Benefits of tilt and turn windows

There’s a reason tilt and turn windows became a standard in European homes: They’re easy to use and offer homeowners a variety of benefits such as increased ventilation, security, and energy efficiency.

Compared with double-hung windows (which have two movable panels that slide along the pane), tilt and turn windows will allow more airflow when opened wide.

When switched to their locked position, the locking mechanisms (some tilt and turn windows have eight locks!) provide security and peace of mind.

In addition, the weather sealing on tilt and turn windows keeps water and air from seeping in, which can be a common problem with some single- and double-hung windows. And that reduction in heat loss and gain can help your budget big-time.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that up to 30% of a home’s energy use can come from heat losses and gains, so the efficiency of tilt and turn windows can help you save on your utility bill.

Photo by CAB Architects

Drawbacks to consider

Since tilt and turn windows aren’t as popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe, availability might be an obstacle for homeowners. This shortage can mean higher prices.

“Not many shops in the United States make them, so hardware manufacturers can charge a premium for them,” says John Stafford, senior vice president of Parrett Windows in Dorchester, WI.

How much do tilt and turn windows cost?

The price of tilt and turn windows varies by material and size, but experts agree that they will be more expensive than standard single- or double-hung windows. They are typically made of vinyl, PVC plastic, or wood, and can be as small as 24 square inches or as big as a floor-to-ceiling window.

Although pricing among manufacturers will be different, to give you a ballpark figure of how much they cost, Home Depot offers a 30-by-48-inch vinyl tilt and turn window for $322.