Pros and Cons of Sliding Windows

There are many different styles of windows, but one of the latest is the sliding window. Not that it is exactly new, but many years ago it was not an option at all, as timber was the main building material for windows and was used for holding window glass in the various styles that were available.

Sliding windows depend on aluminium for the tracks to slide them along; if it was timber the material would wear quickly or warp in the weather and make sliding them open or shut impossible. If you are wondering what kind of windows are best for your new home, here are some pros and cons of sliding windows. Note, these are sliding windows with aluminium surrounds.


  • With sliding windows you can have a much larger window space. This allows more light into the house and more cool breezes when the day is hot. You can also enjoy a wider vista if you have a nice view to admire. This would not be possible with other kinds of windows due to the weight of the glass, but with sliding windows the weight is supported by the aluminium slot – and the building material underneath it.
  • Sliding windows are easy to open and shut as you don’t have to push them up, just slide them along.
  • You can get almost any size window in this style; large, small, wide, high.
  • The locks on the windows are simple to work and secure.
  • They are easy to clean.
  • No maintenance, such as painting, is required for the part surrounding the glass.
  • The aluminium does not warp, so they never stick.
  • They take up no more space than the wall, unlike awning or hopper windows that protrude on the outside.
  • They are cost effective, being cheaper than some other styles.


  • If you live in a cold, windy climate you may find that sliding windows do not seal that well when shut. It is mainly the centre seam of the window that has a tiny gap where wind can push in. The seal used on sliding windows may have improved over the years.
  • The windows sometimes rattle in a storm due to this gap and sometimes if a heavy truck roars along the road the window will rattle. This may depend on the foundations of the house. If the home is built on a concrete slab this may not be a problem.
  • There are only a couple of colour options with sliding windows; silver, brown and green. This may not suit your decor. However, silver and brown seem to suit many different colour schemes.
  • The sliding slot does tend to attract dirt and dust, so needs regular cleaning.

Some people maintain that you cannot open a sliding window in the rain. This depends on the situation. Rain does not always blow against the window/wall. If it does, it comes from one direction, so you can open windows on the other side of the house. If you have wide eaves, or if the window opens onto a deck or balcony then rain won’t be a problem. Many people prefer sliding windows as they are so easy to use.

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