What is the difference between a fixed and picture window?

You have several options when searching for the right replacement windows for your home. Among the available types of replacement windows are fixed and picture windows, which look similar but have many differences. As a homeowner, knowing the difference between a fixed and picture window will enable you to choose the perfect replacement windows for your home. 

To help you choose the right window, here are the significant differences you need to know.


One of the significant differences between a fixed and picture window is design. When you look at both types of windows, you can mistake one for the other; but they have subtle differences. 

Fixed windows can neither be opened nor closed. They are static and let maximum natural light into the house. Picture windows are a type of fixed windows, but they usually have larger frames than fixed windows.


Fixed windows can be installed in any part of your home but are mainly found in bathrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, family rooms, and basements. Picture windows on the other hand are best suited for areas where you want to enjoy the view of the outdoors, like the view of your backyard. You will enjoy amazing outdoor views and natural light with either window style. It should be noted that these windows cannot be cleaned from the inside. This may affect where you would like to install them in your home.


Both fixed and picture windows are great for unobstructed views and allowing a lot of natural light into your home. Picture windows do have an added function of matching the sitelines of other functioning windows in the same room offering a more contemporary, aesthetically pleasing look. 


Fixed windows are much cheaper to maintain than picture windows. Also, when you need replacement windows, fixed windows are more affordable than picture windows. But if you want a more expensive view, picture windows are the perfect choice for you.

Combine with Other Window Types For Ventilation

Since neither fixed or picture windows open or close, they do not offer any ventilation. However, picture windows can be installed with operable flanking windows, such as casement windows for added ventilation. Not only does this allow for airflow, you are still able to keep your unobstructed views and allow for plenty of natural light.

When considering the perfect replacement windows for your home, consider the differences discussed above before choosing either fixed windows or picture windows. One final advantage for both window styles is that they are both highly energy-efficient.