With the plethora of window designs available, homeowners often get confused when it comes to window replacement. And it is especially so when considering Fixed and Pictures windows. Many Canadian think these styles are the same, but it is not true. They may look the same but bring different benefits and require a different approach to installation.

That is why we have contacted experts from Ecoline to elaborate on the difference when it comes to Fixed vs Picture windows, their advantages, installation and places within your home where both styles will work best.

Fixed and Picture Windows: What are they?

Fixed windows are non-operable units that look just like picture windows, except larger frames.

On the other hand, Picture windows (also known as “direct set” windows) offer slimmer frames to maximize the surface of the glass better, thereby providing an unobstructed view outside.

Like its name, “Picture” windows are more for decorative purposes than for ventilation, but this can be compensated by combining them with the other operational windows flanking them. They are usually the focal point in living rooms and bedrooms.

Fixed vs Picture Windows: Pros and Cons 

While both windows are great, each of them has its pros and cons. Let’s consider the benefits and drawbacks of both units.

Pros of Fixed windows:

  • Super energy efficient
  • It’s easy to clean and maintain especially for setups like patios.
  • Match any home design
  • Choose from different frame finishes


  • Non-operational
  • No ventilation

Pros of Picture Windows:

  • Enhances the aesthetics of any home
  • Let’s in more natural light, thus making the room look brighter
  • Unobstructed view outside
  • Can be combined with any other window style


  • Non-operational
  • Less energy efficient

Where Will Both Units Work Best?

Well, you can install both window styles where you prefer them the most. But, as a rule, picture windows are primarily installed in the rooms where you want to have great views outside:

  • Master bedroom
  • Living room
  • Dining room

But since you can also combine picture windows with any other type of windows, you can go for almost any space within your home. Want increased ventilation? Cool. Just make sure your picture window has several casement windows on the sides.

On the other hand, fixed windows are more suitable for tall hallways, family rooms, or any room with a vaulted ceiling.

Factors to Consider When Installing Fixed or Picture Window

Whether it’s a Fixed or Picture window, it’s not enough to purchase any window that catches your fancy as you may end up with a product that’s not suitable for your needs. Instead, consider these factors before buying and installing your new windows:

Energy efficiency

The rule is simple here. Buy only Energy-Star rated windows. These units ensure to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. Therefore, you also cut down on energy bills. So, whether you are going for any window, ensure you go for one that is energy efficient.


It’s also essential to consider the glazing when deciding on new windows. While you have many glass types to choose from, the main factor to consider here is the number of panes – double or triple-pane windows. To decide what works best for you, start by analyzing your energy bills and consider the climate zone you are living in. While triple glazing may be up to 50% more energy-efficient, it costs approximately 15% more compared to double glazing.


When choosing new windows for your house, one of the vital things to consider is the type of frame that best suits your needs and looks great with your garden. Overall, there are four types of framing materials to choose from: wood, fibreglass, vinyl, and aluminum.

And vinyl here is the middle ground due to a number of reasons:

great insulating qualities

  • increased durability
  • high energy-efficiency
  • little to no maintenance
  • affordability

Right installation

To ensure your window fits properly, lasts long, and does not encounter any problems, it’s crucial to install it the right way. And the DIY approach here may cause unexpected troubles. That is why it would be best to contact a reliable window company that:

  • Follows the CSA guidelines and your local building code
  • Has in-house skilled installers that have dealt with projects similar to yours before
  • Offers only Energy Star-rated windows
  • Answers all your questions and ensures you buy the products that will work best for your house.

The Final Thoughts

Fixed and picture windows have something in common – both styles are aesthetic, allow for more natural light, require little maintenance and provide you with unobstructed views outside. But they also have differences and might not work well if installed poorly.

Overall, Fixed and Picture windows are great units to go with. Your final choice will mainly depend on the purpose of use, size, and intended location of the window. Hopefully, the tips shared in this article will help you make the right choice.


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