Centre Pivot or Top Hung Roof Windows? – Choose the Best Solution for You

Home design is not something to be taken lightly. Every decision will impact the value of your home, its design, and how comfortable you and your family will feel when living there. So it is important to take every part of the designing process seriously and research it properly.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make is what type of windows to install in your home. This will influence a plethora of things both aesthetically and functionally. There are two designs of windows that have a significant market share and are the primary candidates for a lot of homeowners, and they are centre-pivot windows (timber) and top-hung windows (PVC). They are the best roof windows out there.

A lot of homeowners, especially in the UK, have trouble choosing between these two, and it is understandable — both are great windows with some exceptional features and advantages. But, nevertheless, you have to make a choice at the end of the day.

And we’re here to help you, and in this article, we’ll carefully go over some of the most important advantages, disadvantages, and features of both types of windows. So read on!

Opening Mechanism: Do they Make a Difference?

One of the biggest differences between the two windows is the opening mechanism, and this needs to be addressed and explained.

Centre-pivot windows: as its name suggests, these windows are opened by pivoting from the centre. This means that the window pane rotates to open. This lets in air from both sides. These windows are historically newer than top-hung windows because their opening mechanism is more complicated and was designed later. Nevertheless, if you are using a high-quality centre-pivot window like Optilight windows, then you definitely won’t have a problem with the accessibility and the longevity of the opening mechanism.

Top-hung windows: these are usually hinged at the top and are opened by pushing them out at an angle. This makes for a wider opening area and a more straightforward movement when opening the window. This makes top-hung windows suitable for some functions that are impossible to do with centre-pivot windows.

How Do These Windows Compare on Some Vital Metrics?

Now that you know the basic differences between both types of windows, it is important to learn how they compare across the most important metrics homeowners typically care about when buying a window. Below, we’ve chosen five criteria we’re going to compare both windows on.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is absolutely vital inside your home: it makes your home feel more welcoming, look better, and be healthier. Most interior designers spend a lot of time making sure the natural lighting inside the interior is just right.

And if we are assuming identical dimensions, designs, etc. for both types of windows, they’re largely equal when it comes to the amount of natural lighting they provide to your home. This is because the opening mechanism doesn’t impact the amount of natural lighting going in.

This is with one important caveat when you are opening a centre-pivot window, it is going to block more of the natural lighting than a top-hung window does. This is by no means a deal-breaker, but it is nonetheless worth mentioning.

View and Aesthetics

What kind of view are you going to get from your window? What kind of aesthetics does the window give to your room and to the house and its exterior too? These are two very vital questions that you definitely need to pose to yourself before making the final decision on which type of window is more suitable for you.

Aesthetics isn’t something objective, and how well a window looks largely depends on the style of your home and room. This is why it is hard to declare a winner here. If you’re going for a more traditional looking house, top-hung windows seem more appropriate. While centre-pivot windows have some association with modernity. But this is very general, and you should see which one looks better with your home.

Air Circulation

Proper air circulation inside the home makes it feel fresh, minimizes diseases, and generally improves the room’s ambience. This isn’t news to anyone who has designed a home. So, which one of our two types of windows wins here?

The answer should be obvious: the centre-pivot window is a clear winner here. Due to the fact it opens from the centre, it has a natural ability to facilitate airflow with air coming in from one side and going out from the other. This doesn’t mean that top-hung windows (timber) don’t provide air circulation, they do, and they’re great, but they simply can’t compare with the centre-pivot windows. If this is your top and only priority, then you definitely should go with the centre-pivot windows (PVC).

Cleaning and Maintenance

Sadly, many homeowners are often hoodwinked by the latest features of windows, their stylish designs, etc. and they don’t consider one of the most important things that they will need to do on a regular basis: cleaning and maintenance.

Here, the clear winner is also centre-pivot windows. Although cleaning the interior of the windows is about as convenient and accessible in both types of windows, the picture drastically changes when you consider the exterior of the windows. It is very hard to reach for and clean the exterior of a top-hung window from the interior of your home. You might need to get to the roof to properly clean and maintain it. While it is relatively easy and straightforward to clean and maintain the exterior of the centre-pivot windows.


As we mentioned above, there are some functions that are only possible with one type of window. For example, if you want to have roof access or escape windows, you have to choose top-hung roof access windows. There are no centre-pivot roof access windows. This means you won’t have an option in these cases. So keep that in mind.


To conclude, both of these types of windows are highly desirable, reliable and popular. Which one to choose will largely depend on what you value, what your house needs, and the style of your interior and exterior.