Going Continental – How to Open and Close Tilt and Turn Windows

Mr Misty, the Window’s Doctor serving Ipswich, Suffolk and North Essex, explains how to operate tilt and turn windows effectively and the benefits of this European-style window.

Tilt and turn windows offer two operating options as their name suggests. Ideal for space-poor rooms, they differ in their opening mechanisms from traditional English hinged casement or sash windows and are often referred to a European or continental in their styling.

The handle of a tilt and turn window is multifunctional and this is where issues can arise. It is important to understand how the opening / closing mechanism works to avoid forcing the handle and potentially damaging the window system.

About Tilt and Turn windows I Mr Misty Specialist Window Repairs Ipswich

Functionality 1 – The Tilt. In the tilt position, the window angles to allow fresh air to flow in freely whilst stale air escapes around the sides.

Functionality 2 – The Turn. The window can also be opened like a door, hinged at the side. The window opens fully and into the interior of the property.

Benefits of Tilt and Turn Windows I Mr Misty Ipswich Wise about Windows

Easy to operate – they may be slightly ‘unconventional’ to people used to period properties with traditional sash or casement windows, but once the mechanics are grasped, they operate smoothly and with little effort.

  • The exterior of the window can be cleaned easily and safely from the inside of your home   
  • Ideal for apartments or upper storey windows
  • Ideal for properties directly on a street or by a pavement where an outward-opening window would be both a hazard and security risk.
  • An efficient way to ventilate the home whilst maintaining the security of your property.
  • Can be fitted with a restrictor to limit how far the window opens inwards – a particularly useful safety feature if there are young children in the house.
  • Now available as sliding sashes to suit older style properties
  • Can be used within a bay window setting
  • Ideal as a fire escape as window opens fully like a door


Operating Tilt and Turn Windows I Tilt & Turn Window Repairs Ipswich

The handles on tilt and turn windows have 3 positions – it may help to think of them as the hands of a clock. Trying to cause the window to open when the handle is positioned otherwise could risk damaging the hinges and misaligning the windows.

Position 1 – Handle vertical fully down – ‘Half past’ / 6 (o’clock) – Fully closed.

Position 2 – Handle horizontal – ‘Quarter past’ / 3 (o’clock) – To open window fully on side hinges.

Position 3 – Handle vertical fully up – ‘o’clock’ / (midday) – To tilt window open.

Tilt and Turn Windows

Tilt and Turn Window Handle Repairs Suffolk I Find out more »

Tilt and Turn Window Hinge Repairs Suffolk I Find out more »

Caveats for Tilt & Turn Windows I Wise Words from Mr Misty Ipswich

As tilt and turn windows open inwards, it is important to ensure that the room does not have anything which will restrict the window from opening fully.

! In kitchens, if the window is adjacent to a sink, it could be restricted by taps.

! Make sure that items on the window sill - such as pot plants or ornaments - can be easily removed to allow the window to open when required

! Take care with curtain poles and tie backs – it is important to ensure that the curtain can be fully drawn back and does not impede the opening of the window. Blinds should be fitted with good clearance of the opening window.

! Remember - Never force stiff window hinges or handles. If your tilt and turn windows are not opening easily, they may just need a little TLC – Call Mr Misty, the Window Doctor on 0800 25 45 111 for a check-up!  

Mr Misty Tilt and Turn Window Repairs Suffolk I Find out more »

About New Flush-fitting Sash & Sliding Sash ‘Tilt & Turn’ Windows

For a classic look with all the benefits of easy maintenance, check out the latest innovations in sliding sash tilt and turn windows.

Mr Misty carries out maintenance and repairs on all types of windows and as part of the Falcon Windows Group shares the enthusiasm for products which make tilt and turn window technologies accessible to owners seeking a traditional sash window look.

UPVC sliding sash windows with tilt open mechanism:

Flush sash windows with tilt open mechanism:

Tilt & Turn Window Repairs Suffolk I Mr Misty Window Repairs Ipswich

When operated correctly, properly installed quality tilt and turn windows are very robust and can work efficiently for years with the minimum of maintenance. It’s worth checking the hinges and handles of your tilt and turn windows regularly – remember never to force them if they show any signs of stiffness or sticking.

At Mr Misty we can get your tilt and turn window mechanisms working smoothly again in no time and carry out hinge and handle adjustments and replacements at great value for money prices. We also fit replacement gasket (seals) to keep your windows closing tightly and beautifully draft free.

Mr Misty Tilt and Turn Window Repairs Suffolk I Find out more »