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Do You Call Them Gas Strut Windows or

You have probably seen one of these windows, but there is no one generic name for it.  In the most technical form, it is a variety of awning window in that it is hinged at the top and the bottom pushes out.

Where are they used?

They are most often found in kitchens where they are mounted onto countertops that extend from the kitchen counter projecting outward into the outside entertaining space.  The extended countertop usually projects beyond the wall to form a serving or bar space on the outside.  Most people place stools on the outside so that guests and family members can be served food and drinks directly from the kitchen.

How do they work?

When the window is closed it provides a fully insulated view of the patio or deck and can be easily opened by unlocking the sash or operable part of the window.  Once released, a slight push to the outside allows the gas struts that are mounted on the sides of the frame to push the window gently to its full opening height at about 90 degrees.  The area it vacates creates a servery space that has some overhead protection from the elements.  

Double your kitchen dining area!

It is as though the kitchen and outdoor space are one big area.  Food and drinks can be served without having to open and close a door and walk between the kitchen and the party area.  If this marvelous invention is also equipped with a retractable insect screen, the kitchen does not need to be continuously exposed to pests like insects from the outside.  Without this special window, the door needs to be left open or at least opened and closed lots and lots of times.

Now to the big question. We know what it is, but what do we call it?

Some people call them pass-through windows. The only problem with this description is that it can also be used to describe the window at the McDonald’s drive-through.  The function at these locations is usually a double casement window or a sliding window that can be opened and closed by the server.

Some people call them gas strut windows because they are held up using gas struts.  The gas struts are filled with nitrogen that is compressed to provide a specific amount of force that is variable based on the size of the window that is being supported.  The gas struts commonly come in forces between 50 pounds and 250 pounds.  The larger the window, the more force is needed.  Gas struts windows could also describe the hatchback on your SUV.  This is the use case for gas struts that everyone has been exposed to.

Still, others call the bar windows or kitchen bar windows or some other variant using bar since the countertop that is available when the window is open creates a bar for serving.

What do companies that sell them call them?

  • Activwall calls them “Gas Strut Windows” and makes them up to 8 feet wide by 5 feet tall
  • FoldUp calls them “A window like no other”.  Their window is more like a vertical bifolding window that looks like a double hung window when closed.
  • Flip Out calls them “Gas Strut Windows” and goes on to describe them as “Quality Affordable Windows Made to Fit Your Lifestyle”
  • Optvue covers all the bases by using the headline,”Gas Strut Windows | Pass Through Windows | Motorized Awning Windows”.
  • Pella calls them “Pass Through Windows”
  • Andersen calls them “Pass-Through Windows”
  • Eco Windows which looks like the represent AcitvWall calls them “Gas Strut Awning windows”.
  • G.James calls them “Gas Strut Windows”
  • Gas Strut Windows calls them (I bet you can’t guess this one) “Gas Strut Windows”.
  • Jason Windows in Australia calls them “ Awning Gas Strut Windows”.
  • Wideline in Australia calls them “Strut Windows”.
  • Awake Window & Door Co. calls them “Gas Strut Awning”.
  • Alspec in Australia calls them “Gas Strut Servery Window”.
  • Wanneroo in Australia calls them “Servery Gas Strut Window”.
  • . . . And the list goes on and on

What does OpenUp® call them?

At OpenUp® Windows we have used all of the name variants above at one time or another.  The long form of what we call them is “Gas Strut Awning Pass-Through Kitchen Windows”.  The addition of the word kitchen might be considered excessive, but in residential applications this is almost always where they are found.  When they are used in commercial applications like restaurants, they are usually found in the dining room or bar area to increase the serving area.  Yes, they are also just simply bar windows.

Given that there is a wide variety of names that people who are NOT in the industry call them, we are hoping that the most common name for these marvelous windows become simply “OpenUp® Windows”.


Wood vs. Metal: Which is Best for Window Frames?

When it comes to window frames, the traditional choice of material is wood. However, metal has become increasingly popular in recent years, with some advantages over wood in certain scenarios. We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both materials when used for window frames. We will consider factors such as cost, durability, insulation, security, and aesthetics to make a comprehensive comparison.

What Are The Most Common Wood Species Available?

Pine is the most common wood used to make window frames. It is the least expensive, but as a soft wood, it is vulnerable to rotting and needs careful painting to make it long lasting.

Hardwoods like teak and mahogany are used to make wood framed window stronger and longer lasting. However, this comes at a significant cost increase.

Another way to protect the exterior of even inexpensive soft wood window frames long lasting is to clad them with a thin aluminum extrusion. These clad windows are usually more expensive than unclad, but worth the additional cost.

There is one special wood called Accoya® which has incredible durability without the need for cladding. Accoya® is a softwood that is treated with a vinegar solution in a process called acetylation, that makes it virtually rot-proof carrying a 40 year guarantee.

How About Thermal Insulation Against Extreme Hot and Cold?

When it comes to insulation, wood window frames typically provide better thermal insulation than metal. This is because metal has a higher thermal conductivity, meaning it transfers and releases heat faster than wood. Metal windows insulation value can be increased by adding thermal breaks. These thermal breaks are generally plastic components that separate the outside metal from the inside metal. The plastic being a better insulator, lowers the conductivity of the metal frame, making is more energy efficient.

OK, Security is Also an Issue, Which is Better, Wood or Metal?

When it comes to security, metal window frames are generally the better choice. Because they are stronger and more durable than wood, metal window frames are more resistant to forced entry or damage from storms or other environmental factors.

Which Material Looks Better?

Finally, when it comes to aesthetics, both materials can offer a range of attractive design options. Wood window frames are often chosen for their classic, natural look, while metal window frames offer a clean modern, industrial feel. Ultimately, the aesthetic choice of material will depend on the overall design of the home and personal preference.

So, Which Do I Choose?

When it comes to window frames, both wood and metal have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of material should be based on the individual needs of the homeowner, taking into account factors such as cost, durability, insulation, security, and aesthetics. Both materials offer attractive design options and can be expected to last for many years when properly maintained.

At OpenUp®, we use 2Fold® technology that uses wood and metal to create a hybrid frame system. Tubular extruded aluminum on the outside for strength and durability and Accoya® wood on the inside for a neater appearance while providing superior insulation. The best of both worlds.


What Does the Modern Eat-in Kitchen Look Like?

Today’s eat-in kitchen is the focal point for family gatherings. It might be part of a Great Room or stand alone. With the latest trends, it can be a true chef’s kitchen or simply stylish and functional. We’ll look at some popular elements that make up a modern eat-in kitchen.

Cabinetry in an eat-in kitchen can range from traditional wood to modern stainless steel. Whatever style chosen, it should complement the overall look of the room. Countertops also come in many materials, with quartz and marble being popular choices for their durability and chic design. Storage solutions often include drawers and cabinets with various organizational options to keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy, while also providing easy access to the items you need most.

There are many elements that can be added to enhance the usability and friendliness of the room.

Add a Bar Counter

Either a wall-mounted bar or an island or peninsula, bar-height seating encourages your family and friends to hang around as food and drinks continue to be prepared and served. This creates a very family-style atmosphere.

Kitchen Table with a View

Take advantage of the outdoor area to enjoy your dining and breakfast. The waterfront views provide a calm place for a relaxing start to an evening. The surroundings provided a source of inspiration for the room blue/white colors. A gas-strut pass-through window is a great idea to add the outdoor space to the overall experience doubling the entertainment space. The countertop can extend to both the inside and outside, creating a two-sided bar and serving area when the window is open. When closed it is a bar seating counter on the inside.

Add Comfortable Bar Stools

Comfortable stools with or without backs can be placed on all sides of the bar area to encourage long casual conversations throughout the gathering.

Combined Kitchen Dining Areas

Instead of one huge kitchen area, consider putting two separate and parallel dining rooms together. Small tables can be placed in a cozy breakfast nook without crowding. Although there are only four seats, the adjacent countertop can provide seating for several and allows for more table seats.

Great Rooms

Create one large living room area by combining the kitchen and dining room into one. The great room will become the center of activity where family members can gather for meals, games, or just relaxing. Make sure to purchase bar stools or chairs that are comfortable for long conversations or game playing. Place tables in an informal configuration so people can move around.

Well Designed Eat-in Kitchens Eliminate the Need For a Dining Room.

Whether the kithen is large or small, creative layout and engagement with the adjacent living spaces and outdoor areas can make the kitchen function like a room much larger than it really is. With the addition of an eating area, the kitchen can become the central hub for family activities. Choose furniture for the eat-in kitchen that is comfortable and easy to move when not needed. Consider a built-in bench or banquette seating that allows for extra storage as well as table seating. Look for options with extendable leaves or adjustable heights that can accommodate various activities such as board or card games, or laptop and tablet use. With creative seating solutions, the eat-in kitchen can easily be used to entertain many friends and family members.

What is the Active Wall of the Kitchen?

The cooking and prep area walls might be considered the active walls, but the door or pass-through to the outside might be considered the active wall where most of the mingling occurs. Sometimes it works out that the door and service window are also on the food preparation wall making it the certain choice for active wall where everything is focused.  The Active wall should be planned to be the center of activity as the kitchen counters, tables, doors, and pass-through windows are layed out.


When designing the kitchen in your home, consider how you want to use this space. Where will people gather? Will there be multiple cooking and prep areas? Utilize a kitchen’s active wall for the most important tasks and create an inviting atmosphere by adding furniture and seating around it. With careful planning, homes can have great-looking kitchens that are both functional and inviting.


How Does High Design Figure in Window Design?

Have you ever walked past a restaurant or home and noticed something eye-catching or unique about the windows? High design is often found in window designs and can play a significant role in setting your property apart from other establishments on the block. In this blog post, we’ll explore how higher-level design can be implemented into window design while maintaining function and style. We’ll discuss both new construction as well as renovation options to give readers of all backgrounds an understanding of their possibilities when it comes to creating an appealing space with thoughtfully designed windows.

Understanding the Elements of High Design in Windows

Windows are more than just a way to let light into a room. They are a key element in the overall design of a building or home. A window with high design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also has functional benefits such as maximizing energy efficiency and natural light. Understanding the elements of high design in windows includes factors such as placement, shape, proportion, and materials. These elements work together to create a cohesive look that enhances the overall design of a space. A well-designed window can transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary, making it a statement piece that adds value and beauty to any home or building.

The Power of Aesthetics When Choosing Window Designs

Good window design is not just about functionality, it’s also about aesthetics. Choosing the right window design can improve the overall appearance of your home or building, making it look more impressive and inviting. The power of aesthetics in window design cannot be underestimated. It can give a building a distinct personality, boost its curb appeal, and even contribute to its overall value. Whether it’s a residential or commercial property, the right window design can make a big difference. So, when choosing your window designs, think about how they will enhance the look of your property from the inside out. Always remember that good aesthetics is not just about looks, but also about functionality and practicality.

How to Incorporate High Design Into Your Home’s Windows

Windows are an essential component of any home’s design, as they bring in natural light and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal. However, not all windows are created equal, and some houses may have windows that lack visual interest or character. Luckily, there are several ways to incorporate high design into your home’s windows, and it doesn’t always have to break the bank. Whether you choose to add custom drapery or hardware, install decorative window film, or update your window frames with fresh paint, there are many options to consider. With a little creativity and inspiration, you can transform your windows into stunning focal points and elevate your home’s interior design to a whole new level.

Looking at Popular Window Frame Materials for Today’s Homes

Choosing the right window frame material for your home is an important decision. You want something that not only looks great, but also provides the functionality and durability you need. There are many popular window frame materials to choose from today, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. For example, vinyl is a low-cost, low-maintenance option that is great for energy efficiency, but usually comes with large, clunky frames.  While aluminum is lightweight and easy to customize it needs to be thermally broken to provide energy efficiency.  Steel is also an option, but it is more expensive and the possibility of rusting comes into play.  Wood frames offer a classic look that is hard to beat if you are looking to fit into an older design aesthetic, but require more upkeep than some other materials. Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. A modern alternative is the clever use 2Fold® Technology, a combination of metal with Accoya® to create thin frames that have the best in class insulation values.

Incorporating Different Types of Glass and Lighting into Your Windows

Windows are not just functional items that allow for natural light to enter a room, but they can also be striking design elements in their own right. Incorporating different types of glass and lighting sources can transform a plain window into a stunning centerpiece. Frosted or textured glass can provide privacy while still allowing in natural light, and stained glass can add a pop of color and unique design. When it comes to lighting, strategically placed fixtures, such as pendants or wall sconces, can enhance the beauty of the windows and surrounding space. With endless possibilities for customization, incorporating different types of glass and lighting can elevate your windows to a whole new level.

Utilizing the Latest Technology to Enhance Window Design

As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, there are an increasing number of ways to enhance the design of windows, bringing new levels of functionality and style to buildings. From automated shades that are precisely engineered to match a particular sunlight pattern, to energy-efficient glass with advanced coatings that reduce heat and glare while retaining natural light, the latest advancements in window technology can transform a building’s look and feel. With so many options available, architects and designers have more creative freedom than ever before to design windows that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also highly functional and energy-efficient.


Windows play a huge role in the overall interior design and aesthetic of any home, and utilizing high design elements can make all the difference between an ordinary home and an extraordinary one. Whether you prefer modern frames with updated glass technologies or traditional designs with classic styling, it is paramount that you take into consideration window frame materials, various types of glass, frame styles, lighting techniques, technological advancements and more when determining what windows to choose for your home. OpenUp is here to help you make your decision to get the most from your windows. With our wide selection of the latest high design trends all available at competitive prices, we’re positive we can give you the perfect windows for your home.

Contact us today to learn more about the OpenUp difference. We look forward to working with you on transforming your house into a place of beauty and joy through amazing window designs!


What is so Great about Indoor/Outdoor Living

open gas strut kitchen pass-through window exterior

Indoor-outdoor living is all about bringing the outside in and maximizing your living space. A great way to do this is by installing a pass-through window that connects your indoor and outdoor areas. Pass-through windows can be found in many homes, restaurants, and commercial spaces and are a popular way to enhance the functionality and flow of your living space.

Here are some of the ways that a pass-through window can help you achieve the perfect indoor-outdoor living:

  1. Increased Natural Light One of the biggest benefits of a pass-through window is that it allows more natural light into your living space. By opening up the wall between your indoor and outdoor areas, you can increase the amount of sunlight that enters your home. This will make your living space feel brighter, more open, and more connected to the outdoors.
  2. Improved Airflow Another benefit of a pass-through window is that it can improve the airflow in your living space. By opening up the window, you can create a cross-breeze that helps to cool down your home on hot summer days. This is especially useful if you live in a hot and humid climate, where you need to keep your home cool and comfortable all year round.
  3. Increased Entertaining Space A pass-through window is also a great way to increase your entertaining space. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or a dinner party, a pass-through window can make it easier to serve food and drinks to your guests. It also makes it easier for your guests to move between your indoor and outdoor areas, so they can enjoy the best of both worlds.
  4. Versatility Pass-through windows come in a variety of styles and designs, so you can choose one that matches your home’s architecture and decor. Whether you prefer a modern or traditional look, there’s a pass-through window that will fit your style. Plus, you can choose a window that’s big enough to accommodate large platters of food or drinks, or one that’s smaller and more intimate.
  5. Increased Property Value Installing a pass-through window can also increase the value of your property. Homebuyers love outdoor living spaces, and a pass-through window is a great way to enhance the appeal of your home. Plus, it’s a relatively inexpensive upgrade that can make a big difference in the look and feel of your home.

In conclusion, a kitchen window pass-through is a great way to bring the outside in and enhance your indoor-outdoor living, and OpenUp® is the best option. Whether you’re looking to increase natural light, improve airflow, increase entertaining space, or increase your property value, a pass-through window is a versatile and stylish addition to any home or commercial space. So, if you want to upgrade your living space, check out our website at, and start enjoying the benefits of indoor-outdoor living today!