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How do I Choose the Best Window Latch?

By Solomon Branch
Updated May 16, 2024
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Choosing the best window latch is a matter of finding one that matches your décor, is durable, and is functional. If you have a window latch that is easily broken, it will do you as little good as one that won’t latch and unlatch easily. Finding one that fits your windows, especially if it is an older or specialized type window, is another key factor.

The materials that a window latch is made of will be a key component in how durable it is. Many modern windows come with a durable plastic latch, but that doesn’t mean they have to be replaced with the same kind. For a more elegant and stronger latch, choosing one made of brass, bronze, or stainless steel is a good option. These materials are popular for creating an old-fashioned or antique look and go well with that style of décor. They will also not be easily breakable if someone chooses to break into a home through a window.

Once you have chosen the material and are shopping for a latch, consider how you want it to function. A traditional window latch will have one piece with a movable component that latches the moving part of the window to the stationary part. If you need the window to lock in place, finding a latch that has a way to secure it shut would be best, and choosing a locking latch or one that uses a key to keep it shut would be the ideal choice. These are ideal for use on windows on the first floor.

Another common choice is the sliding latch. This type of latch is usually adjustable can be placed anywhere along the window edge. They can be used to keep children from opening windows from the inside, which can be helpful in windows on the second floor and above. Sliding latches are fairly secure as well.

Many hardware stores and specialty home-building stores sell window latches. The advantage of choosing one from a store is that you can see how it looks and how it will fit on your window. This can minimize issues when purchasing a latch because if it doesn’t fit or doesn’t look quite right when you get it home, as it is easily returned. If you are sure what you want, purchasing a window latch online can be cheaper, especially if you buy more than one at a time.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Jul 28, 2014

A latch or window lock is only going to make a burglar spend a little more time getting in rather than entering your house easily and quickly. The best that you can hope for is a window lock and a latch that makes the person breaking in create enough noise so that you can hear him and prepare to protect your home and family.

If your house is empty and the window lock is too difficult to open then a burglar will eventually just break the window anyway. Yes, you want the most durable and strong window locks and latches, but you should know that none of them are 100 percent at preventing break-ins.

By Feryll — On Jul 27, 2014

We just bought a house. When we were looking at it with the real estate agent, I couldn't figure out how the windows were locked. By the way, this is an old house.

Anyway, after looking at the windows for a while, I couldn't figure out how they were secured, so I asked the agent. She pointed to little holes in the wood of the windows. The holes are there so nails can be placed in and this keeps the window from opening. I was certain I would want to replace this because they didn't seem very safe.

Now that I have lived in the house, I think the little holes and the nails are more secure than what I have on some of the other windows in the house. However, I can't say they add much to the look of the windows, so we are trying to find some good window locks and latches.

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