When considering hardware for windows or patio doors, there are four main things to keep in mind: the lock, opening and closing handle, tilt latch and hardware finish.
Window and Door Locks
The lock should close with a definite click and movement that lets you know both by feel and appearance that the window is secure. One way to validate quality is to ask a dealer or contractor if a window or door lock mechanism meets or exceeds your area's forced entry codes.
French patio doors should have reinforced lock/latch regions for additional strength and security.
Opening and Closing Handle
A well-engineered window or door will be easy to operate. The handle should work smoothly without much effort. The window or door should feel snug in its tracks, but move easily. If you need to ensure your handle is ADA compliant, be sure to check out Milgard’s SmartTouch® lock and handle, available on select windows and doors.
Milgard was awarded the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation in recognition of the SmartTouch® lock and door handle's innovation and universal design.
Some windows include tilt latches to make it easy to open the window and pull it towards you to clean the exterior glass from inside the home. The tilt latch is usually available on single hung and double hung operation styles.
The aesthetics of window and door hardware are arguably equally important to the function. If you are coordinating windows and doors, look for the same hardware finishes on both to match.