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Create the Perfect Indoor/Outdoor Entertaining Space with Pass-Through Windows

Residing in Arizona provides us with ample opportunities to enjoy the indoor/outdoor lifestyle in a big way! Pass-through windows, window walls, and pocket windows all work to bring fresh air inside and bring living spaces outside. Design, cost, comfort, and pest and dust challenges are all things to consider if you are contemplating this popular look.

What is a Pass-Through Window?

A pass-through window slides or folds open and closed or, cranks open and closed to allow for easy access to the indoors and outdoors. These windows can appear in new construction homes, or you can replace your existing windows to create a pass-through design.

Where is the Best Place to Use Pass Through Windows?

Though a pass-through window can be used in any room open to an outdoor space, the most common place to see these windows is in a kitchen above a countertop. They can open to an entertainment space outdoors, such as a pool bar or patio, so you can easily pass food and drinks while hosting friends and family. A true pass-through window allows a seamless countertop so that food and drinks can be passed back and forth with no interruption by the window frame.

Popular Pass-Through Window Styles

Several popular types of kitchen windows can help you achieve a pass-through window design. From sliding or awning windows to multi-slide and bifold windows, consider the unique pros and cons of each style to find the best option for your home.

Pass through windows can be created with conventional sliding windows and the removal of screens
Pass through windows can be created with conventional sliding windows and the removal of screens

Sliding Windows

“Sliding windows are one of the most popular window styles for creating a pass-through design” says Adam Homer of Rosie on the House Certified Pella Windows and Doors. They are an economical choice to achieve your desired design and aesthetic. This style of window is available in fiberglass or vinyl. For inside and outside access, simply remove the screen to allow easy access to your indoor and outdoor space.

Multi-Slide Windows

For design intrigue, consider using a small multi-slide patio door as a pass-through window. Available in aluminum-clad wood frames, a standard multi-slide patio door can be made in a window size. Multi-slide pass-through windows are available in expansive sizes to cover the entire length of your countertop.

Small bifold patio doors work well as pass through windows that stack to the side and out of the way
Small bifold patio doors work well as pass through windows that stack to the side and out of the way

Multi slide options include a pocketing feature and automation allowing them to disappear into the wall for an unobstructed opening.

Bifold Windows

Another option for opening your living space to the outdoors is a small bifold patio door. The window panels are available in a stacking application, allowing them to be open and out of the way. They can span your entire countertop space and are available in expansive sizes to complement your home’s design.

Larger Openings

Folding Walls are a dramatic way to connect whole rooms with the outdoors. Many types are available, including bifold style, collapsing door panels, and door panels that can be hidden in a pocket door once opened.

Special structural requirements may need to be addressed depending on the span of the opening. Connecting spaces this way can be seamless with finishes, and furniture placement making your living space much larger.

Top Pass-Through Window Considerations

If you would like a pass-through window for your home, there are several important things to consider.

Pass through doors and windows allow creativity in the way you entertain
Pass through doors and windows allow creativity in the way you entertain


  • Countertops | A pass-through window allows a seamless countertop with no interruption from the window frame. The option of using a sliding window will not have the seamless countertop.
  • Overhang | An overhang above the outside portion of the window provided by a porch or cantilever will protect food and servers from the sun and rain.
  • Heating and Cooling | Adding cooling and heating will expand the number of months you can enjoy the open space. Consider chimineas and radiant heat for the cooler months; misting systems, ceiling fans, and evaporative coolers during the hot months to extend your outdoor season.
  • Storage | if food service is part of the reason for the inside /outside set up, cabinets installed near-by or even under the window will make service easier.
  • Critter Control | Crawling critters, flying insects, and even birds can find their way into your home when the windows are open. Screens on the windows or on the outside of the patio can help prevent invasions.
  • Dust | Monitor doors ands and windows should there be an unexpected wind or dust storm.

    Awning windows accomplish the pass-through feature with style
    Awning windows accomplish the pass-through feature with style


The best time for installing a window wall or a pocketing application is during construction. Special engineering is required to support the window, which can be pricey and even more so in a retrofit situation.

Sliding windows are less of an investment while still creating an unobstructed entertainment area. Made of fiberglass or vinyl, sliding windows are the most budget-friendly option.

Pass-through awning windows with gas-struts have become a very popular option for both new construction and remodeling. It is another economical option for people that still gives you the indoor /outdoor feel without breaking the bank, says Adam.

Connecting the Interior and Exterior

With a large opening for entertaining, these windows and wall panels make it easy to connect the interior and exterior of your home and expanding the possibilities. A pass-through window or wall panel gives you the best of both worlds. They offer flexibility to use your space to fit your lifestyle.


CONTENT PARTNER: Pella Windows & Doors

Pella Windows & Doors
(480) 355-3800

Since 1925, building professionals have looked to Pella for innovative window and door solutions. Today, the Pella® family of brands offers a full range of quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling, and replacement projects. We are particularly proud that we can offer our residential and commercial customers windows and doors to meet virtually any style or budget. Pella offers the expertise needed for Arizona projects, addressing the unique climate challenges and architectural demands of the country’s sunniest city. Check out some projects we’ve completed near you. Pella Gilbert Pella Tucson Pella Scottsdale



Arizona gifts us with abundant opportunities to embrace the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Pass through windows allow us to enjoy that seamless connection bringing fresh air inside and living spaces outside. Adam Homer of Pella Windows Mountain West discusses the impressive designs of pass through windows that could be the perfect fit for your home.

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