Windows 101 – Understanding window jargon

Posted by Ben Thompson on 04.25.16

Every house has windows and eventually those will need to be upgraded or replaced. When you are planning to remodel, windows are always an important part of design plan. Last week I blogged about common remodeling jargon and while I was writing I realized that windows have so many terms it would be easiest to dedicate one blog to the subject.

Thompson’s Guide to window jargon

Awning - a window hinged at the top that opens outward from the bottom.

Bay – a window that projects outward from the exterior walls of a house.

Casement – windows hinged on the left or right side that swing in or out vertically by using a crank handle.

Dormer window – a window set in a structure situated along a sloping roof.

Double-glazed – a window with two pieces of glass instead of one to provide additional insulation.

Double hung – a window with two vertically sliding panels, so both the top and the bottom of the window can open.

Egress window - typically installed in basements, these windows allow you to climb out in case of an emergency.

Fixed or picture – these are windows that do not open.

Gliding – a window with one moving panel that opens by sliding to the left or right.

Jamb – the molding on the top and sides around a window frame.

Lite – an individual pane of glass within a window.

Louvered window – windows with slats that function like shutters that open and close.

Mullion – a vertical divider that divides lites in a window. Decorative mullions that aren’t used for actual support are knows as grilles.

Sash – the frame that holds the glass of a window.

Single hung – a window where only the lower panel opens vertically.

Transom – decorative windows typically installed above doors, windows, or high in an interior wall to allow light to flow from one space to another.

U factor (U value) – a measurement that indicates a window’s rate of heat transfer. The lower the U factor the better the better the insulation.

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