It helps to know how window contractors and manufacturers refer to various window components when looking for replacement windows. These window basics will help you to choose the optimal window style, material, glass, and more.
Learning window terms will assist you when seeking the best window replacement company for your needs and help your vision for your home exterior come to life.
Let’s get started on gaining an understanding of basic window terms.
Double-Hung Window Components 101
Windows are visible inside and outside your home. Let’s look at the most popular window type (double-hung) from the outside in.
Double-hung windows come in classic wood, maintenance-free vinyl, and durable fiberglass. They deliver a timeless look and fabulous ventilation. They can be opened simultaneously from the top (by sliding the top vertical panel down) and the bottom (by sliding the bottom panel up) to create optimal air circulation for your home.
A double-hung window’s exterior components include:
Window Frame – The exterior frame surrounds and supports your window. It is made up of three primary parts:
- Head – This is the main horizontal part that creates the top of the window frame.
- Jamb – This primary vertical part makes up the sides of your window frame.
- Sill – This chief horizontal part creates the bottom of your window’s frame.
A Jambliner is a strip on the sides of your window frame that delivers a snug fit for your window sash.
Screens are woven mesh of metal, plastic, or fiberglass that covers your window openings so air can enter your home. They keep flies and pests out of your home while your windows are open.
Weep Holes are openings in the windowsill that help safeguard your windows by allowing water to escape, preventing damage to your home.
A double-hung window’s interior components (what you see inside your home) include:
- Sash – This refers to the moveable part of a window. It is made of a vertical and horizontal frame that holds the glass.
- Balance – This is a spring-loaded mechanical part of a double-hung window that counterbalances the weight of the sash when you open and close your window.
- Lift – The term refers to the handle used to raise the lower sash in a double-hung window.
- Glass – This is the sheet of glass within your window frame. It is also referred to as glazing. Today’s window glass comes in two or three layers called double-paned or triple-paned windows. Glazing can be enhanced with tints and laminations to add privacy and a decorative element.
- Rail – This is the horizontal piece of a window sash. It is made up of three parts:
- Lower Rail – This term refers to the bottom part of the lower sash.
- Check Rail – On double-hung windows, this is the middle of the window where the bottom of the higher sash and the top of the lower sash meet.
- Upper Rail – This refers to the top part of the higher sash.
Window combinations and options
When you choose a primary window style for your home, you can also mix things up by including combinations of different styles for various locations in your home. For example, you can place a double-hung window on each side of a picture window in your kitchen.
These are windows that cannot open. Their primary function is to gain natural light in your home and allow you to enjoy a grand view of the outdoors. They look fabulous in kitchens and living areas and can be paired with other window styles.
These long, horizontal fixed windows are located above your operable windows and are a stylish way to get added natural light in your home. They create a sophisticated-looking design element to enjoy.
Grilles are decorative pieces that appear to divide windowpanes, giving the illusion of multiple panes. They come either between double- or triple-paned glass or on the interior of the glass.
The daylight opening (DLO) comprises the total amount of glass in a window, not including the sash and rails or the window frame.
Casement Window Basics
The second most popular window style is the beautiful casement window. It comes in genuine wood, high-performing fiberglass, and attractive vinyl. A hand crank opens this window. The more you turn the crank, the more the window extends away from your home, channeling refreshing breezes into your house.
Casement window components
- Operator – This is the hand crank that opens and closes casement windows.
- Weather-stripping – This replaceable strip covers the joint between your window sash and frame. It keeps water and outdoor air from penetrating your home, boosting insulation and improving energy efficiency.
- Aluminum Clad – When homeowners choose wood windows, aluminum clad protects the wood from moisture penetration, lowering the possibility of rot and damage.
- Argon or Krypton Gas – These are the gas fills used by most window manufacturers to reduce heat transfer across the windows. One of these gasses is used in double- and triple-paned windows to increase the insulation your windows provide. The gas can be used in a variety of window styles.
Gorgeous Window Replacements Will Transform Your Home
Now that you have a foundation and understand window terms, you are well-equipped to visit with our team about your home remodel desires. We are here to guide you through the selection process and ensure you have the facts you need to make the optimal long-term choice for your home upgrade.
Take a closer look at some of our recent window projects.