Glossary of Window & Door Terms

Have you ever been confused when talking to a window and door contractor? Window and door terms can be confusing to average homeowners, so we hope this page is a good resource!

Window & Door Terminology

Aluminum Windows: type of window where the frame and sash are made out of aluminum. Besides their superior strength, one of the few windows great for noise reduction. Read more here.

Awning windows: a type of window that operates by pivoting outward on hinges set on the top. Read more here.

Bay windows: a window style that protrudes out from the wall and extends beyond the foundation. Most bay windows have three sashes and project out at 30 or 45 degrees. Read more here.

Bow windows: also called compass or radial bay windows, these rounded windows project from the wall in an arch shape. They usually consist of five sashes. Read more here.

Box bay windows: a window style that protrudes out from the wall and extends beyond the foundation at a 90-degree angle. Read more here.

Casement windows: a type of window that operates by pivoting outward on hinges set on one side. Casements can open on the left or right, inward or outward. Read more here.

Bottom rail: bottom horizontal part of a window sash

Casing or trim: exposed molding or framing around a window or door that covers the space between the frame and wall

Caulk: rubber based material used to seal cracks and fill joints to prevent water and air leakage

Coated glass: glass with a reflective exterior surface; can help protect you from UV rays

Composite windows: a type of window made from several different materials combined together. The window benefits from having multiple materials rolled into one. Read more here.

Double hung windows: a type of window that operates by sliding up and down. Both the upper and lower sashes are operable. Read more here.

Drip cap: horizontal molding used to divert water from the top casing so that it drips beyond the outside of the frame; this can prevent water damage

Fenestration: the design and placement of window openings in a home or building

Fiberglass windows: a type of window where the frame and sash are made of fiberglass. High strength, durability, and performance make this a good choice for many homeowners. Read more here.

Fixed window: type of window that doesn’t open

Folding door system: a type of exterior door with multiple panels that are hinged to pivot and fold together when opened. Folding doors may include anywhere from two to four or more panels. Read more here.

Forced-entry resistance (FER): the ability of a door or window to resist entry from the outside while in the locked position.

Garden windows: a window style that protrudes out from the wall to provide a ledge to set small plants and herbs, often installed above kitchen sinks. Read more here.

Geometric windows: a unique window shape designed to add aesthetic appeal to a home. Geometric windows don’t operate. Read more here.

Hinge: a moveable joint that allows a window to swing open

Hopper light: inward opening sash that is hinged at the bottom

Integrated door: a type of exterior door that comes with all working hardware and the door integrated into a single package. Centor is a popular manufacturer of integrated doors. Read more here.

Jamb depth: width of the window frame from the inside to the outside

Jambs: the vertical components of a window or door frame.

Lite: a pane of glass used in a window, door, or skylight.

Moisture barrier: a material that protects your windows and doors from water damage; polyethylene is often used

Mullion: a thick bar separating adjoining windows set into the same frame.

Muntin: a thin grille separating a window lite into smaller sections. Read more here.

Orientation: placement of windows in regard to access, view, sun, etc.

Pane: a sheet of glass for glazing a window

Passivehaus: a European energy trend originating in Germany and Norway. Promotes energy-efficiency in homes as well as renewable sources of energy to make your home more environmentally-friendly.

Picture windows: a large window doesn’t operate. It provides natural light and a view of the exterior, but no ventilation. Read more here.

PVC: a molded plastic material used for window frames and as a thermal barrier for aluminum windows

Reflective glass: type of glass that reflects the sun’s rays

R-value: measure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the value, the better the heat insulating properties

Sash: framework in which the pane of a window is set

Side lite: the name for a lite installed on one or both sides of a door.

Single hung window: a type of window that operates by sliding up and down. Only the lower sash is operable. Read more here.

Sliding door: a type of exterior door that opens by sliding to the left or right. Sliding doors are comprised primarily of glass. Read more here.

Sliding windows: a type of window that operates by sliding horizontally. One or both sashes may operate. Read more here.

Transom: a window installed above an interior or exterior door. Read more here.

U-value: the rate of heat flow through a building (difference between the indoor and outdoor air temperature)

Vinyl Windows: type of window where the frame and sash are created out of vinyl. Great choice for buyers looking for an efficient and cost-effective window material. Read more here.

Venting windows: a unique type of picture window that opens evenly on all sides by just an inch or two to allow for passive air exchange. Read more here.

Weatherstrip: flexible material used to cover the joint of a window between the sash and frame; helps reduce air and water intrusion

Weephole: small holes in the bottom edge of the storm sash to allow rain to wash away from the sill to the outside; helps prevent water damage

Wood Windows: type of window where the frame and sash are made out of wood. Also one of the first materials used to create windows. Advantages are they can be stained and painted. Read more here.

Wood clad windows: a type of window where the frame and sash are made of wood on the interior side only, providing warmth and beauty inside a home. The exterior may be made of vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass to withstand the elements better.

Heard a term that isn’t on this list? Want to learn more about these window and door terms? Contact Quality Window & Door today!

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