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
Awning windows: a type of window that operates by pivoting outward on hinges set on the top.
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.
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.
Box bay windows: a window style that protrudes out from the wall and extends beyond the foundation at a 90-degree angle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Geometric windows: a unique window shape designed to add aesthetic appeal to a home. Geometric windows don’t operate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sliding door: a type of exterior door that opens by sliding to the left or right. Sliding doors are comprised primarily of glass.
Sliding windows: a type of window that operates by sliding horizontally. One or both sashes may operate.
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.
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.
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
Heard a term that isn’t on this list? Want to learn more about these window and door terms? Contact Gulf Coast Windows & Doors today!