It is an age-old, worldwide understanding that if you want to get what you asked for then you need to communicate your desires clearly. It is true for all circles of life, and it is no different for window and door replacement. That is why it is absolutely necessary to know some common vocabulary as you begin to do your research into replacement windows. Not only will it pay off during the consultation process, but it will also keep you tuned in during the installation, and help get your windows serviced when they need it.

That isn’t to say you have to become an expert, knowing what some basic terminology means can go a long way.

There are three groups of words worth knowing when it comes to custom windows and doors: Product includes the different styles of windows, Parts include accessories and mechanisms, and Structure includes existing components around a window and door.

Window Products:

Awning window:

a crank operated window that opens outward from the bottom up. The benefit of this window is that it provides excellent ventilation and keeps out the rain.Awning_Window_Open_q

Casement window:

a crank operated window that opens outward. The benefit of this window is that it provides excellent ventilation while offering superior air tightness. Casement windows use compression seals for maximum energy efficiency.

casement_window1

 

End-Vent window:

usually used for wider windows, an end-vent has sliders on either side. The benefit of this window is that it provides a large viewing area and excellent ventilation.End_Vent_Window

 

Fixed window:

a non-operable window. Can usually be combined with an operating window. This window lets in a lot of light and offers an unobstructed view.
High_Fixed_Window

Window Grilles:

bars that divide a window into smaller decorative panes. Grilles are a decorative feature and can be arranged in a variety of patterns.

window_grills_inside
Interior view of colonial grills

High Profile window:

a thicker window frame, matches casement windows and combination units. The same as a fixed window, a high profile frame allows combination units to have a uniform look on the outside.
high_low_fixed banner

Hung window:

a sliding window that moves up and down. One or both sashes can be operable and can tilt into the room. The benefit of this window is that it is easy to clean and is good for egress.
Hung_Window

 

Low Profile window:

a thin window frame. Like its high profile counterpart, it is the same as a fixed window.
low_profile_fixed_window1

Picture window:

another way to say fixed

Slider window:

a sliding window that moves side to side.  One or both sashes can be operable and can tilt into the room. The benefit of this window is that it is easy to clean and is good for egress.
Slider_Window

Sound Proof window glass:

a sealed unit that reduces noise penetration
SSP_glass_diagram

Window Parts:

Brickmould:

a strip of material, on the exterior, used to close the gap between the wall and the frame of the opening acting as a seal against water and air infiltration.
Brickmould

 

Cam Lock:

a heavy-duty lock for sliding windows.
Cam_Lock

Window Capping:

a light gauge aluminum covering that is custom-shaped and installed over any exterior exposed surfaces of window frames for weather protection and a finished appearance.
aluminum_capping

Casing:

a decorative moulding used to close the gap between wall and jamb extension. Can be made from vinyl and wood.
awning window in a kitchen

Rosette:

a decorative corner piece that connects the horizontal casing to the vertical casing.

Frame:

an assembly of vertical and horizontal members in the shape of a frame made for holding the sash or the sealed unit.

Jamb Extension:

a piece of material that covers the exposed part of the rough opening while connecting the casing to the frame of the window.

Jamb_Frame

Crank:

a handle operated mechanism which opens and closes casement and awning windows.
Crank_Window

 

Multi Point Lock:

a lever lock which grabs the casement or awning window and pulls it in for added air tightness and security.
Multi_Point_Lock

 

Night Latch:

an accessory which allows a horizontal slider to only have a 3” opening from frame to sash. Good for ventilation and security.
Night_Latch

Window Sash:

an assembly of vertical and horizontal members in the shape of a frame made for holding the sealed unit.
double slider

Sealed Unit:

double or triple pane glass with a sealed airspace that may or may not contain inert insulating gas.
Sealed_Unit

 

Shims:

a thin, flat, or wedge-shaped piece of wood used to level or plumb windows and doors during installation.
Shims


Window Weatherstripping:

a material used to seal openings, gaps, or cracks of venting windows or doors to prevent water and air infiltration.
triple_wethered_seal-1

 

Window Drainage Flap:

a small hole in the window or sill member through which water may drain to the exterior.
Drainage_Flap

 

Window Structure:

Insulation:

material used to make the installation of the window more energy efficient. Common materials include foam, vat, and fiberglass.
Insulation

Rough Opening:

A combination of wall assembly members prepared to accept the window, includes Header, Studs, and Window Sill

Sealant/Caulking:

any compound used to fill and seal joints or openings in wood, metal, masonry, and other materials. A sealer is a liquid that seals a leaky surface

Now that you are a little bit more familiar with window terminology you can accurately communicate with sales representatives, installers, and service technicians alike to express your ideas and clarify lingering questions.

coloured_vinyl_jambs

Check out these window replacement resources:
Find out what makes a quality window
Learn some questions you should ask during your window quote appointment
Check out the gallery of our past projects

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