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Windows Fundamentals

Diagram of window
  1. The head refers to the upper boundary of the window and represents to top of the entire window.
  2. The jamb comes from the French for leg and supports the outer edge of the window (the left and right boundaries).
  3. The frame is the entire outer portion of the window and the construct in which the sashes or other parts move.
  4. Glazing is any process or material applied to panes of glass.
  5. Panes are individual units of glass, divided by muntin bars.
  6. A sash is an entire assembly of panes and is the part that generally moves.
  7. The sill is the lower portion of the window, which usually protrudes out from the wall.
  8. Muntin bars separate individual panes (also known as grilles or windowpane dividers).

Types of Manufactured Windows

Single-Hung/Double Hung

Double-hung window- Sashes slide vertically
- In single-hung units, the bottom sash is the only sash that moves.
- Ventilation regulated by widening vertical crack with bottom sash
- Screens possible on exterior / interior.


Casement window- Hinges are located on one side
- Low air leakage rates (tighter seal than sliding windows)
- Better ventilation (larger area open to outside)
- Can catch passing breezes (window protrudes outside into wind)
- Screens installed on interior

Bow Window

Bow window
- Similar to bay window, more actual windows
- Radiate out to form semi-circle

Bay Window

Bay window
- Combination of three-plus windows
- Center made of one or more windows parallel with wall
- Outer windows angled back towards wall


Awning window- Similar to casement windows, but hinges at top
- Also open outward and lower leakage rates

Fixed Frame

Fixed frame window- Used mainly for adding exterior light to rooms
- Does not open or move
- Provides no ventilation


Skylight window- Installed in ceiling
- Parallel to roof
- Some models can open and provide ventilation
- Brings in more sunlight than a traditional wall window


Slider window- Similar to single/double hung windows, but turned on their side
- Either one or both sashes will be able to move and slide
- Provides ventilation as opening is widened by sashes.