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Shedding Some Light On Architectural Windows 101: Parts


Is your window knowledge lacking? This informational series will get you caught up.

How many times have you found yourself stuck in a conversation about architectural windows and you haven’t been able to come up with the terms for the window parts you’re trying to describe? What’s that? Not that often? Hm…. Well. We often do find ourselves in conversations about architectural windows (we wonder why…), and we happen to know plenty of window vocabulary. Here’s the first in a series of informative posts about architectural windows — this one is designed to get you up to speed on different window parts.

Architectural Window Parts 101

Gone are the days of referring to “the top bit” or “the slidey part”. Welcome to a world where you can speak specifically about different architectural window parts. This will help you have easier conversation with your window supplier when you’re shopping for replacement windows or in case you have a question, preference, or problem regarding that part. Without further ado, let’s impart some window knowledge.

  • Frame: The exterior parts of the window that frame and support it, composed of the head, jamb, and sill.
    • Head: Formerly known as “the top bit”, the head is exactly that. The head is the main horizontal part that creates the top of the frame
    • Jamb: The vertical parts of the frame
    • Sill: The bottom horizontal part of the frame
    • Casing: Decorative frame/molding that opens inward to allow access to the interior of the window
    • Jambliner: A strip on the inside of the frame that gives a snug fit and smooth ride for the sash. (But what the heck is a sash?)
  • Hardware and interior parts:
    • Sash: Whew. The sash is the movable part of a double-hung window, referred to as an operable part, as opposed to…
    • Fixed or inoperable panel: A panel of a window that can’t be opened, whether sliding or pivoting.
    • Hinged panel: Another type of operable panel, operating on a hinged range of motion rather than a slide.
    • Rail: The horizontal parts of a sash — includes upper and lower rails
    • Check rail: The middle of the window where the top rail of the bottom sash and the bottom rail of the top sash come in contact
    • Operator: A crank-operated mechanism to open or close casement or awning windows
    • Lift: A handle for, you guessed it, lifting the lower sash
    • Sash lock: We bet you can guess this one too. In addition to locking, it also reduces rattling
    • Mullion: A major structural piece, either horizontal or vertical, that sits between two or more windows, combining them into a unified architectural piece
    • Grilles: Decorative pieces that attach to windows, giving one larger pane the look of being composed of multiple smaller panes

Alright, that was a lot — we hope you made flash cards because there’s a quiz later. No, not really. But maybe next time you go to buy replacement windows you might be able to impress your window supplier with some fancy window jargon. Bonus points if you can stump ‘em. Until next time, enjoy your new architectural window knowledge!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 3:53 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.