Parts of a Window: Terms and Definitions

Before you start thinking about your window replacement it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with everything about window anatomy. This way you know exactly what your project consultant is talking about during your quote.

Of course a big part of the window is the glass pane. In modern windows glass panes are joined together in an airtight sealed unit. This is a double effect on the energy efficiency of the window. First, when sealed together the glass panes are much better at preventing heat and air loss. The airtight unit also allows for the use of inert gas fills between the glass panes for even better performance and efficiency.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows can be manufactured with two or three glass panes depending on your efficiency needs and your budget. The insulated glass unit is part of the sash. A sash is kind of like a window within a window. Depending on the window style, there may be one or more sashes and some may be movable and some static. The benefit of a sash is that if it’s damaged, you can often replace just the sash, without having to replace the entire window. The sash sits and moves inside or against the window frame.

Modern window frames are made from vinyl for best performance and longevity. On the inner side of the window the frame is attached to the jamb. There’s a simple way to tell apart the frame from the jamb. If you’re facing the window directly, everything in front of you surrounding the sash will be the frame. The material on the sides, top and bottom of the window is what we call the jamb.

It’s important to know, because if you choose to install blinds or curtains after your window installation, you can only drill into the jamb and not the frame of the window. Usually jambs are manufactured from vinyl, but you have an option to get custom wood jams for your replacement.

To complete the look of the window replacement they’re usually finished off with some trim or casing around the window. You can get the standard vinyl trim around your windows or you can upgrade and get some stained wood casing.

Exterior Finishes

It is also important to understand a few things about the exterior finishes of your window when it comes to understanding window anatomy. Most windows today are installed with either a vinyl brick mold or an aluminum cladding. Vinyl brick mold attached to the outer side of the window frame and fits flush against the wall. It can also come with a nail flange that goes under the siding stucco or brick exterior. After the window was installed, the edge of the brick mold is sealed with caulking.

You Got It!

Now let’s go over our points and parts again. The glass panes are combined in an insulated sealed unit, which sits inside the sash. The window sash or sashes sit inside the frame. On the inside, the frame is attached to the jamb, which is attached to the casing. On the exterior, the frame attaches to the brick mold, which sits flush against the wall.

United Builders is here to help if you have questions about window anatomy and what needs to be done to replace your windows. Call us at (909) 969-8976 and our window experts will take a look at your windows and help you decide the best option for your unique situation.

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