When replacing the windows in your Wisconsin home, you may be faced with a number of terms and phrases that are unfamiliar. Here are some terms with which you should know in order to make a more informed decision when discussing new windows with your Wisconsin replacement window contractor.

  • Bay window: A composite of three or more windows, usually made up of a large center unit and two flanking units at 30°, 45° or 90° angles to the wall.
  • Bow window: A composite of four or more window units in a radial or bow formation.
  • Brick mould: Outside casing around the window to cover jambs and through which nails are driven to install the window.
  • Casing: Inside casing is a flat, decorative moulding which covers the inside edge of the jambs and the rough openings between the window unit and the wall. Outside casing (or Brick Mould) served the same purpose, while it also is an installation device through which nails are driven to install the window unit to the wall.
  • Dormer: A space which protrudes from the roof, usually including one or more windows.
  • Double glazing: Use of two panes of glass in a window to increase energy efficiency and provide other performance benefits.
  • Drip cap: A moulding placed on the top of the head brick mould or casing of a window frame.
  • Fenestration: An architectural term referring to the arrangement of windows in a wall.
  • Flashing: A metal or plastic strip attached to the outside of the head or side jambs to provide a weather barrier, preventing leakage between the frame and the wall.
  • Gasket: A pliable, flexible continuous strip of material used to create a watertight seal between sash and frame of roof windows much like the seal around a refrigerator door.
  • Glazing: The glass panes or lights in a sash of a window.
  • Glazing bead: A plastic or wood strip applied to the window sash around the perimeter of the glass.
  • Header: A heavy beam extended across the top of the rough opening to prevent the weight of the wall from resting on the window frame.
  • Lift: A handle or grip installed on the bottom of a rail of the lower sash of a double-hung window to make it easier to raise or lower the sash.
  • Lite: (also spelled light) Glazing framed by sash in a window or door
  • Low-E glass: A common term used to refer to glass that has low emissivity due to a film or metallic coating on the glass or suspended between the two panes of glass to restrict the passage of radiant heat.
  • Mullion: The vertical or horizontal divisions or joints between single windows in a multiple window unit.
  • Rails: The horizontal members of a window sash or door panel.
  • Rough opening: The opening left in a frame wall to receive a window unit.
  • Sash balance: A system of weight, cords and/or coiled springs which assist in raising double-hung sash and tend to keep the sash in any placed position by counterbalancing the weight of the sash.
  • Sash cord: In double-hung windows, the rope or chain that attaches the sash to the counterbalance.
  • Sash weights: In older double-hung windows, the concealed cast-iron weights that are used to counterbalance the sash.
  • Shims: Wood wedges (often wood shingles) used to secure the window unit in a rough or masonry opening in a square, level and plumb position during and after installation.
  • Sidelights: Tall, narrow, fixed or operating sash on either or both sides of a door to light an entryway or vestibule.
  • Sill: The horizontal member that forms the bottom of a window frame.
  • Single glazing: Use of single panes of glass in a window. Not as energy-efficient as double glazing or triple glazing.
  • Single-hung: A double-hung type of window in which the top sash is fixed or inoperable.
  • Stud: Vertical wood framing members which form a frame wall. In normal construction, these are 8 foot long 2″ x 4″s.
  • Transom: A smaller window above a door or another window. A transom joint is also the horizontal joining area between two window units that are stacked one on top of the other.
  • Triple glazing: A sash glazed with three lights of glass, enclosing two separate air spaces.
  • U-Factor: A measure of heat transmission through a wall or window.  The lower the U-Factor, the better the insulating value.
  • Vapor barrier: A watertight material used to prevent the passage of moisture into or through floors, walls, and ceilings.
  • Windowpane divider: A short bar used to separate glass in a sash into multiple lights. Also called a grille.

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