The Essential Glossary of Window Replacement Terms

If you are unfamiliar with the home renovation and repairs industry, it can be challenging to figure out exactly what information you need to know to complete a specific project. The challenge can be compounded for those who don’t know the proper vernacular for that particular home maintenance project. 


Homeowners who are considering window replacements, for example, might find themselves struggling to understand all of the terminology surrounding their upcoming renovation work as they shop for windows and talk to potential contractors. That’s where this guide comes in.


As you continue reading, you’ll find a brief glossary of the most important window replacement terms you need to know to feel comfortable throughout the renovation process. 


Glass Terminology 


Pane – The window pane is the glass that is visible inside of the window sash. There are multiple types of panes, which are outlined below.


Single Pane – Windows with a single sheet of glass; the least well-insulated and least expensive of the options.

Double Pane – Windows with two sheets of glass back-to-back, with a layer of insulating gas (often argon) between them; the most common window option for modern homeowners. 

Triple Pane – Windows with three sheets of glass back-to-back, with a layer of insulating gas (often argon) between them; the most costly of these three window pane styles. 


Spacer – Both double and triple pane windows often have these metal or plastic pieces to keep each sheet of glass separated at a consistent width.


Laminated glass – This type glass is crafted from two sheets that are melded together. It is engineered to have a lower risk of breaking and cracking.


Tempered glass – This type of glass is formed via a rapid heating and cooling process. It is the strongest type of glass and, if it breaks, it shatters into small pieces instead of jagged shards. 


Window Frame Terminology 


Apron – The trim that attaches a window frame’s interior windowsill to the wall underneath of it. 


Casing/Molding – The gaps that exist between a window frame and a wall are covered with casing or molding for a decorative finish.


Head – The top of a window frame.


Sash – The piece of a window frame that holds the glass in place. Different window styles have different numbers of sashes. 


Shims – Depending on the age of your Carolina home, the walls may not be perfectly straight. In these cases, shims – small pieces of wood – are used to fill gaps between the window and the casing. 


Weephole – Tiny holes that are drilled in windowsills to ensure that condensation and moisture are drawn outside, away from the interior of your home. 


Window Type Terminology 


Awning – This type of window has a hinge at the top, opening upward and outward to create an awning effect. 


Bay – This type of window is quite popular, as it projects outward from the wall creating both additional floorspace and an architectural detail. Bay windows consist of three windows together, while bow windows – which are similar – include four or more windows. 


Casement – This type of window is extremely popular in American homes, second only to the double-hung window. Casement windows open horizontally and typically have a crank or lever as the opening mechanism. 


Double-hung – As noted, this type of window is the most common in the United States. Double-hung windows have two sashes so the window can be opened upward, downward, or both depending on personal preference. They are easy to clean and offer protection against children or pets falling since only the top portion can be opened. 


Picture – This type of window features a sleek pane of glass with no sashes or grids. Picture windows are “fixed” windows, meaning they do not open. However, they are popular with homeowners who wish to take advantage of beautiful natural views in North Carolina and South Carolina!


Give the Hatch Homes team a call at your earliest convenience to schedule a free quote for your upcoming window replacement project. Our expert crew is here to take care of you every step of the way. 

More than just a contractor.

Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.

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