Anatomy of a window
2020

The Anatomy of a Window – And Why You Should Care

Buying new windows for your home is a huge investment but one that is definitely worth it. New windows can increase the energy efficiency of your home by helping to keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Additionally, those new windows can completely update and change your space, making every room brighter, not to mention the value they will add to your property.

Before you go shopping for windows, here are some terms to familiarize yourself with. 

Sash
The movable part of the window that holds the glass in place. It consists of the rails that run along the top and bottom and the stiles on the sides.

Stiles
The major vertical supports of the window sash, located on the sides.

Rails
The horizontal parts of a sash that connect the stiles, located at the top and bottom.

Muntins (or Grille) 
The grid of the window, also referred to as the grille. Muntins can be purely decorative and just snap into place over the glass or they can help hold the glass in place, dividing the glass into sections often referred to as lites. They can be mounted between the panes of glass, especially on thermal-insulated windows. Windows with inside-mounted muntins are easier to clean than windows with muntins on the outside of the glass. 

Grilles for double-hung windows are named according to the number of squares they form (for example: four over four). Note: Muntins should not be confused with mullions which are the vertical or horizontal pieces between adjoining window units. 

Glazing
The glass in the window frame. Glazing can be single, double or triple glazed with air spaces in between. Triple glazed is the most energy efficient. Also referred to as the lite.

Apron
The horizontal piece of trim attached to the wall under the window sill. 

Sill
The shelf-like piece that runs along the base of the window frame into the interior of the house. Also known as the stool.

Casing
The horizontal and vertical molding that surrounds the window. It covers the space between the window and the wall to provide a finished look. It can be installed inside or outside the house and can be decorative or plain.

Jambs
The pieces that form the window frame and support the sash and glazing. 

Operator
The crank that allows you to open and close casement and awning windows. Newer windows often have a crank that folds in for a cleaner look.

Scissor Arm or Extension Arm
The arm attached to the window frame either at the rails or the stiles that is extended or contracted by cranking the operator handle to open or close the window.

Latch or Lock
The locking mechanism on the window. The latch not only locks the window, but also helps seal the window closed for better energy efficiency. There are even upgrades available like magnetic locks that lock windows automatically when closed.

Being familiar with the correct terminology before you go shopping or have an in-home consultation will help you understand exactly what you want. If you want to have Muskoka Window and Door Centre experts in to help you decide on the best style for your home or cottage, contact us today! 

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