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The average homeowner isn’t as well-versed in window lingo as the experts at APCO. That’s no big deal—we can usually figure out what you mean. But have you ever wondered what a specific part or piece of your window is actually called? After all, “thingy” is hardly a proper term. And what is a window jamb, anyway? We thought it might be helpful to break down the anatomy of a window and help you get a clearer understanding of window terminology—especially if you’re thinking about replacing your windows any time soon!
For starters, be aware that the terms used for windows vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. This is often influenced by window type, the professional handling it, and even your country or region. We’ll try to use the most widely accepted/common terms here to make things less confusing.
The part most folks call the “window” is the glass component specifically, or the “pane.” Panes vary according to the window type, including double or triple panes (IGUs), decorative panes, etc.
Essentially the “house” of the glass pane, the frame provides support and the housing for your panes of glass. The frame, as a whole, is also responsible for the window’s functionality, providing the ability to open your window when applicable. Frames come in many different materials, including wood, vinyl, steel, and more. The frame itself is made of multiple parts, including:
The apron is the decorative piece located under the sill of your window.
These are the “movable parts” of a window that provide the function of opening and closing. In most cases, there are two sashes—the upper sash, that is generally meant to be immobile, and the lower sash, which opens and closes. Sashes can be independent of the frame, but more often than not, “sash” is used as a term for the sum of a window’s parts, incorporating the frame and included mechanisms to create the sash.
A sash lock is the mechanism that lock or unlocks your window for the purpose of opening/closing. This part also reduces window shuddering, so if your window is rattling in the wind, the lock is often the part at fault!
The rail is the place where your upper sash and lower sash make contact, this is the horizontal piece that “divides” your window. It’s also the piece that holds your window lock (sash lock). There is an upper and lower rail, corresponding with the sash it is attached to.
The lift is a handle used to open or close your window. These can be small, decorative fixtures, or even simply an indention in the rail design.
There are some other small bits, of course, and while the information above is applicable to most window types, some styles such as casement windows have additional parts that support their unique design. But that’s for another day! For the most part, this should give you a solid understanding of the most common and most often used part of your windows!
APCO is driven to bring you the best products and the best installation service possible. We offer high-quality window installation and service throughout the following cities and their surrounding areas: Bexley, Columbus, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Lewis Center, Pickerington, Powell, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, and Westerville.
“We were pleased with the overall execution of the planning and installation involved in this operation. You have a first class work force. We thank you for your outstanding service.” – Cliff from Groveport