Window Terms

We’re the Window Geeks, so sometimes we throw around terms that could be a little confusing for those who don’t live in the world of windows. Don’t worry! We’re always happy to share our knowledge. Here’s a handy guide of window terms you might encounter.

Argon Gas

A colourless, odourless gas used to fill the airspace between insulating glass. The addition of Argon greatly increases the insulating performance of the LowE.

Astragal

A moulding attached to the non-primary side of double doors. Locks into place at the top and bottom using flush bolt locks to prevent the door from opening when you open the primary door.

Balanced Sash

In reference to our 2600 series window, the exterior of the windows all look the same (balanced) regardless of their operation. The 2900 series is an example of an unbalanced look. You can see the difference of the window operation, by the exterior look.

Bay

A window built to project outward from an outside wall, formed by 3 windows either separate or coupled together.

Bow

Bow windows are window combinations that curve gradually and gracefully outside a home, usually 5 or more windows which form a bowed look.

Brickmould

A composite exterior trim surrounding your windows and doors which adds a final design element. Centra can also offer an attached vinyl brickmould to any style of window or vinyl door which is integrated into the frame.

Casement

A casement window is a window that is attached to its frame by one or more hinges. Casement windows are hinged at the side, and are opened with a crank or cam handle.

Cam handle

L shaped handle used on windows that push out.

Cladding

A covering or coating on a structure of material

Daylight

The amount of visible glass (no obstructions) on a window

Direct Glaze

Glass which is directly put into the frame of a door. Typically used for a door sidelite, which will provide a wider viewing area.

Doorlite

A window that’s inserted into an exterior door

Envelope

The building envelope is all of the elements of the outer shell that maintain a dry, heated or cooled indoor environment and facilitate its climate control. Building envelope design is a specialized area of architectural and engineering practice that draws from all areas of building science and indoor climate control.

Egress Window

A window that is large enough for someone to exit out of in the case of an emergency. These are required in all bedrooms.

Flush bolts

Found on the astragal of a door. These are what lock the non primary door in place, or will unlock the door so that it can be opened

Garden Windows

A window that projects slightly from the wall to allow for more sunlight—similar to a greenhouse glass design

Glazing

Panes or sheets of glass set or made to be set in frames, as in windows, doors, or mirrors.

Glazing Bead

A vinyl strip that hold the glass in place.

Heel dimension

The actual size of the window

James “Hardie” siding

The most popular brand of siding; Providing strength, beauty and durability. HardiPlank enhances and protects homes in all sorts of climates. Perfect for BC Weather conditions!

Laminated Glass

Is a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by an interlayer of plastic between its two or more layers of glass.

LowE

Low E stands for low emissivity. Low E glass is coated with a thin microscopic, invisible, metal or metallic oxide layer. The primary function is to reduce the U-value by suppressing radiative heat flow. Secondary feature is to block radiation to impede heat gain. There are two types of lowE; a hard coat and a soft coat.

Mullion

A vertical or horizontal piece of vinyl that separates two pieces of glass in a framed window.

Multipoint lock

Locks in multiple spots to enhance security and durability

Nail fin

The part of a window that gets nailed to the studs of a home

Rake

A window with uneven sides

Rebate (Renovation) Flange

Also known as a “retro-fit”. Is a 2” flange that is attached to the frame of a window, which usually is installed to lay on top of your existing siding.

Rough opening

The framed opening without any casing or finishing. Where the window or door is to be installed. Openings are larger than the size of the unit to allow shimming and insulating.

Roto

A gear driven device.

Sash

The portion of the window that slides

Sidelite

A window that’s beside an exterior door and is built in the same frame

SDL (Simulated divided light)

A Mixture of internal and external grids to give the look of separate pieces of glass in a window.

Soffits

Refers to the material forming a ceiling from the top of an exterior house wall to the outer edge of the roof, i.e., bridging the gap between a home's siding and the roofline, otherwise known as the eaves. When so constructed, the soffit material is typically screwed or nailed to rafters known as lookout rafters or lookouts for short.

Spacer

The spacer bar is bonded to the glass panes via a primary and secondary seal, creating an airtight cavity which is filled with air or gas.

Storm Window

A window that is mounted outside or inside of the main glass windows of a house.

Snubber

One of the locking mechanisms on our casement windows

Tempered Glass

Float glass heated and cooled rapidly in a controlled environment. This makes the glass several times stronger. When it is broken it yields small pebble-like fragments.

T bar

Used to separate doors and sidelights.

Tie bar

One of the locking mechanisms on our casement windows

Get inspired by our many incredible window options!

There’s no better way to understand what difference our windows will make to your home than by seeing them in action. Dive into our inspiration gallery to get an idea of the amazing work our Window Geeks have been doing!

centra seal icon

We can talk windows allll day long…

Keep an eye on our blog, and soon you’ll be just as fluent in Window as we are!

Book an In-Home or Virtual Consultation

Connect with one of our Window Geeks to discuss your home improvement project or request a quote.