If you're looking to replace the windows in your home or car, you'll be hearing a variety of terms with which you may not be familiar. The same is true if you are installing brand new windows, for example adding on a patio that will have sliding glass doors. Keep the following terms in mind as you shop for windows, and you'll have an easy time conversing with salespersons and contractors about your upcoming replacement or new installation project.
Pane - A sheet of glass. Windows may have one or two panes and are called single or double-paned, respectively.
Vinyl - Polymer made from thermoplastic commonly used for windows. It is sometimes referred to as PVC.
Frame - Structure that surrounds a window or doorway and holds it in place. Frames are usually made from wood, aluminum or vinyl.
Sashes - Part of the frame that separates panes of glass within a window.
Tint - Refers to glass that has been installed with a special film, which is meant to reduce the amount of sunlight that enters a home or car. Tinted glass usually has a darker appearance than windows that have not tint.
Bay - A group of windows that extends outside of the facade of a house, making the room look larger, and are typically made up of at least three windows.
Bow - A bay window that is curved rather than angled.
Double-Hung - Arrangement of two windows stacked one on top of the other and separated by a sash; Double-hung windows typically slide or open outward.
Casement - Window attached with hinges. Casement windows often open using a crank.
Window glass is mass produced in large sheets and then cut to fit the specific dimensions of what it will be used for. Large picture windows are popular, and stained glass, traditionally used in churches, is also commonly used to highlight the architecture of homes. Many exterior doors have small window panes in them. French doors and windows are glass doors that open to a patio or outdoor area. The invention of the motorcar directly led to the need for laminated glass, which is less likely to break in an accident. Sliding glass doors are also common for rear entry into a property. A skylight is a window inserted into the roof of a home. Older houses often have bay windows, which arch outwards and commonly have a window seat located within them.
Automotive glass is specially laminated so it is harder to break. The invention of the motorcar directly led to the need for laminated glass, which is less likely to break in an accident. Car windows are also slightly curved. It is also commonly tinted to reduce glare. Heavily tinted windows are sometimes used to block the view inside the vehicle.
Window frames are made of wood, metal or plastic. The installation and replacement of new home windows is a major industry. This industry includes custom window designs for new homes and to keep older residences looking modern. Depending on the climate, storm doors are common in some areas. In cold weather, it is common to install double glazed windows. These are also becoming popular in very hot climates. Commercial window replacement companies may also offer repairs for glass and frames.
Window cleaners may work on small houses and large buildings, and the outside surfaces of many skyscrapers are almost all glass.