A sash is the portion of the window that holds the glass units. Many windows have moving sashes, such as double hung and single hung windows. In those windows, there is either one (single hung) or two (double hung) sashes that slide up and down in the frame. Other window types also have moving sashes, such as casement windows and awning windows. With these windows the sashes swing open and closed similar to the manner in which a door operates. See our article on window types for more information.
Modern windows utilize insulated glass units or IGUs. These are typically constructed of either two or three panes of glass with a spacer to separate the panes. The panes have dead airspace in between them, which provides an insulating quality and these spaces are sometimes filled with a dense gas such as argon to further enhance the insulating values. Double pane glass is the modern standard, but some homeowners want to maximize energy efficiency and choose a window with triple pane glass.
4. Grids, Grilles, or Muntins
These are all names used for the same component of a window. This is a separating bar that makes the window look like it contains numerous individual glass units within a single sash. Historically, these dividing bars were functional, in that they actually held separate smaller panes of glass. Today, most windows that include these components use them as strictly decorative and they can be ordered in a variety of different patterns and colors. And many times these are actually installed between the panes of glass in an IGU. This provides the appearance of traditional-style grids, but the convenience of cleaning the window without having to clean around the tight edges of a grid.
The sill is the horizontal surface at the bottom of the window frame. Depending on the manufacturer, sills can be integrated or exposed. Typically, these are sloped downward to allow water to drain away from the window.
This is the horizontal part of the frame at the top of the window. The head provides structure to the window and it can incorporate functional design elements, such as a sash pocket in the case of a double hung window to allow the top sash to seat deeply in the frame. This feature is key to the window’s performance.
The jamb of a window is comprised of the two vertical side portions of the window frame. In addition to providing structure to the window, the jamb is where you can typically find the window’s balance system and other functional components (e.g., in the case of a double hung or a casement window).
Depending on the type of window, there can be various types of hardware, such as locking mechanisms and cranking mechanisms that serve a functional purpose. Most window companies offer various finishes for the hardware if a more decorative look is desired.
Knowing the common parts of a window and the proper terminology can really help when shopping for new windows or dealing with a service issue related to an existing window. Being an informed consumer is always a good thing and helps avoid confusion and ensure that you get what you need.
Contact us today with any questions you have about windows. We are here for you and happy to help!