Choosing Your Windows: Part 2

I’m sure you’ve read Choosing Your Windows: Part 1 and are now stoked about replacing your windows! Hear the reverent music in the background as your house suddenly becomes more energy efficient and beautiful!

Now that you’ve done your research and have decided what material you will be installing, it’s time to define what types of windows will be ordered. So, here we go! Just like Renovation 101: Vocabulary, we need another vocabulary lesson so you can have a productive conversation with your contractor – otherwise, your contractor may just match the existing windows with what design is currently there or will go with the least expensive design. This may be fine with you; however, you should be making these decisions, not your contractor.

VOCABULARY (NOT in alphabetical order)

Sash: This is the frame that holds a panel of glass. A sash window is one that is movable – you open your window, right? The window frame that you’re touching to move that window up, down, in, or out, is the sash. Older windows typically have one sash window on the bottom that moves up and down, the top window panel is fixed.


Glazing: This is the glass in the window…yes, really.

Single-Pane Glazing: This means that the window has one layer of glass. It’s an incredibly inefficient system so you’ll be hard pressed to even find these kinds of windows anymore. They are common in old houses.

Double-Pane Glazing: Also known as “Insulated Glass”, this window system includes two panes of glass. There is also gas between these panes to make them more energy efficient – let’s not confuse ourselves.

Triple-Pane Glazing: You get the idea.

Insulated Glass: Double-Pane Glazing

Casing: This is the trim moulding around the window – the “wow” factor, if you will. There are all kinds of options for casings and the cost of materials is inexpensive…so make it awesome!


Single Hung Window: This is a window that has a sash on the lower window. The upper window is fixed. The lower window sash will typically move upward and downward.


Double Hung Window: This is a window that has sashes on the upper and lower windows panes. Often, each sash will move upward, downward, and tilt inward.


Sliding Window: This is a window that have sashes which move horizontally instead of vertically. So, the window panes move side to side.


Hopper Window: This is a window that pivots from the bottom of the frame. So, you would pull the top of the window inward to open. This window style is popular in basements.

Glass Block Window: Don’t do it.


Picture Window: This is a window that is large format. These windows will need to be wood or fiberglass to hold the larger glass.


Accent Window: This is a window with a unique shape. These windows will need to be made from a customized material such as wood or fiberglass.


Bay Window: This is a window that has angled glass that protrudes from the building.


Casement Window: This is a window that has hinges on the side of the frame and opens outward with a handle crank.


Fixed Window: This is a window that does not open.


Skylight: This is a window in the roof. Don’t forget to buy the flashing!



Also, if you’re not doing a major renovation and replacing your windows, remember that you will need new casings. The casings will be shiny and new…and your walls and baseboard trim will not be shiny and new. So, remember to budget interior paint for a seamless final product.


So, now you’re an expert. Know your terminology and enjoy your beautiful new windows and cheap utility bills!

Want to see our projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!

  • Whitney Parchman
    Posted at 07:17h, 25 July Reply

    Glass Block Windows: Don’t do it! Hahahahahahaha! Amen kindred spirit. Also, I love this quote from your post: “…you should be making these decisions, not your contractor.” I’m sending you a cyber high five for that one. xo Whitney

    • Integro Rehab
      Posted at 17:11h, 29 July Reply

      Cyber high five! You don’t know until you’ve seen it…

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