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Specialty Windows, Casement Windows, and Window Terminology

By Gates Dearen
Courtesy of HomeRite Jacksonville
Of all the parts of a house, windows frequently affect our daily lives the most. Outside, they give architectural style to the home. Windows play a big part in the first impressions people have about homes. For example, in Jacksonville, when you see old aluminum windows that were installed fifty years ago, you may tend to think that the house is old and run-down.
Inside, windows frame up the view to the world outside. They also provide natural light which can completely transform the appearance of a room. A room’s colors and textures can be dramatically affected by the light coming in from the outside. Even the appearance of furnishings is affected by light coming through the windows.
Casement Windows
Casement windows are windows attached to the window frame by one or more hinges at the side. Unlike single hung or double hung windows, casement windows do not move up and down. They open by swinging inward or outward. A casement window can be a single window or a pair of windows in a single frame. They are opened with a crank or a cam handle.  Since casement windows can open up the whole window space, they can be very good for ventilation. That’s something to think about in in hot climates like we have here in Jacksonville.
Specialty Windows
Courtesy of HomeRite Jacksonville
Specialty windows can turn an ordinary room into a visual delight. We have windows in practically all shapes and sizes. Windows can be rectangular, circular, octagonal, triangular, and other shapes. Specialty windows can be custom sized and they really can provide a distinctive accent to a home, both inside and out.
HomeRite offers a choice of flat or contoured grilles to complement your home’s exterior and interior appearance. We also offer a variety of grid style choices to further enhance the custom look of your home’s exterior and interior appearance. You can also choose between clear glass or obscure glass, which is perfect for bathrooms or any other room where you want to have both privacy and natural light.
Glossary of Window Terminology
Argon: An inert, colorless, and harmless gas used instead of air in sealed spaces between panes of glass, which is used to increase insulation. Argon is less conductive to heat than air.  It is injected in the airspace of an insulating unit, to improve energy efficiency.
Balance: A mechanical device used in vertically operating windows that counter-balances the weight of the sash during opening and closing.
Blocking: To shim, level and plumb windows in required position.
Double Hung Window: A type of window that has an upper, outside sash that slides down, and a lower, inside sash that slides up.  A vertical operating window consisting of two sashes of glass operating in a rectangular frame, both the upper and lower halves can be slid up and down and usually use a counter balance mechanism to hold the sash in place.
Courtesy of HomeRite Jacksonville
Emissivity: A measure of an object’s ability to emit long-wave infrared radiation or room temperature radiant heat energy. Emissivity varies from 0 (no emitted infrared) to 1 (100% emitted infrared). The lower the emissivity, the lower the resultant U-value
Fenestration: The placement and arrangement of the windows and doors in a building.
Frame: Consists of a head, jambs, and a sill to form an opening into which SASH or door panels fit. An assembly of structural elements that surround and support the sash, ventilators, doors, panels or glazing which is installed into an opening in the building envelope or wall.
Glazing: The installation of glass into a window or door sash
Glazing Bead: A molding or stop along the inside perimeter of the frame that assists in holding glass in place.
Grilles/Grids: Decorative inserts for windows or door glazing that adds a traditional touch ― available in fixed or removable inserts.
Head: The main horizontal member forming the top of the window or door frame.
Hinge: A device on which doors or windows may turn or swing, to open and close.
Horizontal Sliding Window: A window where the movable panels slide horizontally. These windows consist of one or more horizontally operable sashes in a sealing frame.
Insulating Glass: Two or more pieces of glass spaced apart and sealed to form a single-glazed unit with an air space between. Heat transmission through this type of glass may be as low as half of that without such an air space.
Interlock: A set of meeting rails or meeting stiles that contains a provision for each of the rails or stiles to physically engage one another over their entire length.
Jambs: Vertical, or side members of the window’s or door’s main frame.
Lift Rail: A rail in a vertical window provided with an operator to raise and lower the operable sash
Low E Glass: Low-emissivity glass with a transparent coating which acts as a thermal mirror ―used to increase a window’s insulating value, block or increase heat flow, and reduce fading.  The “E” is short for emissivity, specifically thermal emissivity.  Low-emissivity windows and doors cause heat to be reflected off, rather than allowing it to collect and seep through, or be emitted into the home.
Meeting Rail: A rail that overlaps another rail. The part of a sliding glass door or a sliding window where two panels meet and create a weather barrier.
Mullion: An intermediate-connecting member used as a means to “join” two or more window products together in a single rough opening.
Muntin Bar: A small bar that divides window or door glass.
Nailing Fin: An integral extension of a window frame that generally laps over the conventional stud construction and through which nails are driven to secure the frame in place.
NRFC: National Fenestration Rating Council: Measures and compares the energy component of windows and doors.
Obscure Glass: Mainly used for decoration, diffusion, or privacy. The design is pressed into the glass during the rolling process. There are many patterns available. 
Pane: A framed sheet of glass.
Roto-operator: A window opening device that has a handle used to crank open a window.
Sash: The portion of a window that includes the glass and the framing sections, which are directly attached to the glass. Normally, the moving segment of a window, although sashes are sometimes fixed. Not to be confused with the main frame into which the sash sections are fitted.
Sill: The main horizontal member forming the bottom of the frame of a window or door.
Single Glazing: The use of single thickness of glass in a window or door.
Single Hung Window: Single hung windows are vertically operating windows in which the sash weight is offset by a counterbalancing mechanism mounted in the window. The single hung window features a stationary top and a movable bottom half. One or more locking devices are furnished to secure the sash in the closed position.
Slider Window: A slider window may have one or two movable panes of glass. Whatever the type, the windows slide horizontally in the frame.
Spacers: In glazing, small blocks of neoprene, nylon, or other materials are placed on both sides of the edges of glass during its installation to center it in the glazing channel to maintain uniform width of sealant bands and prevent excessive sealant distortion under lateral loading.
Stile: The upright or vertical surrounding edge members of any sash, ventilator, or panel
Tempered Glass: The glass is reheated to right below its melting point, and then suddenly cooled. When shattered, it breaks into small pieces. It is approximately five times stronger than standard annealed glass. It cannot be re-cut after tempering.
Tinted Glass: A mineral admixture is incorporated in the glass, resulting in a degree of tinting. Any tinting reduces both visual and radiant transmittance.  
U Values: A measure of heat loss in a building component such as a wall, floor or roof. It can also be referred to as an “overall heat transfer co-efficient” that measures how well parts of a building transfer heat. The higher the U value, the worse the thermal performance of the building envelope. A low U value usually indicates high levels of insulation.
Ultraviolet: The invisible rays of the light spectrum that are outside of the visible spectrum at its violet end. UV rays are found in everyday sunlight and can cause fading or chalking of dark paint finishes.
Vinyl: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material that can be either rigid or flexible, used in glazing channels and weathering of both windows and doors.
Weather Stripping: Thin sections of material used to prevent air leakage around operable windows and doors ― usually with foam gaskets, metal strips, or vinyl.
In this article, I’ve discussed casement windows and specialty windows. These types of windows can provide a distinct accent to a home. I’ve also included a glossary of words related to windows.
If you’d like to talk to a professional about casement windows, bay windows, or specialty windows for your home, call HomeRite at 296-2515 or visit their showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, Jacksonville; FL 32216.
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HomeRite is a window and door dealer that specializes in energy efficient, quality windows and doors with warranties and service to match. The company has been in business since 2005. HomeRite has partnered with a manufacturer that has been producing high quality products and providing excellent customer service for over 60 years. Windows and doors from HomeRite are some of the highest quality, most thermally efficient windows and doors on the market.
HomeRite products add substantial value to their clients’ properties. HomeRite is a member of the United States Green Building Council, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the industry working to advance environmentally responsible buildings.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 30 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-wining installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.


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