The following definitions cover window, siding, and door terminology common to the home remodeling industry.
Window and Door Terms
Awning Window: A window that is hinged at the top of the sash and cranks outward toward the exterior of the building.
Balances: A system used in tile double-hung and tilt single-hung window units that allows the sash or sashes to be raised and lowered easily.
Bay Window: A picture window combined with casement or double-hung windows on both sides of the picture window placed at 30- or 45-degree angles. The bay window extends past the exterior of the building and may have a roof system, head and seat boards, and/or edge banding.
Bow Window: A series of four to six casements angled in a bow shape extending past the exterior of the building. Typically, only the end casements are operable. The bow window may have a roof system, head and seat boards, and/or edge banding.
Camming: Usually made of brass, lead, or zinc, camming is the material used to bond decorative glass components.
Casement: A window that is hinged on one side and cranks out pivoting on the left or right. A fixed casement is a non-operable window and has no hinges or crank mechanism yet resembles the look of a casement window.
Circle Top: Also know as a “round top.” A circle top can be a quarter-circle, half-circle, half ellipse, arch top, full ellipse, or full-circle window. Circle top windows can be stand-alone, in combination with other windows, or stacked above a door.
Clad/Cladding: The aluminum or vinyl that covers the exterior side of a window or door making it maintenance free, in that it doesn’t require painting.
Double-Hung Tilt: In these windows, both the upper and lower sash move up and down and both sashes tilt in for easy cleaning.
Drip Cap: A piece of formed aluminum installed at the top of clad windows and doors that allows water to run off of the unit instead of seeping around behind the unit.
French Casement: A twin-casement hinged on the outsides with no center mull strip, allowing for a full unobstructed view when opened.
Garden Window: A 90-degree bay window that extends beyond the exterior of the house featuring a glass roof to allow natural light to shine down. Garden windows usually come with glass or wire shelves upon which to place potted plants.
Glazing: This refers to both the type of glass used in a window and the actual process of installing glass in the window frame or sash.
Grilles: Also called “grids” or “muttons.” Grilles are the horizontal, vertical, or diagonal bars applied to either the exterior or interior of windowpanes.
Grids: See “Grilles.”
Muttons: See “Grilles.”
Round Top: See “Circle Top.”
Aluminum Siding: Horizontal planks of aluminum with a baked-on enamel finish.
American Hardboard Association (AHA): The national trade organization for the manufacturers of hardboard products.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI): ANSI is a private nonprofit organization that oversees the voluntary standardization and assessment of U.S. products to enable the United States to better compete globally and enhance the quality of life for Americans by conformity to product standards.
American Society of Testing Materials International: ASTM International is a nonprofit organization that helps develop voluntary standards for products, services, materials and systems throughout the world.
Battens: Narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints.
Beveled: Clapboards that are tapered rather than cut in a perfectly rectangular manner.
Brick Ties: Accordion-type metal fasteners used to attach a brick veneer to the wood framework of a house.
Brick Veneer: A wall construction method in which a layer of bricks is attached to the wood framework of a house using brick ties.
Buttlock: The locking piece on the bottom edge of a vinyl panel that locks onto the previously installed panel.
Carpenter Ants: Large black ants that make their nests in walls, behind siding, or in insulation. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood; they excavate wood to build their nests in the cavities left behind.
Caulking: Waterproof material used to seal joints at intersections of building components. Caulking is used with some types of siding.
Checking: A crack or split along the grain in wood plank siding as a result of cupping.
Clapboard: Overlapping horizontal wood plank siding made from either rectangular or taped planks.
Composition Board: Planks or sheets of weather-resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding.
Course: Each row of siding material.
Cupping: A warp across the board in wood plank siding.
Detachment: Separation of the siding material — veneer or stucco — from its attachment to the house.
Double Course: An under-course of shingles or shakes not exposed to weather and covered completely by a top course
Face: The part of the vinyl panel that is visible once the vinyl is installed.
Flashing: A type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration. Flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls. They are also used under siding to prohibit water penetration.
J-Channel: A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems that has a curved channel into which the planks fit. J-channels are used around windows and doors to make weather-tight seals.
Lintel: An angle iron or beam over window and door openings that spans the opening and transfers the weight of the masonry to the sides of the opening.
Milled Planks: Various cuts of plank siding, including V-groove, channel, rabbeted, bevel, shiplap and drop.
Model Building Codes: Building codes that vary throughout the country and are considered the standard for each respective jurisdiction.
Moisture Permeable: A surface that allows moisture to pass through.
Panel Projection: The extension of a panel of vinyl sticking out and away from a wall. It is recommended that you choose the largest profile for the style of panel you want.
Plywood Siding: Plywood sheets. Some have a grooved or decorative outer surface.
Scarfed Joint: A joint used in plywood siding in instances where edges of abutting sheets are angle cut to fit snugly and prevent water penetration.
Shiplap: A style of milled plank used in siding that is laid close enough so as to appear to be butted.
Single Course: Wood shingles or shakes applied in a manner so that each course is exposed to the weather.
Spalling: The crumbling and falling away of bricks, concrete, or blocks.
Stucco: A type of water-resistant, plaster-like siding material made of cement, sand, and water. Stucco may have an acrylic finish.
T & G: Tongue and groove or “T & G” is a connection system between components, such as wood, in which the tab or tongue of one board is placed into the grove at the end of another board.
Termites: Social insects that live either in the ground or in wood and eat wood. Termites can cause serious structural damage to a home.
Vinyl Siding: Maintenance-free horizontal polyvinyl chloride planks installed on home exteriors.
Veneer: A veneer is one ply or one thickness of a material, such as wood veneers bonded together to make plywood. In siding, there are brick and stone veneers.
Wall Cladding: Another term for siding.
Wall Sheathing: Sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of a house.
Wind-Load Pressure: This is a measurement of how well a panel might perform in high wind areas.
Wire Mesh: A mesh attached to wall sheathing and studs used to anchor a stucco base coat to a wall.
Wood Plank Siding: Rectangular wood planks installed horizontally or vertically.
Wood Shakes: Thick, rough, uneven shingles that are hand split, split and sawn on one side, or sawn on both sides, used as siding.
Wood Shingles: Sawn shingles of uniform thickness.