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Windows and Doors 101: Top 10 Industry Terms You Should Know

posted on in Austin

Have you been scouring the internet in search of inspiration and ideas for your next renovation project? If you’re new to home improvement (or even if you’ve dabbled in house updates), some industry terms may be unfamiliar to you. Replacing windows and doors can be a daunting task – and that stress can be multiplied if you’re considering tearing into existing walls to add light or access to a room.

So, let’s make it a bit easier on you. We’ve compiled a list of standard words you’re bound to come across as you navigate the world of window and door renovation. We hope it helps you gain a better sense of your needs and assists in your future conversations with sales consultants.

Egress Window

An egress window is a window large enough, as defined by local business codes, for entry or exit in case of an emergency. 

Fixed Windows

Fixed windows cannot be opened. They are often chosen for either aesthetic purposes or for letting more light into a room. Also known as picture windows.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are hinged on one side and opens outward with the turn of a handle. Design allows for optimal natural light and air flow. Also known as crank windows, side hung windows or hinge windows.

Awning Windows

Hinged at the top, awning windows swing outward from the bottom. Their smaller size affords you greater versatility in window placement — high on the wall, above or below another window, or atop a door. Also known as hung windows, crank out windows or retractable windows.

Bay Windows

A combination of three windows joined at an angle, bay windows jut out beyond your walls to add space to your room. Because the windows face multiple directions, they let in more light and air than flat windows. Also known as oriel windows or projection windows.

Bow Windows

Extend beyond the walls of your home and add extra space indoors. Using a combination of four or more windows, bow windows provide versatile design options (and more daylight and airflow) in limited wall space. Also known as compass windows.

Single-Hung Windows

Operated from the bottom for ventilation, single-hung windows offer affordability and a classic look. They’re durable, efficient and easy-to-clean. Also known as single sash windows.

Double-Hung Windows

Also known as “sash” windows, double-hung windows can be raised from the bottom or lowered from the top for ventilation and easy cleaning.

Bifold Patio Doors

Bifold doors make your patio feel like an extension of your home. Multiple panels open in sections and fold up like an accordion for out-of-sight storage. Also known as folding patio doors or accordion patio doors.

Multi-Slide Doors

With up to 10 panels, multi-slide doors provide expansive sunlight and panoramic outdoor views. Multiple panels open up and tuck into pockets — almost like hiding a wall — to create wide entryways that unite indoor and outdoor living areas. Also known as patio doors or panoramic doors.

Learn more about all the different styles and materials available through Pella. And, check out our recent projects in Central Texas. Ready to make a move towards your renovation? Contact us online today or give our showroom a call at 512-339-6601! 

Vicki Treptow

About The Author

Although Vicki has been in the marketing industry for more than 10 years, this is her first role in the world of windows and doors. She moved to Austin in 2020 from Northern Illinois. So far, she loves the weather and exciting landscape that  Texas has to offer. 

In her spare time, Vicki enjoys reading, refinishing furniture, writing and exploring Austin and beyond with her boyfriend, Jeremy. 

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