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Window Words

How well do you know your window vocabulary? Here's a quick visual glossary of a few of the more familiar, and confounding, terms that pepper the pros' conversations when they're chatting about fenestration.

Window Panes

Photo by Nancy Andrews

The individual panes of glass in any sash are called lights. These six-light sashes, paired to form a classic six-over-six double hung window that slides up and down, number among the most common configurations—but the possibilities are endless.

Casement Windows

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Casement windows open from the side, like little doors.

Muntins

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Muntins are the narrow wooden glazing bars that divide and secure the individual lights in a sash. These are not to be confused with mullions, which are the wider vertical members placed between windows in a group. Muntins come in varying widths, helping to define the period and style of the window.

Cames

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Lead cames divide colored or clear glass in a leaded window.

Lattice Windows

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Lattice windows have diamond-shaped lights, also known as quarrels or quarries, which are divided by wooden glazing bars or lead cames, as here.

Lancet Windows

Photo by Nancy Andrews

With its diamond panes, distinctive arch, and pronounced molding, this lancet window is characteristic of Gothic Revival architecture.

Bay Windows

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Bay windows, like this two-story example, project from the wall, forming their own anchor to the ground.

Oriel Windows

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Oriel windows—whether cantilevered or supported by brackets, as here—differ from bay windows in that they project from the wall without touching the ground.

Dormers

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Dormers are windows set into a pitched roof, or windowed structures projecting from a roof. They come in various styles, and are generally named according to their roofline. Here, a pair of hipped dormers (top) join a pair of inset, segmental-arched dormers (bottom).

Gabled Dormers

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Classic gabled dormers, familiar in a wide range of architectural styles, are defined by their pitched roof.

Lucarne

Photo by Nancy Andrews

A small, vertical dormer in a steeply pitched roof is a lucarne.

Eyebrow Dormers

Photo by Nancy Andrews

A picturesque eyebrow dormer enchants the eye with a gracefully curved roofline. Although sometimes capped with malleable metal, this one has been roofed effectively using textured asphalt shingles.

Muranese Glass

Photo by Nancy Andrews

Patterned glass is embossed on one side, smooth on the other, creating an obscured effect. The glass was offered in a number of patterns in the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries: This particular, crystal-like pattern is known as Muranese glass.