When was the last time you cleaned your window? If you’ve noticed how clean your window is, you’ve probably noticed the other details around the glass itself: the frame, the curtains, and the sill. However, no matter how many details you add to a window, its form and function remains the same. Its function is to keep the weather outside, and its form consists of the extraneous details, such as the curtains. The window more fully performs its function by being installed correctly. However, in this article I’d like to discuss types of windows, window problems, and common materials used to install windows.
There are at least seven types of windows, although there are a plethora of variations depending on the region, the climate, and the homebuilder’s aesthetics and personal taste. A double-hung window consists of two rectangular pieces of glass placed in vertical fashion one on top of the other. The inferior portion of glass slides upward in order to open the window. A casement type window is hinged on the left side and swings outward. Windows known as sliding windows do just that: slide, but in a left-to-right motion, and the frames overlap when the window is open. Skylights may not seem to be a type of window, but for the purposes of classification it is easier to group them together with windows as they allow for sunlight to enter the home as do windows. Another variation of window is the awning, not to be confused with the awning or tarp of a building. The awning window opens from the bottom and swings outward, the hinges or point of rotation being at the top of the window. A bay window consists of three separate frames placed horizontally next to each other, with one window in the middle, and two windows on either side, the two side windows angled at 15 degrees to form a concave appearance, protruding outward from the vertical plane of the house wall. A bow window is identical to the bay window in all regards except that it consists of five windows instead of three.
Depending on the climate, your window problems may vary, but could include failed glazing, cracked glass, damaged screening, broken metal sash, deteriorated brickmold, failed wood sash, and deteriorated window sill.
Installing a window requires specialized material. A few key materials include exterior wood filler, glazing compound and siliconized acrylic caulk, in addition to wood glue, glazier’s points, and roll-type window glazing.
Before closing, I’d like to mention that the window is a three-part system that adds light and ventilation to your home.
In review, we’ve covered seven types of windows, some common window installation materials, along with some common window problems.
Sources for this article include the book titled Exterior Home Repairs published by the Handyman Club of America
12301 Whitewater Drive
Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343