, Newburyport, MA

Real Estate News

August 20, 2012

Basic Home Construction Vocabulary


Syndicated —

Casement windows are hinged on one side like a door and are usually operated by a hand crank. They're more appropriately used on homes based on European styles.

Other common residential window styles include awning (hinged at the top), sliding and fixed, but no matter the style, all windows have a few basic parts in common.

The moveable part of any window is called the sash; this is separate from the frame, which is attached to the house. It's possible to repair a window by replacing the sash and leaving the frame intact.

A pair of casement windows, mulled together

The top of the frame is called the head; the bottom, the sill; and the sides are called jambs.

And those bars in the middle of the window, what you probably call grids (that's OK, by the way), those are also called muntins. Muntins are often confused with mullions, which are pieces that join two separate window units together.

Got it? Casually drop a few of those terms next time you meet with your architect; he'll think you're pretty cool for speaking a little of his language.

And maybe that will convince him to work a little harder to speak yours.


Richard Taylor is a residential architect based in Dublin, Ohio, and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with him at

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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