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Glossary of Terms




American Architectural Manufacturers Association. A national trade association that establishes voluntary standards for the window, door, storefront, curtain wall and skylight industries.


The ratio of radiant energy absorbed to total incident radiant energy in a glazing system.


(Plastic) A non-crystalline thermoplastic with good weather resistance, shatter resistance, and optical clarity; sometimes used for glazing. Active in paired or double doors when the hinged door leaf which is primarily operable.


In paired or double doors, the hinged door leaf which is primarily operable.


That property of a coating or sealant which measures its ability to stick or bond to the surface to which it is applied.

Adhesive Failure

Failure of a compound by pulling away from the surface with which it is in contact.


A microporous, transparent silicate foam as a glazing cavity fill material, offering possible U-values below 0.10 BTU/(h-sq ft-oF) or 0.56 W/sq m-oC) .

Air Infiltration

The amount of air leaking in and out of a building through cracks in walls, windows and doors.

Air-Leakage Rating

A measure of the rate of air-leakage around a window, door, or skylight in the presence of a specific pressure difference. It is expressed in units of cubic feet per minute per square foot of frame area (cfm/sq ft). Formerly expressed as cubic feet per minute per foot of window perimeter length (cfm/ft) but not now in use. The lower a window's air-leakage rating, the better its air tightness.

Air Pockets 

Bubbles of air formed within a compound or between two adjacent beads of compound applied successively in a joint.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage 

Loan whose interest rate changes periodically according to movements in the financial market over the term of the loan. Many offer lower-than-market initial Interest rates that rise only gradually for the first few years.

Affidavit Label

For fire-rated doors, a label on a door product on which the manufacturer, not an independant laboratory, states that the door meets a type or types of test criteria.

Annealed Glass

Regular glass which has not been heat strenghtened or tempered. Most window glass is annealed.


The process of heating metal, glass or other materials above the critical or re-crystallization temperature, then controlled cooling to eliminate the effects of cold-working, relieve internal stresses or improve strength, ductility or other properties.

Annual Percentage Rate 

Annual cost, to the consumer, of credit over the life of a loan including interest, services charges, points, loan fees mortgage insurances and other items. Lenders are required by law to diclose the APR.


To provide an extremely hard non-corrosive oxide film on the surface of aluminum, by electrolytic action. The electrochemical process produces an anodic coating by conversion of aluminum into essentially aluminum oxide. Appearance depends upon both the alloy involved and the surface preparation. Anodic coatings may be transparent, of varying shades of silver, gray or brown, or colors may be incorporated by the use of dyes or pigments.


American National Standards Institute. Clearing house for all types of standards and specifications.


Unbiased opinion, made by a qualified person, of a property's value based on its style and appearance, construction quality, usefullness and the value of comparable properties.

Argon gas

An inert, nontoxic gas used in insulating glass units to reduce heat transfer.


A waterproofing agent that is applied to roofing materials during the manufacturing process.


American Society of Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigerating Engineers.


Tax levied on a property, in addition to general taxes, or a value placed on the worth of a property by a taxing authority. Usually used for infastructure improvements such as roads and electricity.


Transaction allowing a buyer or new owner to assume responsibility of payments for an existing loan instead of getting a new loan.


The post-type fitting on the latch-side edge of one of a set of paired or double doors, which covers the margin between doors when they are closed, and which houses or contains the weatherstrip.


American Society for Testing and Materials. Organization that develops methods for testing of materials.

Awning window

A window that is hinged at the top and swings outward for ventilation.



A flat material used on the face of the house, between the studs and the siding, to provide a nailable surface for the siding.


Accomplishes same thing as back putty, that is, fills back channel. However, material can be other tan putty or glazing compound.

Back Putty

Also referred to as bedding or bed glazing. The small bead of glazing material between the glass and the sash and on the opposite side of the glass from the face glazing. Also, the act of applying the back putty before placing the glass into position.


For locating a machined hole, recess, or mortise, the distance from an edge or surface to the center or edge of the recess, hole or mortise.

Back Surfacing

Product applied to the back of roofing shingles. The product is made from a fine mineral matter.

Back-up Material

A compressible material placed in a joint before applying a sealant, to limit the depth of the sealant configuration. The material may also act as a bond breaker.


A mechanical device (normally spring-loaded) used in single-and double-hung windows as a means of counterbalancing the weight of the sash during opening and closing.

Balance covers

A snap-in covering that conceals the block and tackle balance system within the window frame, helping to keep dirt and dust out of the chamber.

Ball-Bearing Hinge

A heavier-duty hinge than the standard hinge, with bearings supporting the pivots. Ball-bearing hinges are usually used for heavy doors thast will be in commercial or industrial use.

Base Flashing

A portion of flashing, which is attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.

Bay window

An angled combination of three windows that project out from the wall of the home. The windows are usually positioned at 30- or 45-degree angles.


An Architectural term that refers to a narrow, half-round molding that runs the length of your siding.

Beveled MasterFrame

Some windows feature a unique fusion-welded design that accommodates differing installation methods and architectural styles. It is the angled portion of the masterframe profile that adds a three dimensional appearance to the exterior of the window.


Amount of overlap between the top of a stop and the inserted edge of a panel or lite of glass; also the amount of overlap of a heel bead into the glass or panel.

Black Body

The ideal, perfect emitter and absorber of thermal radiation. It emits radiant energy at each wavelength at the maximum rate possible as a consequence of its temperature, and absorbs all incident radiance.


A piece of neoprene, silicone, or other suitable material used to position the glass in the frame.


To shim, level and plumb windows in required positions.

Block and Tackle Balance System

The block and tackle system utilizes a high-density nylon cord pulley action which is attached to a moveable block that travels up and down within a metal chamber. Tension from a heavy duty coil spring at the top of the block creates the proper resistance necessary for smooth operation of the window sash.


Building officials and Code Administrations.

Bond Breaker

A release type of material (such as polyethylene film sheet with adhesive on one side) used to prevent adhesion of the sealant to the back-up material or back of the joint. Used in expansion joints or splice joints.


A term used for the rubber part at the bottom or top end of an astragal, which beds the astragal end and seals between the end and the door frame or sill.

Bottom Rail

The bottom horizontal member of a window sash.

Bow window

An angled combination of windows in 3-, 4- or 5-lite configurations. As the windows are joined to each other, they combine to form an arch shape that projects from the wall of the home.


In door and sidelite assemblies, a term used to differentiate door and sidelite units which are first framed as seperate units, with heads and sills separate and the width of the door or sidelite panels. Box-framed doors are joined to box-framed sidelites.


A small nail with a small head, usually used to fasten small trim and moldings. Commonly used with Brick Mould A molding to trim the outside edge of a door frame. Brickmould is most often applied to prehung units.


(Real Estate) Person who recieves a comission or fee for bringing buyer and seller together and assisting in a real estate transaction. The broker is not the proprietor of the property but is representative of the owner. A license is required in most states.


British Thermal Unit: the amount of heat energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The energy used for heating and cooling is measured by the number of BTU's needed to keep a building at a comfortable temperature.


A term usually used in masonry construction to describe a door frame or a subframe in a masonry opening, around which a steel door frame wraps and is fastened.

Building Code

Local regulations and ordinances that regulate design, construction and materials used in construction. Building codes are used to insure safety and welfare.


A package of roofing shingles.


A type of hinge commonly used to assemble doors. Butt hinges are often referred to simply as "butts".

Butt edge

The bottom part of shingle tabs.


Application of compound or sealant to the flat surface of a member before placing it into position.


The bottom edge of a siding or soffit panel, or accessory piece, opposite the nailing slots, which locks onto the preceding panel.


A rubber material that seals the glass to the spacer, creating an airtight and water-tight insulated glass unit.


Subsidy (usually paid by a builder or developer) to reduce the monthly payments on a mortgage loan during the early years.

Buyers Agent

A real estate agent or licensed sales person who represents only the buyer in searching for and negotiating in a real estate transaction.



Request by home owner for builder or contractor to handle a service request.

Cam-Action Lock and Keeper

The mechanisms, which pull and secure the sashes together when placed in the locked position.

Came, Caming

Formed metal stripping, usually made of brass or zinc plated steel, used between cut-glass pieces to assemble the pieces into decorative glass panel. Caming is soldered at joints to bond the glass assembly together.


Maximum allowable increase of an interest rate or monthly payment for an adjstable-rate loan either during an adjustment period or over the life of the loan.

Carpet Shim

A spacer block used under a door sill to raise the sill an appropriate amount if carpet is used, so the door panel clears te carpet when opened.

Casement Window

A window with a side-hinged sash that opens and closes outward by a crank handle mechanism. Available in continuous mainframe, with multi-lite configurations.


Architectural ornament consisting of various widths, thickness and shapes, which can be administered to the framework of window and door units.


A material which markedly speeds up the cure or reaction of another substance when added in minor quantities.


An adhesive compound used for filling joints or sealing cracks. Caulk assists in the prevention of water and air leakage. This product is customarily made of silicone, acrylic or a rubber-based material.


To use caulk to fill or seal a joint or crack, which prevents air and water leaking.

Cavity Wall

A type of building wall construction consisting of an outer wall fastened to an inner wall separated by an air space.

Certificate of Occupancy

Written authorization from an official agency stating the property meets the requirement of local codes, ordinances and regulations. This insures that the property is suitable for habitation.


Cubic feet per minute (written ft3/min.). Unit for air flow.

Chain of Title

History of all documents transferring title to a parcel of real property, starting with the last existing and ending with the most recent.

Change Order

Customers written consent to add, delete or change an item specified in a contract.


The area of the accessory trim or corner post where siding or soffit panels are inserted. Channels also refer to the trim itself, and are named for the letters of the alphabet they resemble (e.g., J-channel, F-channel, etc.).

Channel Depth

The measurement from the bottom of the channel to the top of the stop, or measurement of sight line to base of the channel.

Channel Glazing

The sealing of the joints around lites of glass or panel set in a U-shaped channel employing removable or fixed stops.

Check Rail

The bottom horizontal member of the upper sash and the top horizontal member of the lower sash which meet at the middle of a double-hung window.

Chemical Cure

A change in the properties of a material due to polymerization of vulcanization, which may be effected by heat, catalysts, exposure to the atmosphere, or combinations of these.


Provided with a facing or jacket which works as a protection against weather and provides a finished appearance. Cladding may be painted metal, plastic, or a heavy coating applied by the manufacturer.


The space or distance allowed for anchorage or erection purposes or to accommodate dimensional variations in a building structure.

Clear Jambs

Natural wood door frames, without paint or primer applied. Appears to be made of full-length pieces of stock, without joints or knots.


Wire spring devices to hold glass in rabbetted sash without stops, and face glazed.

Closed-Cell Foam

Sponge-like material, usually used in gaskets and weatherstripping, which compresses into joints, but absorbs little water.

Closer Block

An inside reinforcement, usually placed across the top edge of a door, to enable firm fastening of self-closing hardware to the door.


Meeting to sign document that transfers title from a seller to a buyer (also referred to as settlement). The final step in the process of making a sale. Could be the aquisition of a signature or a payment on services to be conducted.

Closing Costs

Fees incurred at settlement for obtaining a mortgage loan and transferring a real estate title.

Cohesive Failure

Failure of a compound when placed under a strain, in which - because of insufficient elasticity and elongation to absorb the strain - the compound splits and opens.


A band of material that is placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof, circling the vent pipe.


The ability of two or more materials to exist in close and permanent association for an indefinite period with no adverse effect of one on the other.


Pressure exerted on a compound in a joint, as by placing a lite of glass or panel against bedding, or placing a stop in position against a bead of compound.


The deposit of water vapor from the air on any cold surface whose temperature is below the dew point, such as a cold window glass or frame that is exposed to humid indoor air.


Heat transfer through a solid material by contact of one molecule to the next. Heat flows from a higher-temperature area to a lower-temperature one.


A condition or conditions that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding.


A sill used for a type of door and sidelite unit in which the unit has full width top and bottom frame parts, and an internal post or posts separating sidelites from the door panel.


A heat transfer process involving motion in a fluid (such as air) caused by the difference in density of the fluid and the action of gravity. Convection affects heat transfer from the glass surface to room air, and between two panes of glass.


The center section of part of a door, or door part.

Corner Plug, Corner Seal Pad

A small part, usually made of resilient material, used to seal water which gets beyond the bottom ends of weatherstrip in doors. Caused by leak between the door edge and the jambs, adjacent to the bottom gasket.


A row of panels, one panel wide, running the length of the house from one side to the other, or, in the case of vertical siding, from top to bottom.

Cove Molding

A small molded wood lineal piece, usually formed with a scooped face, used to trim and fasten a panel of some type into a frame.

Coved Glazing Beads

A contoured piece of vinyl that holds the glass in place within the sash and adds an elegant, finished look.


Condensation Resistance Factor: an indication of a window's ability to resist condensation. The higher the CRF, the less likely condensation is to occur.


A large through-hole, near the edge of a door panel, usually 2-1/8 inch in diameter, which houses a cylinder lockset or deadbolt latch.

Curing Time

The time required to complete the chemical reaction of a product to reach its final physical form as a result of chemical reaction.

Curtain Wall

An exterior building wall which carries no roof or floor loads and consists entirely or principally of metal, or a combination of metal, glass and other surfacing materials supported by a metal framework.

There are two basic types:
  • Custom
    • Walls designed specifically for one project, and using parts and details specially made for this purpose. 
  • Standard
    • Walls made up principally of parts and details standardized by their manufacturer and assembled in accord with either the architect's design or the manufacturer's stock patterns.

Cylindar Lock

Lock hardware which mounts into a door which has been prepared with a bored hole or holes through the face, and into the edge.



A latch used to secure a door closed, the latch being driven from the door into a reciever in the jamb or frame.


A unit for expressing the relative intensity of sounds. Zero represents the average least perceptible sound. Roughly 130 represents the average pain level.


Legal document representing transfer of property ownership from one person to another.


A unit that represents a 1° F deviation from some fixed reference point (usually 65° F) in the mean, daily outdoor temperature.


When a borrower is unwilling to or unable to make the required payments of a mortgage contract.


The distance a door has moved away from its closed and latched position, usually measured at the top unsupported latch-side corner. Deflection may be cause by wind pressure or heat. Deflection is temporary. The door returns to position when the force is removed.


Moisture absorbing material used inside the spacer in an insulated glass assembly, so as to control moisture levels and prevent moisture from frosting or condensing on the inside glass surfaces of the insulated unit.

Dew Point

The temperature at which the condensation of water vapor in a space begins, at a given state of humidity and pressure, as the temperature is reduced. Used in testing sealed insulating glass. The lower the number, the higher the resistance to forming condensation.

Distributor (Glass)

(Distributor) Buys glass from the primary manufacturer, stock and resells it to smaller glass shops and other outlets that install or sell to the ultimate consumer.

Divided Light

A window with a number of smaller panes of glass separated and held in place by muntins.


Also known as the Tilt-Latch. This is a device that when squeezed together, inwards, allows the window sash to tilt-in from the mainframe for easy cleaning.


A building-simulation computer program used to calculate total annual energy use.


An assembly of frame and glass panel, which when fitted to a door in a formed or cut-out hole, creates a door with a glass opening.


A section of roof which protrudes from the house, usually containing one or more windows. Double-Hung Window A window that has two vertical operating sashes.

Double Channel

Lineal A siding accessory that joins two soffit panels.

Drip Cap/Head Flashing

An accessory installed with vertical siding to ensure that water drips away from panels and does not infiltrate them; it is also used as a vertical base.

Dry Glazing

A method of securing glass in a frame by use of a dry, preformed resilient gasket, without the use of a compound.

Drywall Opening

A rectangular opening in a wall, usually interior, prepared to the size necessary to recieve a pre-hung assembly.

Dry-wall Remove

Ability to remove Sashes and Astragal in new construction single-hung and/or sliding windows (0100, 0102, 0103) and new construction picture window (0104) to allow for oversize access such as entering dry-wall in to a newly constructed structure.

DSE Sealants

A sealant that exhibits properties of high structural strength and low moisture vapor transmission rates.


Clause in a mortgage contract which allows the lender to demad the entire outstanding balance upon sale or transfer of the property.

Dummy Cylindar

A lock without a latch, typically used for the passive door panel of a double door unit, so that the hardware appears equal to that used on the active panel.

Dynamic Elongation Test

Elongation or stretching of a material under continuous movement.


Earnest Money

Amount paid to a seller to display the potential purchaser's intent to buy.


Permission granted to a person or company giving them access to the owners land. The land owner may willingly grant an easement or can be ordered to grant one by local jurisdiction.


The lower edge of a roof that projects over the exterior wall.

Edge Bore

The hole bored through the edge of a door to allow the latch to pass through, into the strike.


Effect Two-dimensional heat transfer at the edge of a glazing unit due to the thermal properties of spacers and sealants.

Egress Code

The minimum opening of a window for people to exit or firefighters to enter a building/dwelling. Different states or regions have different code requirements.


Pliability, ability to take up an expansion and contraction; opposite of brittleness.


An elastic, rubber-like substance which may either occur naturally or be produced synthetically.

Electric Strike

A mechanism which allows a switch to open the latch of a door.


Glazing with optical properties that can be varied continuously from clear to dark with a low-voltage signal. Ions are reversibly injected or removed from an electrochromic material, causing the optical density to change.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Radiant energy over a broad range of wavelengths.

Emergency Exit Windows

Fire escape window (egress window) large enough for a person to climb out. In U.S. building codes, each bedroom must be provided with an exit window. The exact width, area, and height from the floor are specified in the building codes.


The capability of a surface to radiate heat energy.


The ratio of the radiant flux emitted by a specimen to that emitted by a blackbody at the same temperature and under the same conditions.

End Seal Pad

A closed-cell foam piece, about 1/16-inch thick, in the shape of a sill profile, fastened between the sill and jamb to seal the joint.


The ENERGY STAR program is a joint venture between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) designed to encourage homeowners to purchase energy-efficient products. Using less energy in our homes reduces the amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.


A weathering compound with good resistance to ultra-violet radiation. Good memory and weathering characteristics.


A thermoplastic resin formed by combining epichlorohydrin and bisphenols. Requires a curing agent for room temperature or elevated temperature hardening. Has outstanding adhesion, strength and excellent chemical resistance.


Difference between the value of a home and what is owed on it.


Handling of funds or documents by a third party on behalf of the buyer and/or seller.

Escrow Amount

Amount set up by a lender into which periodic payments are made, usually monthly, for taxes, hazard insurance assessments and mortgage insurance premiums funds are held in trust by the lender who pays the sums as they come due.


A stamped decorative plate, usually circular to trim the shaft of a door knob or deadbolt latch. It can also trim the opening where the shaft or latch adjoins the face of a door.

Etched Glass

Glass used for doorlites on which a decorative pattern is engraved by means of chemical action or mechanical sand-blasting.

Evacuated Glazing

Insulating glazing composed of two glass layers, hermetically sealed at the edges, with a vacuum between to eliminate convection and conduction. A spacer system is needed to keep the panes from touching.


The width of each panel of siding. Also known as a reveal.

Extension Unit

A framed fixed door panel, with a full-sized lite of glass, field-installed or shop-installed adjacent to a two-panel patio door, to make the door unit into a three-panel door.

Exterior Glazed

Glass set from the exterior of the building.

Exterior Stop

The removable molding or bead holding the lite or panel in place. Located on the exterior side of the lite or panel, as contrasted to an interior stop located on the interior side of the lite or panel.


A cast formed by pressing material through a die. Most window frames are clad with extruded vinyl or aluminium.

Eyebrow Windows

Low, inward-opening windows with a bottom-hinged sash. These attic windows built into the top molding of the house are sometimes called "lie-on-your-stomach" or "slave" windows. Often found on Greek Revival and Italianate houses.


Fabricator (Glass)

Buys glass from the glass manufacture and fabricates (tempering, laminating, insulating, etc.) to their customers requirements.


Refers to the side of a siding or soffit panel that is showing once the panel has been installed.

Face Glazing

On a rabbetted sash without stops, the triangular bead of compound is applied with a glazing knife after bedding, setting and clipping the lite in place.


The action of fastening directly onto the "face" side of a panel (instead of using the nail hem slot). This practice is generally not used in siding installation.


The plated or solid metal trim piece, usually 1 X 2-1/4 inches, housed flush into the edge of a door, through which projects the latch of a passage lock or deadbolt.

Fair Market Value

Price at which property is transferred between willing buyer and willing seller, each of whom has reasonable knowledge of all pertinent facts and neither being under compulsion to buy or sell.


A half-circle window over a door or window, with radiating bars. Also called circle top transom.

Fascia Board

A board attached to the ends of the rafters between the roofing material and the soffit overhang. Fascia cap is the covering around that board.

Federal Housing Administration

Federal agency that insures mortgages with lower down payment requirements than conventional loans.


The placement of window openings in a building wall, one of the important elements in controlling the exterior appearance of a building. Also, a window, door or skylight and its associated interior or exterior elements, such as shades or blinds.


A composite material made of extremely fine glass fibers, used in making numerous products including entry doors, cornice moldings, columns, balustrades, and baluster systems.

Filet Bead

Placing caulking or sealant in such a manner that it forms an angle between the materials being caulked.


A material such as cotton mop yarn, glass fiber insulation, oakum, polyethylene, Denver foam, etc., which is pressed into an opening or joint so that the compound applied to seal the joint will exert pressure and form good contact against the sides of the joint or opening.

Finger Joint

A way of joining short sections of board stock together, end to end to make longer stock. Door and frame parts are often made using finger-jointed pine stock.

Fixed Lite

A pane of glass installed directly into non-operating framing members; also, the opening or space for a pane of glass in a non-operating frame.

Fixed Panel

An inoperable panel of a sliding glass door or slider window. 

Fixed Rate Mortgage

Mortgage with an interest rate that remains constant over the life of the loan.

Fixed Window

A window with no operating sashes.


A thin, flat material, usually aluminum, positioned under or behind J-channels, corner posts, windows, etc., to keep draining water from penetrating the home.

Float Glass

Glass which has its bottom surfaces formed by floating on molten metal, the top surface being gravity formed, producing a high optical quality of glass with parallel surfaces and, without polishing and grinding, the fire-finished brilliance of the finest sheet glass. Float is replacing plate glass.


A type of glazed door which has its glass perimeter moldings flush with or set down from the face of the surrounding door.

Flush Joint

Compound applied in an opening or joint so that it is even with the top edge of the joint.


Rigid or flexible plastic, light in weight and cellular in structure, used in door construction. Rigid foam used as the insulating and binding core for doors. Flexible foam is sometimes used a gasket.


A deposit of contamination left on the inside surface of the sealed insulating glass unit due to extremes of temperatures. Usually happens with failed SIG.

Foot Bolt

A steel pin housed in a door bottom edge or astragal, with a latch mechanism, which can be driven down to project into a reciever socket or hole in the floor or threshold, to better secure the door when closed.


In door assemblies, the perimeter members at the top and sides, to which the door is hinged and latched. See jamb.

FreedomMAXX Low-E HP

FreedomMaxxx Low-E HP features a multiple-layer vacum-deposition Low-E insulating glass unit filled with argon gas. It delivers performance up to 40% more energy-efficient than many other types of Low-E or Mid-E glass systems, and is over twice as energy-efficient as uncoated insulating glass units.

Suburban Construction's exclusive Freedom Maxx high-performance insulated glass package is a state-of-the-art combination of three energy-efficient elements, each contributing to a superior glass unit that may help to pay for itself in energy savings through all seasons. 
Solarban® 60 Low-E glass from PPG Solarban 60 Low-E glass (low emmisivity) helps reduce energy costs in two ways. In summer, Solarban 60 helps block out long-wave radiation (direct sunlight) from the sun, keeping your home cooler. In winter, Solarban 60 helps retain furnace heat while allowing warming, short-wave solar rays to enter the home, putting less strain on your furnace to maintain a comfortable warmth.

Intercept™ Warm Edge Spacer from PPG The Intercept Spacer System is designed to keep the edges of the window glass warmer. Even with insulating glass, if the edges are not sealed properly, the insulation of the window as a whole may be compromised. The Intercept spacer creates a "warm edge" seal for superior insulation and reduced likelihood of condensation at the edges of the window.

Insulating Argon Gas Argon gas is a colorless, odorless, nonflammable, nontoxic, inert gas that is sealed between the two panes of glass. Heavier than air, and completely safe to humans and animals, the argon gas provides an additional layer of insulation, increasing energy-efficiency and also acting as a sound barrier to help deaden outside noise. 
Freedom Max Low E HP Features * Improved winter and summer thermal comfort * Increased heating and cooling season energy and cost savings * Reduces peak loads for lower HVAC costs * Helps reduce window condensation * Helps deaden outside noise 

(PHOTO) FreedomMaxxx Low-E HP features a multiple-layer vacum-deposition Low-E insulating glass unit filled with argon gas. It delivers performance up to 40% more energy-efficient than many other types of Low-E or Mid-E glass systems, and is over twice as energy-efficient as uncoated insulating glass units.

FreedomMAXX 10

FreedomMaxxx 10 is our ultimate glass system. It delivers performance over 300% more energy-efficient than ordinary Low-E or Mid-E glass systems because it combines two panes of multiple-layer vacum-deposition Low-E glass with an interior glass pane and two insulating chambers of Krypton gas. The result is a triple-pane insulating glass unit that delivers ultra-high energy-efficiency. And, becuase all three panes are made of glass, the distortion and haze that can result in non-glass systems is eliminated.

Freedom Maxx 10: Your best bet for increased energy efficiency from an insulated glass unit.
These days, homeowners are becoming far more educated of each and every opportunity to save money on utility bills. As recent studies have shown, nearly 50% of a home’s energy dollars are lost through poorly insulated windows and doors. And, with today’s state-of-the-art manufacturing procedures, energy efficiency and maintenance freedom features, vinyl windows are quickly becoming the number one choice for replacement windows. But, the multi-chambered insulating design of a vinyl window does not stand on its own. 

It is easy to see that windows are comprised of far more glass than vinyl, nearly 80% or more in most cases. This means that, in all seasons, the performance of the insulated glass unit is critical. The heating and cooling months both demand a different type of performance from your window. In winter, you want to keep the heat in, and in the summer, you want to keep the heat out. So when you are bout to make this type of investment, wouldn’t the logical choice be a window that gives you the utmost in energy efficiency? Consider an AMI Window (Associated Materials Window) with the Freedom Max 10 insulated glass package.

Improved Thermal Performance: Insulated glass units were initially filled with air or dry nitrogen. It was later discovered that a dense, slow moving glass would help to minimize the convection currents within the space, thereby reducing conduction and the transfer of heat. These inert, colorless, odorless and safe glasses have proven to be very successful in improving the thermal performance of a window. 

Improving a Window’s Winter U-Factor Performance. * The U-Factor (also referred to as U-Value) is a number that represents the rate of heat flow through a glazing system. The lower the U-Factor, the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow, and the better its insulating value. This performance is critical to those homeowners who may experience increased heating conditions not only during the winter months, but very possibly late fall and early spring as well. This chart shows that the Freedom Maxx 10 insulated glass unit that utilizes two panes of multi-layer, PPG Solarban® 60 Low-E glass will outperform the standard clear unit by as much as 70%. 

What R-Values Mean to Window Products. * An R-Value is a measure of the resistance of a glazing material or fenestration product to heat conduction. It is the inverse of a U-Factor (R=1/U) and is expressed in terms of hr-sq ft-F/Btu. A higher R-Value shows a greater resistance to heat flow and a higher insulating value than that of a low R-Value. Usually, window R-Values range for 0.9 to 3.0, except in special cases. AMI Freedom Series Window with the Freedom Max 10 TK2 insulated glass package is 80% more energy efficient than a standard double-paned unit. 

A Solution for Solar Heat Gain. The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is a number that represents the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window, both transmitted and absorbed, and subsequently released inward. The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits. Which therefore leads to a more comfortable interior of the home. Climates or seasons that rely heavily on air conditioning will benefit from a window product that displays a lower SHGC. As shown, the Freedom Maxx 10 TK2 unit will outperform the standard clear insulated glass unit by as much as 56%.
*Based on center of glass (COG) 

French patio doors

A two panel glass door where both panels operate and swing either inward or outward.

Furring/Furring Strip

A wooden or steel framing material, usually 1" x 3", used to provide an even nailing base. To "fur" a surface means to apply these strips.


The process of joining materials by melting them together with extreme heat (in most cases over 500ºF), resulting in the materials combining into a one-piece unit.



A notch across the end of a board or wood part.


An adjective used to describe steel which has been zinc-coated. Galvinized steel is resistant to corrosion.

Garden window

Designed much like a bay or bow window, a garden also extends from the wall to the exterior of the home. It is built in a square or rectangular shape at right angles. The two side lights often operate for added ventilation.

Gas Fill

A gas other than air, usually argon or krypton, placed between window or skylight glazing panes to reduce the U-factor by suppressing conduction and convection.


A strip or flexible material which in an assmebly of parts, prevents air and water from penetrating or passing through joints between parts. 


The glass or plastic panes in a window, door or skylight.

Glazing Compound

A soft dough-like material used for filling and sealing the space between a pane of glass and its surrounding frame.

Glazing Bead

A molding or stop around the inside of a window frame to hold the glass in place.


Optional horizontal or vertical lineals installed between the glass panes help to create the appearance of a divided window design.


For doors with glass lites or inserts, a removable face-mounted assembly of thin wood or plastic pieces, which when in place, gives the lite or insert a patterned multi-pane look.

Grooved Glass

Glass which is decorated with abrasively-routed recesses. Grooving can gave a single piece of glass a multi-pane look.

Gun Consistency

Compound formulated to a degree of softness suitable for application through the nozzle of a caulking gun.


Hand Operated Pressure Gun

A caulking gun operated by hand.


A term which describes or determines the direction of swing of a door when opening.

Hand Tool

A tool with a narrow, blunt blade used to press tool consistency compound into joints and to finish off the surface.

Hazard Insurance

Protection against damage caused by fire, wind storms or other common hazards. Many lenders require borrowers to carry it in an amount at least equal to the mortgage.

Head Bolt

A steel pin housed in a door top or astragal. See foot bolt. Head, head jamb: The horizontal top frame member of a door assembly.

Heat-absorbing Glass
Window glass containing chemicals (with gray, bronze, or blue-green tint) which absorb light and heat radiation, and reduce glare and brightness. See also Tinted glass.

Heat Gain

The similar transfer of heat from outside to inside. Both heat loss and heat gain are measured in terms of the fuel consumption required to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

Heat Loss

The transfer of heat from inside to outside by means of conduction, convection, and radiation through all surfaces of the house.

Heat-Strengthened Glass

Glass which is reheated, after forming, just below melting point and then cooled. A compressed surface is formed which increases its strength. Used for spandrel glass.

Hermetically Sealed Unit

An insulating glass unit made up of two lites of glass, separated by a roll formed aluminum spacer tube (at the full perimeter) which is filled with a moisture absorbing material. The unit is then completely sealed, creating a moisture-free, clean dead air space.


An assembly of metal plates and a cylindrical metal pin, which when fastened to a door edge and to a door frame, allow the door to swing or rotate in its frame.

Hinge Stile

The full-length vertical edge of a door, at the side or edge of the door which fastens to its frame with hinges.

Hinged patio doors

A two panel glass door where one panel is stationary or fixed, while the other operates and swings either inward or outward.

Hopper window

A bottom-hinged sash window that opens inward for ventilation.

Horned Sill

A sill which has been coped or cut in such a way at its ends, so that the sill projects across the outside face of the bottoms of door jambs, allowing the bottom ends of the brickmold pieces to butt and join to the top of the sill.


The percentage of moisture in the air in relationship to the amount of moisture the air could hold at that given temperature. 100% relative humidity would be rain. The amount of degree of moisture in the air.


Common building industry abbreviation: heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.


A synthetic, vulcanizable rubber manufactured by reacting polyethylene plastic with chlorine and sulphur dioxide.



International Code Council. A national organization that publishes model codes for adoption by states and other agencies. Codes include the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).


Insulating Glass Certification Council.

IG Unit

Abbreviation for insulated glass unit.


A term for a door panel fixed in its frame. Inactive door panels are not hinged and are not operable.


Presence of foreign matter in a finished material, such as glass. Index Interest rate or adjustment standard that determines the changes in monthly payments for an adjustable rate loan.

Infrared Radiation

Invisible, electromagnetic radiation beyond red light on the spectrum, with wavelengths greater than 0.7 microns.


Public facilities and services needed to support residential development including highways, bridges, schools and sewer and water systems.


Examination of work completed on a structure to determine compliance with building code and other code requirements.

Insulated Glass

A glass assembly of multiple full-lite pieces, seperated by a perimeter spacer and sealed as a unit. Insulated glass in residential doors is usually made with two thicknesses of 1/8 glass, seperated by an airspace up to 3/4-inch thick.

Insulated Shutters

Insulating panels that cover a window opening to reduce heat loss. Insulating air chambers Various chambers within the sash and masterframe, which help to insulate and strengthen the window.


A term used to describe an exterior entry door unit for which, when the hinged door panel is opened, the panel swings into the building.

Interior Glazed

Glass set from the interior of the building.

Interior Stop

The removable molding or bead that holds the lite, as contrasted to an exterior stop which is located on the exterior side of a lite or panel.


An upright frame member of a panel in a sliding glass door which engages with a corresponding member in a adjacent panel when the door is closed. Also called interlocking stile.



The jalousie window is made up of horizontally mounted louvered glass that abut each other tightly when closed and extended outward when cranked open.


A vertical member at the side of a window frame or the horizontal member at the top of the window frame, as in head jamb.

Jamb Jack

A fastener device for fixing a door frame to a wall structure, which allows the space or margin between the frame and the structure openiing, to be varied by turning the fastener screw.

Jamb Stop

In exterior door frames, the molded-in rebate surface of a frame member against which door panels close and seal.

Joint Tenancy

Form of ownership in which the tenants own a property equally. If one dies, the other automatically inherits the entire property.



Normally a device into which a window or patio door locking latch hooks over for security.


A thin slot cut into a part with a molder or saw blade. Weatherstrip is inserted into kerfs cut into door jambs.


Synonymous with the word activator or catalyst, and sometimes actually added as a third material in a three-part system.

King Stud

In a wood-framed rough opening, the stud which runs full height from floor plate to ceiling plate, against which trimmer stud attaches.


The feature of a hinge where the hinge leaf is cut for two or three projections which wrap and form a barrel or socket for the hinge pin.

Krypton gas

An inert, nontoxic gas used in insulating windows to reduce heat transfer.



A thin face of wood or plastic, adhesively bonded to a core or substrate, which makes up the decorative, wear or weatherable surface of the part.

Laminated Glass

Two or more sheets with an inner layer of transparent plastic to which the glass adheres if broken. Used for overhead, safety glazing, and sound reduction.


Manufacturer of laminated glass, which consists of 2 or more layers of glass and/or plastic bonded together with a PVB or PVC interlayer.


To overlap the ends of two siding panels or accessory pieces to allow for expansion and contraction of the vinyl product.


A moveable, usually spring-loaded pin or bolt, which is part of a lock mechanism, and engages a socket or clip on a door jamb, retaining the door closed.


A term which can apply to a door or hinge and which defines a part of the assembly which can swing on a pivot. Butt hinges have two leaves.


Handle for raising the lower sash in a double-hung window. Also called sash lift.

Light-to-Solar-Gain Ratio

A measure of the ability of a glazing to provide light without excessive solar heat gain. It is the ratio between the visible transmittance of a glazing and its solar heat gain coefficient. Abbreviated LSG.


A horizontal member above a window or door opening that supports the structure above.

Liquid Crystal Glazing

Glass in which the optical properties of a thin layer of liquid crystals are controlled by a an electrical current, changing from a clear to a diffusing state.

Loan To Value Ratio

Relationship between amount of a home loan and the total value of a property.

Long-Range Infrared Radiation

Invisible radiation, beyond red light on the electromagnetic spectrum (above 3.5 micro meters), emitted by warm surfaces such as a body oat room temperature radiating to a cold window surface.


A unit of glass in a window or door unit.

Loan Origination Fee

Lender will charge a fee for the cost of processing the loan, usually calculated as percentage of the loan amount.

Lock Block

A rectangular block of wood or other solid material, placed inside a door assembly at the lock side edge, which reinforces the assembly when the lock hardware is installed.

Lock Bore

For cylindrical locksets, the large through hole, usually 2-1/8-inches in diameter, bored near the door panel's lock edge, into which the lock mechanism is placed and installed.

Lock Stile

In insualted door assemblies, the full-length part, usually wood, which makes up the lock edge of the door panel. In wood stile and rail doors, the full length wood piece, 4 to 6-inches wide, at the lock edge of the door.


A slatted opening for ventilation in which the slats are so placed to exclude rain, sunlight or vision.

Low-Conductance Spacers

An assembly of materials designed to reduce heat transfer at the edge of an insulating window. Spacers are placed between the panes of glass in a double-or triple-glazed window.

Low E (Emissivity) Glass

Microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow. A typical type of low-E coating is transparent to the solar spectrum (visible light and short-wave infrared radiation) and reflective of longwave infrared radiation.

The raised "ears" or tabs on a siding panel, created by a snaplock punch, which can be used to lock a siding panel into place when the nailing hem has been removed.



The combination of the head, sill and jamb sections of a window.


Descriptive of compounds that remain elastic and pliable with age.

Meeting rail

The part of a sliding glass door, a sliding window or a hung window where two panels meet and create a weather barrier.

Metal-Clad Windows

Exterior wood parts covered with extruded aluminum or other metal, with a factory-applied finish to deter the elements.

Mill Finish

The original finish produced on aluminum by cold rolling or extruding.


To make a diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle (usually 45°). Sometimes miter cuts are made into an overlapping siding or soffit panel surface, to provide a neater appearance.

Mitred Corners

The 45-degree butted flush joints produced in some sash where vertical jamb members meet horizontal head and sill members.


A model of a section of a wall or its parts, built to scale or at full size, for purposes of studying its construction details, judging its appearance, and/or testing its performance.

Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate

The rate at which moisture diffuses through a substance. Generally given in the following units: grams/meters, 2 x 24 hours. The lower the MVT rate, the greater the resistance of the sealant to moisture penetration.


A substance or simple chemical compound that can be polymerized, yielding a much larger molecule called a polymer.

Mortgage Commitment

Formal written communication by a lender agreeing to make a mortgage loan on a specific property, specifying the loan amount, length of time and conditions.

Mortgage Origination Fee

Charge for the work involved in preparing and servicing a mortgage application (usually 1 Percent of the loan amount).


A recess cut into the surface or edge of a part, usually for the purpose of housing hardware such as hinges and lock parts.

Mortise-Type Lock

A lockset which usually has a rectangular-shaped mechanism, which is housed into a deep recess cut into the edge of a door.


A short term for mullion. Used occasionally as a verb to describe the joining of two door or window units together, or the joining of a door to a sidelite unit.


An adjective describing a door and sidelite unit which has been made by edge-joining two framed units together.


A post or divider which runs from sill to frame top in a multi-panel door, door, or door and sidelite assembly. In stile and rail doors: the vertical wood parts which seperate panels.

Multiple Extension Unit

In patio-door assemblies, a fixed door panel in a separate frame, edge-joining to a patio door unit to add another glass panel to the installation.


In glazed lite assemblies, thin vertical and horizontal divider bars, which give the lite a multi-paned look. Muntins may be part of lite frames, and on the outside surface of the glass, or assembled between glass in insulated glass units.

Muntins Grilles

Wood, plastic, or metal grids designed for a single-light sash to give the appearance of muntins in a multilight sash, but removable for ease in cleaning the window.


A weatherstripping material that is present where the sash frame meets the masterframe. Adds increased resistance to air infiltration.


Nailing Fin 

A feature of some windows and patio door which permits installation and fastening to a rough opening by nails or screws driven through the fin at the top and side edges of the unit, into the surrounding frame of the opening.

Nailing Hem (or Flange) 

The section of siding or accessories where the nailing slots are located.

Needle Glazing

Application of small bead of compound at the sight line by means of gun nozzle about 1/4" x 1/8" in opening size.


A synthetic rubber having physical properties closely resembling those of natural rubber but not requiring sulphur for vulcanization. It is made by polymerizing chloroprenes. The latter is produced from acetylene and hydrogen chloride.


National Fenestration Rating Council. An industry association which sets the standards for testing, rating, and labeling doors and windows with heat transmission and energy information.

Night Latch

A lever or knob-actuated bolt for fastening a door more securely at night.

Nitrile Rubber

A class of rubber-like co-polymers of acrylo nitrile with butadene. There are many types and a few of the trade names are Funa N, Butraprene, and Chemigum. It has high resistance to solvents, oils, greases, heat, and abrasion.

Non-Resilient Tape

A high solids content, mastic material furnished in varying thicknesses and widths, in roll form; easily deformed and permanently soft and tacky.


Descriptive of a product that does not form a surface skin after application. Usually remains tacky or sticky.


Characteristic of a compound which will not stain a surface by bleeding or migration of its oils or vehicle content.


Any substance which does not evaporate or volatilize under normal conditions of temperature and pressure.


An edge piece, usually molded with a rounded face or corner, which runs the length of an assembly. Oak adjustable sills have a nosing part along the floor line at the inside edge.


The tabular tip of a caulking gun through which the compound is extruded.

NRP Hinge

An abbreviation for a hinge with a non-removable pivot pin. NRP hinges are used when exterior doors swing out, as a security feature. The fixed pins make it impossible to remove a door by driving out pivot pins.



Hemp-like fibers in loose, ropey strands such as used by plumbers for packing pipe bell pints, and formerly used as joint filler before caulking where deep joints were present. Since superseded by materials such as ethafoam, polyethylene, etc., because of their greater freedom from ingredients that would stain masonry.

Obscure glass

Glass that has been made translucent instead of transparent.

Open-Cell Foam

A foam material which has passageways between cells. Open-cell foam will absorb and retain water, because the water will penetrate deeply inside the foam.


Compounds which consist of carbon and generally hydrogen, with a restricted number of other elements, such a oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorous, chlorine, etc.

Organic Compound

A coating such as paint, lacquer, enamel, or plastic film in which the principal ingredients are derived from animal or vegetable matter or from some compound or carbon (which includes all plastics).

Outside Casing

Wooden exterior framing of the window.

1. A pre-assembled section of wall, including framing (if any), window area, and solid area. 

2. A solid filler or facing material, either of one piece or an assembly, or use with a surrounding frame. 

3. S length of formed metal sheet, or an assembly of such sheets, usually with insulation between, as used for wall enclosure on industrial type buildings. 

An exterior door assembly in which the door panel swings outside the building.



A major component of a sliding glass door, consisting of a lite of glass in a frame installed within the main (or outer) frame of the door. A panel may be sliding or fixed.

Panic-Proof Lock

A lock and latch device which permits a door to be opened outward by pressure being applied to a bar mounted across the inside face of the door.


In replacement windows work, the outside aluminum trim that can extend around the perimeter of the window opening; used to cover up the old window material. Panning can be installed in the opening before the window, or can be attached directly to the window before installation.

Particle Dispersed Glazing

Glazing in which the orientation of small particles between two sheets of glass is controlled electrically, thus changing its optical properties.

Parting Stop

A narrow strip, either integral or applied, that holds a sash or panel in position in a frame.

Passage lock

A lockset which will keep a door closed but cannot be locked.


In a double or two-panel door assembly, the door which usually remains closed and fixed by bolts at top and bottom. The other door panel is used for regular passage.

Peak Load

The maximum thermal load to be provided by a heating or cooling system in a house.


The failure of a compound whereby the skin curls away from the remaining compound under the skin.

Permanent Set

The amount by which a material fails to return to its original form after being deformed by an applied force or load.


The quality of permitting passage of water through openings without causing rupture or displacement.


Document issued by & local government agency allowing construction to be performed in conformance with local codes, Work may not commence until permits have been obtained, and each permit issuing agency must inspect the work at certain specified points during construction.


Capable of changing color on exposure to radiant energy. Glazing with the optical properties that change in response to the amount of incident light.

Picture window

A picture window that does not move or operate.


Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance (the four major components of monthly housing payments).


A decorative molding applied to the surface of a flush door, to give the appearance of a raised-molding design.

Plastic Film

A thin plastic substrate, sometimes used as the inner layers in a triple- or quadruple-glazed window.


Artificial substances made of organic polymers that can be extruded or molded into various shapes including window frames and sashes.

Plate Glass

A rolled, ground, and polished product with true flat parallel plane and surfaces affording excellent vision. It has been replaced by float glass.


A position or measurement that is truly and exactly vertical, 90° from a level surface.


One-time charge assessed by the lender at closing to increase the interest yield on a mortgage loan. Generally, it is 1 percent of the mortgage amount.


A light colored liquid, straight chain aliphatic hydrocarbon polymer. Non-drying and widely used as a major component in sealing and caulking compounds. It is essentially non-reactive and inert.


There are many types of polyester resins, and they are manufactured by reacting together two basic raw materials. These are dicarboxylic acid and a dihydroxy alcohol. Polyesters are used in one and two-part systems for coatings and molding compound. The manufacture of Dacron is well-known for polyester fiber.


A straight chain plastic polymer of ethylene (gaseous hydrocarbon) used for containers, packaging, etc.


Polymer manufactured from gaseous hydrocarbons. This polymer is a major portion of butyl rubber which also contains a small percent of isoprene.


A material which has been polymerized from smaller molecules into longer molecules or chains. This can be done by addition or condensation reaction.


Treated by heating or cooking so that molecules of different substances unite into larger molecules of a different substance with individual characteristics.


The reaction occurring when two or more molecules of a compound are united to form a more complex compound with a larger molecular weight.


Polysulfide liquid polymers (Thiokol) are mercaptan terminated, long chain aliphatic polymers containing disulfide linkages. They can be converted to rubbers at room temperatures without shrinkage upon addition of a curing agent.


A synthetic rubber formed by the reaction of a glycol with an isocyanate. When used in sealants, yields a rubber-like material with excellent strength characteristics. Used as exterior sealant and sealed insulating glass sealant.

Positive Lock

Area below the nailing hem that the buttlock locks into.

Pot Life Test

The time interval following the addition of an accelerator of curing agent before a chemically curing material will become too viscous to apply satisfactorily. Synonymous with working life.

Projected Window

A window fitted with one or more sashes opening on pivoted arms or hinges. Refers to casements, awnings, and hoppers.


Walk Through Final inspection of a house prior to closing, conducted by the buyer.


A preformed tape containing a built-in continuous elastomer rod to eliminate use of individual shims which can be inadvertently omitted.

Prime Window

A window which is installed during the initial construction and services as an integral part of the structure. Not to be confused with storm windows which serve as a secondary weathering device.


A special coating designed to enhance the adhesion of sealant systems to certain surfaces or a final organic coating to a surface.


Sealing of a porous surface so that compound will not stain, lose elasticity, shrink excessively, etc., because of loss of oils or vehicle into the surface. Frequently the sign of inferior formulation when compound requires priming of surface before application.


Amount borrowed, excluding interest and other charges.


Describes the design of the panel (Clapboard, Dutch lap, Triple 3, etc.)

Property Survey

Survey to determine the boundries of a piece of property. Cost depends on the complexity of the survey.


Pounds per square foot (lbs/ft2). Abbreviation of pressure notation, used to describe wind velocity, barometric pressure.


Pounds per square inch (lbs/in2). As above.PVC Abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride, a plastic material used to make molded or extrudedparts.



A two-sided L-shaped recess in sash or frame to receive lites or panels.


Movement and distortion of sash or frame because of lack of rigidity, or can be caused by adjustment of ventilator sections. Puts excessive strain on the sealant and may result in joint failure.


The transfer of heat in the form of electromagnetic waves from one separate surface to another. Energy from the sun reaches the earth by radiation and a person's body can lose heat to a cold window or skylight surface in a similar way.


In insulated door panels, the part, made of wood or a composite material, which runs the assembly, across the top and bottom ends, and makes up the top or bottom edge. In stile and rail doors, horizontal pieces at top and bottom edges, and at intermediate points, which connect, and frame between the stiles.


In a sill or threshold, the horizontal face which is opened.

Ranch Rider

Local nonprofit motercycle club that helps with fundraisers to help children with disabilities.

Recording Fee

Charge for recording the transfer of a property, paid to a city, county or other appropriate branch of government.


Any slot cut into masonry or formed into poured concrete or precast stone. May also be an open mortar joint left between two courses of bricks or stones, or a slot cut or cast into other types of building materials.


A computer program used to calculate energy use based on window selection in residential buildings.


Adding or replacing items to existing buildings. Typical retrofit products are replacement doors and windows, insulation, storm windows, caulking, weatherstripping, vents landscaping.


The offset or margin between edges of parts.


A term which describes the part of an adjustable sill which can be moved up or down by turning adjusting screws.


A measure of the resistance of a glazing material or fenestration assembly to heat flow. It is the inverse of the U-factor (R = 1/U) and is expressed in units of hr-sq ft-ºF/Btu. A high-R-value window has a greater resistance to heat flow and a higher insulating value than one with a low R-value.

Roof Deck

Structural segment upon which the roofing material, either shingles or tiles, are installed.

Roof Window

A fixed or operable window similar to a skylight placed in the sloping surface of a roof.

Rough Opening

A structurally-framed opening in a wall which recieves a door unit or window.


A measure of the resistance of a glazing material or fenestration assembly to heat flow. It is the inverse of the U-factor (R = 1/U) and is expressed in units of hr-sq ft-ºF/Btu. A high-R-value window has a greater resistance to heat flow and a higher insulating value than one with a low R-value.



In adjustable sill, another term for riser. Also, a shop-applied label applied around the corner or edge of a door, which provides identification and installation instructions.

Safety Glass

Glass which when broken, shatters into small pieces without sharp edges.


Separate from the masterframe, the portion of the window that contains the glass. 

Sash limit locks 
A feature that allows a window to be safely raised to a certain height.


Running a utility knife blade, a sharpened awl, scoring tool, or other sharp implement across a soffit or siding panel face without cutting all the way through the panel. This weakens the vinyl surface in a specific area and allows the panel to be bent and broken off cleanly.

Screen Track

A feature of a door sill or frame head which provides a housing and runner for rollers, to allow a screen panel to slide from side to side in the door. 

Scribe: A mark for a cut which has been made by using a template or pattern.

Screw Boss

A continuous screw point on an aluminum extrusion designed to accept a specific diameter sheet metal screw and which will provide a secure means of fastening without the use of any reinforcement.


Elastic material pumped or troweled into a joint to prevent water penetration.


A steel frame for which the edge detail finishes to the surrounding wall, without the need for additional applied casing molding.

Self-Locating Hinge

A hinge with indexing or locating tabs to aid in exact placement against a door edge.

Setting Block

Use of small blocks made of neoprene (preferred) or lead to distribute weight of glass or panel to strong point of sash, aid in centering glass or panel, and prevent glass to metal contact.

Setting Time

A term used rather loosely to describe a period when a material has either dried sufficiently through solvent release, or cured sufficiently through chemical reaction, to reach either a specified condition or a condition resulting from either of the two processes.

Shading Screen

A specially fabricated screen of sheet material with small narrow louvers formed in place to intercept solar radiation striking a window; the louvers are so small that only extremely small insects can pass through. Also called sun screen. Also, an awning with fixed louvers of metal or wood.

Shading Coefficient

The ratio of the solar heat gain through a specific glazing system to the total solar heat gain through a single layer of clear, double-strength glass.


Strain put on a compound between two surfaces when there is a slipping movement of the two surfaces parallel to and in opposite directions along the length of the joint, such as occurs when an aluminum channel expands to a greater length than a glass panel when both are subjected to the same pronounced rise in temperature. This kind of strain tends to rub or knead the compound in opposite directions along the joint, as contrasted to other forms of strains which may try to pull the compound apart, by reason of the strain being at a right angle to the joint.

Sheet Glass

A transparent, flat glass whose surface has a characteristic waviness replaced by float glass. 
There were three basic classifications of sheet glass:

1) single strength 3/32" thick
2) double strength: 1/8" thick
3) heavy sheet which has 3 thicknesses: 3/16", 7/32" and 1/4".

Shelf Life

The length of time that packaged materials such as adhesives and sealants can be stored under specific temperature conditions and still remain suitable for use.


A thin piece of material used between parts of an assembly, to change and fix the distance between parts, when parts are fastened.

Shim Installation

Generally a wedge shaped spacer (such as cedar shingles, in residential work) used to firmly locate a window or door frame into a rough opening. Anchors are normally set through the shim so as to maintain the correct frame placement after installation.


A fixed narrow panel, installed next to a door panel, for decorative purposes. Sidelites almost always contain glass lites.

Sight Line

Imaginary line along the perimeter of lites or panels corresponding to the top edge of stationary or removable stops, and the line of which sealants contacting the lites or panels are sometimes finished off.


The horizontal, bottom section of the masterframe.

Single Glazing

The use of single thickness of glass in a window or door (as opposed to sealed insulating glass which offers far superior insulating characteristics).

Single Hung

Similar in appearance to the double-hung window, the single-hung window features a stationary top and a moveable bottom.

Slide Bolt

The part of an astragal assembly which, by means of moving latches at tops and bottoms of astragals, places bolts into frame heads and sills, for fixing passive door panels closed.

Sliding patio doors

A combination of fixed and sliding glass door panels that operate solid brass roller trucks. Available in 2-, 3- or 4- lite configurations with the operable panel available in any position.

Sliding Window

A window in which the sashes move horizontally. Available in a 2- or 3-lite configurations.

Sloped Sill

The sill of some double-hung windows that has a downward slope toward the outside with a capture dam that helps to keep water from infiltrating the base of the bottom sash. Sloped sills assists water drainage to the exterior of the window.


Material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang. Some soffit panels may also be used as vertical siding.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

The fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window or skylight, both directly transmitted and absorbed and subsequently released inward. The solar heat gain coefficient has replaced the shading coefficient as the standard indicator of a window's shading ability. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window's solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits and the greater its shading ability. SHGC can be expressed in terms of the glass alone or can refer to the entire window assembly.

Spectrally Selective Glazing

A coated or tinted glazing with optical properties that are transparent to some wavelengths of energy and reflective to others. Typical spectrally selective coatings are transparent to visible light and reflect short-wave and long-wave infrared radiation.

Sound Transmission Class (STC)

The sound transmission loss rating of a material over a selected range of sound frequencies. The higher the number, the better.


An object placed between two or more pieces of glass which helps to maintain a uniform width between the glass, and prevent sealant distortion.

Spacer Shims

Devices that are U-shaped in cross-sections and an inch or more in length, placed on the edges of lites or panels to serve both as shims to keep the lites or panels centered in the sash or frames, and as spacers to keep the lites or panels centered in the channels and maintain uniform width of sealant beads. Usually made of rubber.

Spandrel Glass

Heat-strengthened float glass with a colored-ceramic coating adhered to the back by a heat-fusing process. It has double the strength of annealed glass of the same size and thickness, enabling it to withstand greater uniform loads and thermal stresses. Spandrel glass cannot be re-cut after heat-strengthening. It is used as a fixed opaque colored glass on buildings in front of floor slabs and columns. It is available in a wide array of colors.


Contractual document describing in detail the work to be performed; quality, type and manufacturer of materials and equipment for a particular project.


A measurement of siding. One square equals 100 square feet (10 x 10 wall).

SST non-metal spacer

A solid silicone foam spacer covered with Mylar. It is sealed to the edge of the glass and then sealed with butyl for greater energy efficiency.


In insulated door panels, the full-length parts, usually wood, which make up the long edges. In stile and rail doors, the vertical edge parts.

Starter Strip 
An accessory applied directly to the surface of the building and used to secure the first course of siding to the home. 

A flexible framing material used to even a surface prior to installation.


A metal part with a hole recess for recieving a door latch, also with a curved or ramped face so a spring-loaded latch contacts it when closing. Strikes are fit into mortises in door jambs or mullions, and screw-fastened.


Either the stationary lip at the back of a rabbet, or the removable molding at the front of the rabbet, either or both serving to hold lite or panel in the sash or frame with the help of spacers. Also the part of a door frame against which the door closes.

Storm Window

A second set of windows installed on the outside or inside of the primary window to provide additional insulation.


A number or name defining a door design or configuration.


The concrete or wood floor surface lying under the finished floor. Prehung door assemblies are installed atop the subfloor.


The base or core material in an assembly of parts. In sills, the full length wood or composite part of the sill, visible only from the bottom side, or ends.

Sun Control Film

A tinted or reflective film applied to the glazing surface to reduce visible, ultra-violet, or total transmission of solar radiation. Reduces solar heat gain in summer and glare. Some can be removed and reapplied with changing seasons.

Super Window

A window with a very low U-factor, typically less than 0.15, achieved through the use of multiple glazing, low-E coatings, and gas fills.

Switch-able Glazing

Glazing with optical properties that can be reversibly switched from clear to dark or reflective.


Tempered Glass

Glass sheet which has been strengthened by heat processing. Tempered glass when broken, shatters into small pieces without sharp edges. See also safety glass.


Manufacturer of tempered glass, which is heat treated either vertically or horizontally. Tempered glass, when shattered, breaks into rounded, smooth pieces of glass, rather than sharp, irregular pieces.


A pattern or jig used to machine-cut a precise hole or recess into a door or frame part.

Tenancy In Common

Form of ownership in which the tenants own seperate but equal parts. To inherit the property, a surviving tenant would either have to be mentioned in the will or, in the absence of a will, be eligible through state inheritance laws.

Thermal Break

A feature of a door or frame assembly which seperates metal or glass exposed to outside temperatures, from coming into contact and transmitting heat to or from inside-exposed parts.

Thermal Expansion

Change in dimension of a material as a result of temperature change.

Thermal Mass

Mass in a building (furnishings or structure) that is used to absorb solar gain during the day and release the heat as the space cools in the evening.


Glazing with optical properties that can change in response to temperature changes.


An image of an object taken with an infrared camera that shows surface temperature variations.


Another term for sill. The horizontal part of a door assembly, fixed under the door panel and bearing on the floor.

Tilt Windows

A single or double hung window whose operable sash can be tilted into the room for interior washability.

Tinted Glass

Glass made with a green, gray or bronze tint, so as to reduce light transmittance.

Evidence (usually in the form of a certificate or deed) of a person's legal right to ownership of a property.


Permissible deviation from a nominal or specified dimension or value.


Operation of pressing in and striking a compound in a joint in order to press compound against the sides of a joint and secure good adhesion. Also the finishing off of the surface of a compound in a joint so that it is flush with the surface.


Abbreviation for thermoplastic elastomer. TPEs are used to make weatherstripping and gasketing parts.


A framed glass assembly mounted atop a door assembly. Transoms are rectangular in shape or have curved or arched tops. One design of a curved top transom has the shape of a half-ellipse.

Transport Clip

A steel piece used to temporarily fasten a prehung door assembly closed for handling and shipping, which maintains the door panel's proper position in the frame.

Trimmer Stud

In a wood-framed rough opening, the stud or framing member which runs vertically from the subfloor to and supporting the structural header member, into which a door frame is fastened.


An insulated glass assembly made of three thicknesses of glass, with air spaces between the outer and inner thickenesses.

Trombe Wall

Glass covered concrete wall that collects and stores heat passively. Heat radiates back into the outdoors or into internal air or heating.

Two-Part Compound

A product which is necessarily packaged in two separate containers. It is comprised of a base and the curing agent or accelerator. The two components are uniformly mixed just prior to its use since, when mixed, it cures and its useful life is quite limited from the standpoint of application characteristics.



Weather-resistant material placed under vinyl siding panels.


A plastic material made by reacting two polymers. A urethane part will burn, but it will not melt.

UV (Ultraviolet light)

The invisible rays of the spectrum that are outside of the visible spectrum at its short-wavelength violet end. Ultraviolet rays are found in everyday sunlight and can cause fading of paint finishes, carpets and fabrics.

UV reflection

The percentage of ultraviolet rays being blocked rather than being transmitted through the window's glass unit. The higher the number, the lower the percentage of ultraviolet rays being transmitted through the window.

U-value (U-factor)

A measure of the rate of non-solar heat loss or gain through a material or assembly. It is expressed in units of Btu/hr-sq ft-ºF (W/sq m-ºC). Values are normally given for NFRC/ASHRAE winter conditions of 0ºF (18º C) outdoor temperature, 70º F (21º C) indoor temperature, 15 mph wind and no solar load. The U-factor may be expressed for the glass alone or the entire window, which includes the effect of the frame and the spacer materials. The lower the U-factor, the greater a window's resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value.


Vapor Retarder

A material that reduces the diffusion of water vapor across a building assembly.


A thin film or facing, adhesively bonded to a core or substrate, which makes up the exposed and decorative face of an assembly.

Veterans Administration (VA)

Federal agency that insures mortgage loans with very liberal down payment requirements for honorably discharged veterans and their surviving spouses.


Polyvinyl chloride material that can be both rigid or flexible, used in glazing channels and weathering of both windows and doors.

Vinyl Glazing

Holding glass in place with extruded vinyl channels or roll-in type.

Visible Light

The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that produces light that can be seen. Wavelengths range from 380 to 720 nanometers.

Visible transmittance (VT)

The percentage or fraction of the visible spectrum (380 to 720 nanometers) weighted by the sensitivity of the eye that is transmitted through the glazing.


Warm-edge technology

The use of low-conductance spacers to reduce heat transfer near the edge of insulated glazing.


A permanent curvature or deviation from straightness, which can be induced in a part or assembly by a load or force, or by exposure to heat or moisture.


Promise, either written or implied, that the material and workmanship of product is free of defects or will meet the specified level of performance over a specified period of time. Written warranties on new homes are either backed by insurance companies or by the builder.

Water Penetration

The unwanted passage of water through a door or window system.


Material used to form a weather-resistant seal around operable sash.

Wedge Glazing

Interior flexible continuous pressure fit gasket that insures a high compression seal between the glass and aluminum while applying pressure and seal to the outside architectural glazing tape.

Weep Holes

Openings cut into siding or accessories to allow for water runoff.

Wet Glazing

A method of sealed glass in a frame by use of a knife or gun-applied glazing compound or sealant.

Window Hardware

Various devices and mechanisms for the window including catches, fasteners and locks, hinges, pivots, lifts and pulls, pulleys and sash weights, sash balances, and stays.

Window Wall

A metal curtain wall of the commercial type, in which windows are the most prominent element. Also refers to smallest fixed lites used with wall systems.

Wired Glass

Glass made for use in fire doors, which has embedded wires which bind the glass, and permit the glass to remain monolithic when exposed to fire.



Regulations established by local governments regarding the location, height and use for any given piece of property with a specific area.