We know you have a secret.  

Window shopping comes with its own language, and it’s not necessarily your native tongue. So allow our crew at Hall’s Window Center to provide this quick translation: 

Framethe system between the glass and the wall that provides structure for the panes. 

Cladding: exterior protection for the wood or composite window; it consists of vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass. The cladding means you don’t have to paint your window frame. 

Apron: the horizontal board attached to the wall under the windowsill. windows anatomy

Windowsill (stool): the interior section that protrudes like a shelf on the bottom of the window. 

Jambs: the side pieces that form the window frame and hold the sash. They run vertically from the top of the window to the bottom. 

Side casing/head casing: Casing is the horizontal and vertical molding that surrounds the entire window. It covers the space between the window and the wall.  

Sash: the moving part of the window; this is what you tilt in for easy cleaning. 

Rail: the horizontal part of a sash. 

Operator: the crank mechanism that allows you to open and close casement windows. 

Insulated glass: Double-glazed windows have a sealed space between two panes of glass filled with air or another argon gas, which is a better insulation than air.  

Low-E coating: transparent and improves the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat yet letting light in. The coating is applied to the outside of glass in warmer climates to reflect the sun’s heat out; in colder areas, it’s applied to the inside glass to keep heat in. 

Glazing: the compound (think putty) that helps hold the glass in the panes in place. 

Grilles (muntins, grids) decorative designs and patterns usually inserted between the glass panes. 

U-factor or U-value: usually ranges from 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in. 

Solar heat gain coefficient: is listed between 0 and 1. The lower the number, the better the window is at blocking unwanted heat from the sun. In warm climates, you’ll want the lowest number you can find. 

Visible transmittancehow much visible light a window lets in; this, too, is rated between 0 and 1. As the number increases, so does the light. 

Still not clear? That’s certainly not something to be embarrassed about! Drop in at Hall’s Window Center showroom at 11297 White Rock Road, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742, and we’re happy to go over this list with you in person. No quiz, no failing grades—we promise!