Window basics that can save you time and money

Windows and doors are our home's first line of defence against the elements. With the right maintenance and knowhow, you can save money and beautify your home. Here's how:

Window basics that can save you time and money

Windows 101

  • As your first defence against the elements, windows and doors deserve your attention more than once or twice a year.
  • Poorly maintained windows will stick, rattle and leak. Neglected doors will do the same and worse.
  • Neglecting your windows can cause structural damage and higher utility bills, not to mention discomfort from cold drafts leaking through the cracks.
  • Windows and doors are expensive to replace, but they aren't difficult to maintain if you do it regularly.
  • Inspect your windows often, and make repairs promptly.
  • Keep windows and doors clean, painted and maintained and they can last a lifetime.

Learning to speak window

There are two basic types of window: operable and fixed. Fixed windows have the same stationary elements as operable ones but no moving parts. Operable windows have the following elements:

  • The jambs are the pieces that form the sides and top of the window opening itself.
  • The stool and apron make up the inside windowsill. The actual windowsill sits outside.
  • The sash is the frame into which one or more panes of glass are set. For example, double-hung windows have upper and lower sashes.
  • The stops are vertical channels in which the sashes slide up and down. In some windows, they detach so that the sashes may be removed.
  • The trim, or casing, is the interior molding that surrounds the window. It's often decorative.

Pick the perfect windows

When repairing or replacing a window, it helps to know how it operates. Here's some of the most common types:

  • Double-hung: The sashes of these windows slide up and down to open. The sashes of new double-hung windows come out of their frames for convenient and safe cleaning.
  • Casement: A crank or lever on the stool operates these hinged windows, which swing out to open and have interior screens. Some older homes have casement windows that open inward manually.
  • Awning: An interior crank opens these windows on a horizontal axis. Awning windows are often used in basements or under eaves.
  • Jalousie: A series of linked horizontal glass panes that swing out and up like an awning window to open. Jalousie windows operate with cranks. Popular in warm climates, jalousies are not recommended for chillier areas because they don't seal effectively against cold air.
  • Bay: The angular bay window and its cousin, the rounded bow window, extend out from an exterior wall. They often feature a stationary middle pane flanked by two narrow casement windows.
  • Sliding: The sashes of these windows slide sideways to open and close. In some models, one sash is fixed in place.

Our windows and doors are constantly working and need the attention they deserve. By getting the right windows, and taking care to keep them properly maintained, you can save money and keep your home looking its best.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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