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Window Guide: The Anatomy of a Window

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Knowing what distinguishes one window from the next is a crucial step in distinguishing your home from the crowd. Understanding the different window elements and styles will help you decide which options best meet your design and functionality goals. We’ve compiled this quick and easy guide for everything you need to be “in the know” when it comes to windows.


1. CLADDING: The extruded aluminum that covers exterior wood parts, helping to fight the elements.

2. LITE: Each single surface of glass.

3. HARDWARE: The operating components of your window – handles, locks, hinges, links and pulls.

4. FRAME: There are three components to the frame: the header across the top, the sill across the bottom, and the vertical jambs along the sides which hold the sash in place.

5. GLAZING: The glass in a window or door. A number of factors determine what kind of glazing a project requires including climate, design and performance and Marvin has options to meet specific needs.

6. SASH: The main movable part of a window.


DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS:  Windows that have two operating sashes that slide up and down. It’s a staple of traditional American architecture. As Christine Marvin has said, “the Double Hung window is as American as apple pie.”

GLIDER WINDOWS: Windows that open with ease and feature a horizontally gliding sash. Marvin’s advanced engineering makes this window durable and easy to use.

CASEMENT WINDOWS: Casements open and close from the side. When closed, the sash forms a seal around the frame, which makes these windows some of the most energy efficient. Marvin’s casements also feature our patented exclusive wash mode.

AWNING WINDOWS: Awning windows swing open from the bottom. Because of the top hinge operation, you can let fresh air in even when weather conditions are poor – all without letting rain inside.

BOW AND BAY WINDOWS: A bay window projects from an outside wall and can be created in multiple angles, while bows create a graceful arc. Bow and bay windows are able to provide a larger, unobstructed view of the outdoors than a normal window would.

SPECIAL SHAPE WINDOWS: Windows in a variety of geometric and circular shapes that can be used alone or in multiple assemblies. Marvin’s windows come in thousands of geometric shapes and can serve as a special focal point or added drama.

TILT TURN WINDOWS: Windows that open two ways: swinging in like a door or tilting in at the top for ventilation. This versatility makes the Tilt Turn window perfect for unique situations. In fact, it is often used as an alternative to a door for access to a Juliet balcony.

With an extensive selection of shapes, sizes, styles and finish options, Marvin gives you virtually unlimited design capabilities. Exercise your new vocabulary and get inspired by our window selections here.