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An inert, non-toxic gas used in insulating glass units to reduce heat transmission.


Window style with a top-hinged sash that swings out at the bottom. Good for a rainy climate as it window can remain open if raining.


Window style consisting of a middle picture unit flanked by two narrow casements or picture units set at angles of 36, 45, 60 or 90 degrees. Bays add living space and fresh air.


Window style consisting of five or six casement/picture units set in a curved profile. Creates panoramic views and additional living space.


A type of external casing for windows and doors.


Prefinished aluminum which is custom bent on site to cover wood frame work. The aluminum is available in various colours and provides a maintenance free exterior.


Window style consisting of a side-hinged sash that opens left or right, similar to a door.



Exposed moulding or profile around a window or door, on either the inside or outside, to cover the space between the window frame or door jamb and the wall.


A compound for filling joints and sealing cracks to prevent leakage of water and air.


A maintenance-free material that is placed over another material for added performance or aesthetic appearance.

Complete Frame Change

A method of installing a replacement window where the older window is completely removed back to the original window opening.


The altering of a gas to a liquid form. Warm air can hold more water vapor that cold air. When warm air cools, its ability to hold water vapor reduces proportionately. Excess moisture then condenses on the warm side of the glass.

Door Slab

A door panel that has not been assembled into a frame.

Double Glazed (duo-pane)

An insulated glass unit consisting of two panes of glass with a single air space held together by an edge spacer and sealants.

Double hung

Traditional styled window with a movable upper sash and movable lower sash. Provides excellent ventilation at various levels.


Egress Window

A window designed to meet certain measurements specified by the Alberta Building Code to allow for a person or firefighter to climb in or out in the case of an emergency such as fire.

Energy Rating (ER)

Is the value developed by CSA to compare overall thermal performance of a window, based upon its glazing and frame materials. The higher the ER number the better the energy performance (numbers range from 0 to 40).

Energy Star for Windows

A federal government program sponsored by Natural Resources Canada. S.I.S. carries Energy Start rated windows.


A horizontal piece of material that runs along the roof line and meets up with the soffit on the underside.

Fixed Window  (See also: Picture Window)

Fixed windows are also non-operational windows, designed to let in light and add expansive views. The difference between Fixed and Picture windows lies in the frame size. Fixed windows have larger frames and are built to match the site lines of accompanying operating windows, for a beefier, more contemporary look.



The associated head, jamb and sill that houses the sash or glazing units.


Installation of glass into a window or door frame. Also refers to various glass types.

Grilles (muntin bars)

Decorative inserts located between glass panes for the ultimate in low maintenance. Wood muntin bars are mounted to the interior surface of the glass and are removable.


The horizontal frame member at the top of a window or door.

Insert Window

Installation of a replacement window within the frame of an older window.

Insulated Glass Unit (IG/IGU)

A combination of two or more panes of glass, factory-sealed using a spacer bar and sealants. Typically referred to as dual or tri-pane units.


The upright or vertical members of window and door frames.

Laminated glass

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

Low E

A glass type consisting of a low-emissivity coating on one side. Used to reduce heat loss or heat gain dependent upon the Low-E selection. Performance of Low-E units is often enhanced with the use of non-toxic gases such as argon. Low-E glasses are recognized for their significant contribution to reduction of energy costs.

Picture Window or Direct Set (See Also: Fixed Window)

A stationary non-opening window consisting of a common frame with an insulating glass unit.


Resistance to thermal transfer or heat flow. A higher R-value indicates greater insulating properties. R-value is the inverse of the materials U-value.

Rough Opening

Opening in a wall which a window or door is installed.


The inner frame which holds the glass units in a fixed or operating window.

SDL (simulated divided lite)

A decorative bar mounted on the exterior and interior of a sealed unit that produces the visual affect of dividing the glass into smaller equal portions. A shadow bar option utilizing metal grilles inside the glass unit can further enhance the appearance towards a true divided glazed unit.


A fixed unit joined to a door. Available with venting options.


The horizontal member at the bottom of a window or door frame.

Single Hung

Windows with an upper fixed unit and a lower sash which operates upward.


Windows with a fixed sash and a sash that slides horizontally. It is an economical choice and appropriate where outside clearance is a concern.


Material running from the back of the fascia board to the wall, usually made of plywood, vinyl or aluminum. Soffit is vented to allow air movement into the space under the roof.

Spacer Bar

Used to separate the panes of glass in a sealed glass unit. .


The bottom portion of a door. Some sweeps have screws that can raise or lower the sweep when adjusted.

Tempered Glass

Glass that is heat-treated to withstand greater than normal forces on its surface. If broken, it breaks into small pieces to reduce hazard.


A window unit attached to or combined with another window or doorframe unit.

Triple Glazed (triple-pane)

An insulated glass unit consisting of three panes of glass with two air spaces held together by two edge spacer bars and sealants.

Weather Stripping

A component of a window or door used to seal edges and gaps from exterior elements.