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Glossary of Home Improvement Terms

Before you start your home improvement project, it’s important to know some of the terms the professional installers and design consultants will be using. Here is a comprehensive list of terms so you can be prepared. We think an informed customer is our best customer.

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

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

Aluminum-Clad Window
A window with wood construction covered with aluminum sheet having a factory-applied finish (to provide a longer maintenance-free life).

Architrave
The molded frame or ornament surrounding a window, door or other rectangular opening.

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

ASHRAE
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

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

Astragal
An interior molding attached to one of a pair of doors or side-hinged windows in order to prevent swing through; also used with sliding doors to ensure a tighter fit where the doors meet; often found on older casements or swinging screens.

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

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