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EXTERIORS of buildings
ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS
ANIMAL ENTRY POINTS in buildings
ANIMAL ODORS IN buildings
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ATTIC CONDENSATION CAUSE & CURE
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BOOKSTORE - EXTERIORS
CAULK GUN TYPES, CHOICES
CAULKS & SEALANTS, EXTERIOR
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING STAINS
FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
FLASHING SIDING DETAILS
FLASHING WALL DETAILS
FLASHING WINDOW DETAILS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GLUES ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
HOUSEWRAP / SHEATHING WRAP
HOUSEWRAP INSTALLATION DETAILS
HOUSEWRAP PRODUCT CHOICES
HOUSEWRAP at SILLS, SOLES, TOP PLATES
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOG HOME GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PAINT FAILURE DICTIONARY
PAINT SURFACE PREPARATION
PORCHES & Sunrooms
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
ROT, TIMBER FRAME
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SEARS KIT HOUSES
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in buildings
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE CLEANING METHODS
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in buildings
VAPOR BARRIERS, VINYL SIDING
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
How to buy, install, inspect, build or repair doors, skylights & windows. This article series explains how to build, diagnose, inspect, install, and repair skylights, windows, and doors. We begin with a photo guide summarizing different architectural window types & designs. We include examples of sources of window condensation, damage, rot, leaks, and other damage. For more details about window types, names and architectural features, see ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID for additional illustrations of architectural details including window & door types.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Our sketches of basic double-hung window parts (above left and below left) appeared in Basic Housing Inspection and later in other window guides. Our sketch of repair of window sash cords and weights shows how older double-hung windows operated with sash weights and came from the same source. Our photo (below left) from a lumber company display illustrates some of the basic wood framed window and sash components including the window jamb, bottom rail, sill and trim - keyed to the sketch at below right.
For more details about window types, names and architectural features, see our illustrated table at Window Types - Photo Guide.
Awning-type windows (photo at left) operate by a crank and open outwards from the bottom, hinged at the sash top.
Awning windows that open out from the bottom, as most do, can be left open in light rain with less chance of water entering through the window opening itself, allowing ventilation in rainy weather.
As we illustrate and expand at Window Types - Photo Guide, depending on their pivot or axis point and opening direction, awning type windows may be defined more narrowly as austral windows, pivot windows, and projecting windows as well as identified as top opening (hinged at bottom, rain comes in when open) or bottom opening (hinged at top). At below right a sliding pivot type awning window opens at both top and bottom.
Eyebrow windows may be fixed or operable and are built protruding through the slope of a roof surface. Our photo (below-left) shows a lovely antique eyebrow window on a roof in New York state. Eyebrow windows may also appear as small peaked installations but the classic is rounded such as we show above. An "eyebrow" window is a miniature dormer in essence but requires less supporting framer than a larger dormer.
An eyebrow window is not a dormer or dormer window (see Dormers, above).
For a table illustrating nearly all window types, names and architectural features, see Window Types - Photo Guide
How to inspect, diagnose, and repair skylights, sloped glazing, vertical glazing, energy-losing windows, and leaky basement windows
Below we show two problem windows at building basements. If your basement windows seem to be points of leakage into the building, see WINDOW LEAKS INTO BASEMENT.
Our photo (below left) shows a modern solid-wood multi-lite exterior door used at an enclosed porch. Because of weather exposure and rain splash-up from the entry platform, and because there is no protective storm door installed at this entry, the wood door must be kept coated with paint or polyurethane to avoid water damage, swelling, or rot.
Our second exterior door photo (above right) shows an expedient, but insecure means of securing antique interior doors made from a converted ( ca 1910) swing-type garage door.
For some home buyers, especially of older homes, un-disclosed problems with windows and doors (leaks, rot, energy loss, operability) can be a real "sleeper" that later turns out to be a source of major headaches and big costs. At a home inspection in New York we found an entire development in which nearly every wooden window in the 1960's - 1970's homes was badly rotted. The same siding installation company had made the same mistake - hundreds of times. A flashing error at window tops and sides sent wind-blown rain into the window frame, leading to rot and in some cases termite damage as well.
Windows and doors that are leaky or poorly constructed can be a big energy loser on buildings as well. Here we provide a series of articles on the inspection, diagnosis, installation, and repair of problems at windows and doors on residential buildings.
Basement walkout doors were originally usually site-built using sloped wood (photo, below left); if your basement door is in as terrible shape as the unit shown here, the worry about leaks into the building basement should take second place to the immediate life-safety hazard of a rotted door like this one. Modern basement walkout doors are purchased as a pre-fab steel unit from manufacturers such as Bilco™ (photo below right) and may be set on a site-built or pre-fabricated masonry stairwell.
Clarification from "Residential exit doors, stairways, landings, handrails and guards [ copy on file as /Stairs/Stair_Code_NYS_Bulleting_RCstairsTB.pdf ] - for New York:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about how to recognize different types of windows, how to choose & install windows & skylights & how to inspect & repair leaks, condensation & other window problems.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.