What Are Windows Above Doors Called – In architecture, a transom is a horizontal structural beam or bar or crosspiece that separates a door from a window above it. This is contrasted with a mullion which is a vertical structural member.
Transom or transom window is the usual US. it. Word for a transom light, the window above the crosspiece.
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In Britain, a transom light is usually called a fan light and is often semi-circular, especially if the window is separated like the slats of a folding hand fan. A prime example of this is the main trans of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister.
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In early Gothic ecclesiastical work, transoms were found only in belfry angled windows or spire lights, where they were thought to be necessary to reinforce the spikes in the iron stay bars, which served a similar purpose in glazed windows. In the later Gothic period, especially the perpendicular period, the introduction of transoms became common in all types of windows.
Transom windows (due to their small size and height above ground level) that could be opened to provide cross-ventilation and maintain security and privacy, were a common feature of apartments, houses, office buildings, schools and other buildings before central air conditioning. Heating became common in the early to mid-20th century.
To operate the opening transom windows, they are equipped with transom operators, a type of rod assembly.
The expression “over the transom” refers to works submitted for publication without solicitation. Over the door of the publisher, the manuscript bears the image of a writer throwing it through an open window.
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Likewise, the term is used to describe the means by which confidential documents, information or advice are passed anonymously to someone who should not officially have them.
Some such phrases may instead refer to a transom of a ship – large waves from behind can bring water over the transom.
“Like pushing a piano through the transom” is a vernacular used to describe something very difficult; Its application to childbirth (and perhaps its origin) is attributed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth and Fanny Bryce.
In France, transom windows are called vasitus (formerly vas-ist-das), from German, literally “what is this?”.
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The details can range from simple shoji-style dividers to elaborate wood carvings, and they serve as a traditional welcome to the householder’s visitors. Many people look into a window and see two separate parts: a pane of glass. And a window frame. Of course, there are more parts to a window than that. Depending on the size and style of the window, many factors work together to create a strong and secure window.
When looking to replace or upgrade your windows, knowing the technical terms for all the window parts will help you make informed decisions. Knowing your window jamb from your window mullion will help you when it comes to purchasing, choosing styles and asking the right questions during the installation process.
We’ve added this handy introduction to the different parts of a window, so when things get technical, you’ll know exactly what’s going on.
A box sash window relies on a complex mechanism to function, and the frame will have additional parts to allow for this. On the other side, a casement window opens on a straight hinge. This simple construction means fewer parts are involved.
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No matter what style of window you have, there are certain pieces that always have. The main parts of the window are:
You can recognize the glass in your window. Most windows have more than one sheet of glass, either side by side or one at the top and one at the bottom, depending on the style of the window. The individual parts are called ‘window panes’.
Modern windows almost always use reinforced glass, so they are harder to break. Usually this is tempered or laminated glass, both of which are safer and more secure than regular glass.
These days, they are almost always double-glazed to help keep the heat inside your home and the cool air outside.
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The window frame is another one of the parts that you can identify without help. Usually made of uPVC, wood or aluminium, it is the name given to the outer frame that holds the window.
A window frame is the inner ‘frame’ that holds a pane of glass. Made of the same material as the frame, any handles or mechanisms for operating the window are usually attached to the sash.
In sash windows, the window sash moves vertically to open the window. In casement windows, the window brush can be called a ‘casement window’ and swings out on a hinge to open.
A window lintel is a beam that sits horizontally across the top of the window (above the head of the frame).
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The lintel is an important part of the window construction, usually made of wood, steel or concrete. This is what supports the brickwork above the window and can be considered part of the building structure rather than the window itself.
Old houses sometimes have lintels made of stone and wood. They can be turned into a feature, if they are painted or painted in a different color and look very attractive.
The window sill is the part under the window that sits between the frame and the wall. It is another structurally important part and provides support for the window.
On the exterior of a building, sills protrude slightly, often at an angle. As well as giving some definition to the shape of the window, this allows any rainwater to drain away. It is important to avoid water damage to prevent water seepage from the window’s frame and seals.
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More decorative or complex window styles can have additional parts in the sash or frame as part of their decorative design.
A window grill (also known as a window grill) is a decorative accessory that divides a large window pane into smaller panels.
In the past, the grid construction was necessary to make large windows, because glass that was strong enough to support a large pane size could not be created. They were expensive and therefore used as a symbol of status in accordance with the fashions of the time.
These days, grills still have heavy in period properties. Advances in glassmaking meant that they were less structurally demanding, so they were often placed on top of a larger glass as a decorative but non-functional addition.
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Transoms and mullions are used for windows with multiple panels or sashes. They are parts of the window frame that separate the different layers of glass.
If a window has two panes of glass arranged vertically, the horizontal part of the frame separating them is called the ‘transm’.
If a window has two or more panes arranged horizontally, the vertical part of the window frame that separates them is called a ‘mullion’.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the different parts that make up a window. If you are looking for new windows, we have a great range with many different styles available. From our JELD-WEN brand range to timber and aluminum windows, we have something to suit any property. Contact for more information.
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