Useful Terminology

Applied Glazing Bars

An applied bar is one that is stuck with double sided tape onto the outside and the inside of a sealed unit. A spacer bar is also positioned inside the sealed unit to match exactly the line of the glazing bars.

The applied bars, together with the internal spacer bar, creates the look of a solid bar going all the way through the glass. This is used to create a whole range of window feature designs, and is the only way to re-create the very thin glazing bars used in times gone by.


The beads are the part of the window that holds the glass in. They can be external – meaning the glass is installed from the outside, which can pose a security issue as they can also be removed from the outside! Externally beaded windows should always have security tape bonding the glass to the frame as a precaution.

Internally beaded products in both Timber and uPVC are better for both security and the longevity of the product. The gaps in externally beaded windows attract dirt and moisture which looks unsightly and is not particularly good for the product.

Cabin Hooks

Hooks that fix the doors in place when open. All conservatory doors should have cabin hooks as wind can literally rip the doors off their hinges.

Capping Bars

The external bars that secure the glass to the rafters. All cappings should be made from aluminium so that the roof is virtually maintenance free.


A separate row of windows that sit above the top of the doors and main windows. Used to increase height and light in a room.


A detail section that usually sits along the eaves of a conservatory. Non structural, and can be made in aluminium as well as timber.

Dwarf Wall

The wall that sits below the windows. Can be specified as low as you like (they are usually 450mm to 675mm high) although electric sockets need to be a minimum of 450mm above floor level to comply with Part P of building control.


Where the conservatory roof meets the top of the doors and windows.


Opening windows at the top of a large window.

Finials and Cresting

The detail on top of the roof. Finials are usually round, spiral or pointed and are positioned on the ends of the ridge. Cresting covers the length of the ridge and is available in many different designs.

Friction Hinges

Hinges that set a tension between the opening and fixed parts of a window enabling the window to remain open without the need for a window stay.

Glazing gaskets

The strip of rubber or alternative material used to create a waterproof and draft resistant seal at the edges of all glazed areas. Tip: Be wary of using white glazing gaskets as they hold the dirt which can be seen from inside the room.

Internal Fret

Plastic strips inside a sealed unit. Supposed to look like a true glazing bar but really never do.Great Tip: Do not ever consider this option!


Glass roofs that sit within a solid roof -usually a flat roof. A larger

Low-Emissivity Glass

Low-E glass or K Glass (Pilkington’s Low-E Glass) is the standard glass used in houses and conservatories. It has a layer or film that coats the outside of the internal pane which helps to prevent the warm air from your heating system escaping through the glass.

Parliament hinges

Also referred to as projection hinges these are hinges designed for doors to enable them to open a full 90 degrees. Standard hinges on a door will only open to 90 degrees if a full height window frame is next to it.


A bar, usually made from metal and occasionally wood, which supports the glass in a roof. Purlins are usually positioned at 90 degrees to the rafters and sit mid-way between the eaves and ridge.

Plinth Wall

A wall that has a feature slope protruding outwards. The slope is usually 4 to 8 courses from ground level.


A plastic material used to glaze roofs on some conservatories. Lightweight to use and low in cost, it is often installed on cheap plastic conservatories. It has a honeycomb form and is OK for insulation purposes but it is unattractive and creaks rather loud when it is warmed by the sun – as it expands and contracts. Polycarbonate roofs do not last very well and are susceptible to leaks.

Rafters (hip, main & glazing rafters)

The structural bars in the roof that hold the glass.


The beam that runs horizontally across the very top of the roof.

Ridge Cap

A protective cover that sits over the ridge. Should be made from aluminium to make the ridge virtually maintenance free.

Sealed Units

Two panes of glass with a spacer bar around all edges. The spacer bar is held in position with a sealant. Contrary to popular belief, a standard sealed unit does not have a vacuum inside it.

The spacer bars have a desiccant filling which absorbs any moisture in the air inside the sealed unit when it is sealed.

A faulty sealed unit with a cracked seal (which you will not be able to see) will slowly allow new air inside. The moisture in the new air will be absorbed by the desiccant material until it reaches saturation point. At this point the moisture will collect inside the sealed unit and form condensation.

Tie Bars

A metal rod that connects metal brackets bolted on opposing sides of a conservatory roof. This helps to prevent splay (outward collapse) of a conservatory roof and should be installed on all roofs where required.

Trickle Vents

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