Most commonly misused words in architecture

Do you know your mullions from your muntins?
Published on May 23, 2008

Homeowners these days are amazingly facile with architectural jargon, thanks no doubt to the gaggle of home-improvement shows on television these days, not to speak of the wealth of information on the Internet. But while lots of folks know their antae from their astragals, as it were, a few stubborn terms are still routinely confused -- sometimes even among architects. Here are the usual suspects: Cement/concrete: Cement refers only to the powder that hardens when you add water. If you add sand and aggregate to the mixture, though, you get concrete. So strictly speaking, a cement mixer should be called a concrete mixer. Sash/window: The part of a window that moves is called the sash. The whole shebang -- sash, jambs, sill and everything else -- is called a window. Mullion/muntin: A mullion is a heavy vertical or horizontal member between adjoining window units. Muntins are the narrow strips of wood that divide the individual panes of glass in traditional sash. In the case ...