Building terminology can induce confusion in the average homeowner, particularly when a phrase has multiple meanings. For instance, triple set, when referring to windows, may mean one of three things, each a different type of window. The process of building a triple set window ultimately depends upon the type of triple set window in question. Keep in mind that building windows requires a number of special considerations, including moisture protection and heat conductivity.
Triple Set Windows - The term “triple set” may refer to three types of windows. A single window frame that houses three windows holds a “triple set” of windows because it consists of a set of three windows. A triple-glazed, or triple-pane, window contains three panes of glass to reduce heat loss and moisture intrusion. The set of three panes in a triple-glazed window constitutes a triple set of window panes. Lastly, “triple set” may refer to a window frame with three areas for setting glass. In these windows, you can install panes in the front, middle or back of the frame. These three options comprise a "triple set."
Building Windows - Building a basic window requires rudimentary carpentry skills and basic materials and tools. Philip Schmidt, author of Black & Decker's "Build Your Kids a Treehouse," suggests building a frame of six pieces of wood: a jamb for the top, two sides, a sill for the bottom and, attached to the sill and jamb, round stops with a recess for holding the pane of glass. However, you cannot open this type of window. Building a window you can open requires installing a framed piece of glass on hinges within a larger frame or a window on tracks that slides up and down.
Triple Set Construction - Building three windows in a single large frame requires little more than creating a large hole in a wall, installing the proper molding and framing devices then placing three windows within this frame. Building a basic triple-pane window entails creating a frame and placing three layers of glass in it. However, commercially available triple-pane windows offer special construction techniques, such as gas between the panes, to improve energy performance. Commercial windows with multiple areas for window placement are complex devices made from metal with numerous moveable parts. You can build a simple homemade version by creating a thick window frame with multiple notches along the sides and bottom for glass installation.
Considerations - There are many things to keep in mind before building a window. For instance, a windowsill must direct water away from the window to prevent moisture from penetrating the home. This requires a slope. Furthermore, you need some kind of blocking device, such as a rubber strip or a locking mechanism, that prevents water from leaking under the glass. In cold regions, a single pane of glass provides little to no protection from winter weather. To protect against the cold, your window needs multiple panes of glass, separated by air or another gas, and insulation at the sides. Finally, building and installing a window require cutting into your walls. If you have no construction training or experience, consult a structural engineer or licensed contractor to avoid damaging your home.