Everything You Need to Know About Sash Windows.

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If you own a property with sash windows, it’s important to understand as much as you can about them, so you can appreciate their value and why they should avoid replacing them.
They offer a glimpse back into history and give the property individual character that cannot be replicated with modern-day windows.

Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about sash windows.

What are sash windows?

A traditional sliding sash window contains two sashes that can be slid up or down to suit. The word ‘sash’ itself is used in reference to a single frame for glazing. When operated, it works by balancing the sash with a counter-weight that is hung on a cord and concealed within a small frame.

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History of sash windows

Sash windows have been around in the UK since the 17th century, although it is unclear who is responsible for their creation. Some say it was an architect called Robert Hooke, while others insist it was a Dutch invention.

It seems unlikely that we will never know who is responsible for first making them, however, what we do know is that they were once the most popular type of window in the UK. For 200 years their popularity continued to grow, which peaked during the Georgian era (1714 to 1837).

This continued right through the Victorian era until the development of new materials and manufacturing techniques saw the return of the casement window in the early 20th century, which had previously been the dominant style before sash windows. This explains why so many Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties still feature sash windows today.

There are other variations on the sliding sash window style, including the horizontally sliding sash, which is also known as a ‘slider’ window or Yorkshire sash. This was created before the vertical sash, although a big difference is only one of the sashes can usually be moved.

Houses with sash windows have character

Sash windows play a big role in maintaining the character of an older, period property. While technology has made it easier and cheaper for companies to manufacture windows to make them more accessible, it also means many modern properties end up looking identical.

The problem with that is homeowners lose the chance to live in properties that have a history and personality to them. Maintaining or installing sash windows instantly gives the property a real sense of character that makes it stand out from neighbouring houses. Modern homes are also now made to standard specifications, while period homes were not, which means sash windows are designed to match the exact requirements of the property.

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Are sash windows energy efficient?

Just like every other type of window available, by themselves, sash windows do not automatically ensure high levels of energy efficiency. There are a number of important factors that go into improving the thermal performance of any window, so when it comes to sash windows the following should always be included:

● Draught proofing: In order to stop heat escaping, you need to fill in gaps to prevent draughts. Integrated draught-sealing systems work best and will stop air from getting through important areas of the window. Adding beading into the timber panels will make them airtight, while old/broken putty should be replaced to stop draughts around the glass pane.
● Glass replacement: If you have single glazing, then upgrading to double glazing will have a hugely positive impact on the energy efficiency in your sash windows. These can be installed into original timber sash windows, meaning you retain the authenticity, while also improving the weatherproofing and heat efficiency inside the property.
● Restoration: Restoring your sash windows is one of the best ways to optimise their thermal efficiency. This will include both draught-proofing and glass replacement, as well as adding protective paint and dealing with the weights and pulleys to optimise the operational system. By removing any damage that has occurred to your sash windows over time, they will feel brand new and able to perform to the best of their abilities.

What are the advantages of wooden sash windows over uPVC sash windows?

Before you replace your original timber sash windows with uPVC alternatives, you should consider some of the great benefits that wood can provide:

● Authenticity: In order to keep the original character of your property, it pays to keep your timber sash windows in place. Not only does it mean it looks more authentic, but it maintains the architectural heritage of the property and local area.
● Cost-effective: While installing uPVC may be cheaper in the short term, keeping your timber sash windows will be more financially rewarding in the long run. After 10-20 years, uPVC will start to discolour, which means the windows will have to be replaced again. This isn’t the case with timber. Wooden sash windows also help to maximise the value of your property – which could mean thousands of pounds extra when it comes to selling it on the market.
● Environmentally friendly: Timber sash windows that use sustainable wood is much kinder to the environment. Whereas uPVC is derived from oil, which is a reducing source, unsustainable and ultimately harmful to the environment.


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