According to building conservators, sash windows were an essential design feature of lots of new houses for more than 200 years....
This style of window consists of two timber sashes - the sash being the outer frame which holds the glass - which are encased in vertical grooves in the window frame. The windows can be slid open or closed manually, either using your hands, or by means of cords or chains which are counterbalanced by metal weights to stop them from slamming shut and potentially causing all kinds of nasty injuries to trapped fingers!
Because original sash window frames were nearly always made of wood, they suffered from a variety of age- and wear-related problems, most commonly rotting of the timber in the frames around each individual glass panel.
But you can replace old timber frames with modern materials such as uPVC and fibreglass to give you sash windows which will last far longer than the originals. Just be sure that you have the necessary permission for such materials to be used.
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Whether you have sash windows with individual panes which can be moved up and down, or which are fixed in place, both types are made up of heavy panels. And that means their mechanisms are equally prone to sticking as they feel the effects of being exposed to a range of extreme weather conditions.
Originally, sash window frames were almost exclusively made of wood. This was often painted to fit in with the home’s decor and individual tastes. But over time, sunlight, rain, and even frost and ice, all take their toll.
Problems start with the paint on a wooden window frame beginning to crack and flake. And while this can be fixed easily in the short term, eventually the troubles will take hold to such a degree that the glass within the frame can work loose.
That not only looks ugly, it also compromises your home’s security.
So before your windows reach this state, you should investigate sash window replacement.
Modern sash windows often consist of glass fitted into uPVC frames. These have proved themselves to be longer-lasting than their wooden predecessors, and equally importantly, they are practically maintenance-free.
If you are replacing wooden-framed sash windows with uPVC sash windows, you won’t need to carry out preventive maintenance, apart from occasional checks of the locking and sliding mechanisms to be sure that they can always move unimpeded.
Patching up and filling the wood in original sash window frames may be an option if you’re on a very tight budget. But such repairs can’t be considered permanent, and if you choose replacement sash windows, you will get a comprehensive guarantee covering both materials and workmanship which is likely to last longer than just patching up.
Yes, in most cases, our designs are based on historically accurate patterns and are designed to replicate the features of the originals. It might not be possible to fully match some elements of the original design, but this is usually because of improvements in materials and construction methods - so your modern windows will look as close as possible to the older designs you know and love, but will keep your house much warmer!
This was a major drawback of many older-style sash window designs, especially as the windows got older and the wood and sliding mechanisms deteriorated.
But today’s sash windows use the same materials as more modern window designs, which give you the added benefits of the same much better insulating properties. So they can be both traditional looking and meet the latest heat-retaining standards.