A Guide to Sash Windows

The replacement or restoration of sash windows presents particular challenges so consider your options carefully suggests John Lannen.


Renowned for their style and elegance, sliding sash windows date back as far as the seventeenth century. They were widely used during the Georgian period and were a popular feature of Victorian houses. Although window design has evolved tremendously since then, many people still cherish them as the ultimate in craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal.


The level of architectural detail and technical expertise required to make and install a sash window means that replacement or restoration inevitably involves a significant investment. Before settling on a design you need to consider the precise age of your property and the original style of the windows.


Sash windows come in a variety of types but traditionally consisted of two timber panels or ‘sashes’ which acted as a frame for the glass. Originally, they would have been single glazed and often, the glass was divided into six panes with fine glazing bars. The sashes might be single or double hung, with one fixed or both sliding, but only operate vertically, balanced by a heavy steel, lead or cast-iron weight concealed within the frame. Traditionally, they were painted white or cream and secured with a clasp where they meet.


Today, sash windows are available in timber, aluminium or UPVC and can be single or double glazed. The pulley cords can be replaced with a spiral spring and security/child safety features like double locks and stays can be incorporated. Many of these features are used successfully in new buildings which mimic traditional style.


For period buildings, the regulations that apply to listed properties and those situated in a conservation area will often demand that the sash is made of timber and single glazed but there is the option of secondary glazing to improve thermal efficiency. They can be made of softwood, engineered timber or hardwood and will come ready painted with a coating that gives protection for five to seven years, without any maintenance.


Over the years, many sash windows have been replaced with casement units and the box plastered in. If this is true in your home, all is not necessarily lost. With proper attention to the interior, a timber box can be fitted retrospectively, the wall plastered and architrave crafted, restoring the original appearance and character of the building.



As a family company, the L&L team believe in delivering high quality products and impeccable service, at an affordable price. Why not visit our showroom in Tewkesbury, with functioning displays and plenty of customer parking; you can talk to us about the options for your home and experience our extensive range of products. Alternatively, please call us on 01684 295038 to arrange a free home survey.



Tel: 01684 295038




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