First used in the late 17th century, and found almost everywhere from Georgian properties and Victorian terraces to rural cottages and stately homes, sash windows remain an intrinsic part of British architectural history.
Consisting of two wooden panels, or ‘sashes’, that slide vertically one in front of the other, they can feature a single glass pane or a series of smaller ones, depending on the era.
Although originals can be prone to problems such as rotting, distortion, sticking and rattling, it’s always preferable to restore rather than replace; restoration being a more cost effective and less disruptive option than replacement.
It’s also worth noting that original frames and sashes were made of slow-grown soft wood of a much higher quality than the timbers available today, so in most cases, even if they seem beyond repair, windows can be brought back to life.
However, if both frames and sills are rotten, or a window has been substituted with an unattractive replica, your best option is to order a new bespoke window.
Windows for period properties must be chosen carefully, and although salvage ones are available from reclamation yards, unfortunately the chances of finding one that fits an existing space are slim to none.
Specialist manufacturers will have made-to-measure ranges to suit Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian homes, and most can replicate any design.
5 of the best modern sash windows
For when restoration simply isn’t possible, these are the brands you can trust
This brand’s designs appear like traditional sash windows but with the benefit of modern materials. Choose from authentic woodgrain, Georgian glazing bars, arched windows, and even stained glass. They are made with durable PVCu, so require little maintenance, and have an inward tilting feature so are easy to clean.
Provided with a ‘A’ Rated energy efficiency as standard, with the option of a ‘A+’ Rating. Partly made from recycled plastic, they can be recycled up to a further ten times. ecoslides.co.uk
The Sash Window Workshop
Established in 1994, this firm manufactures its windows individually in its Bracknell workshop. The team can replicate any design or pattern and make traditional windows that adhere to listed building and conservation area requirements. sashwindows.com
This company’s founder, Robert Tunnicliffe, has developed the first sash window sealing system to eliminate draughts and rattles. He also patented a sash removal system to ease future painting, cleaning and maintenance. ventrolla.co.uk
Expect to find timber sash windows in a large selection of coloured finishes, plus a colour-matching service for RAL and Farrow & Ball shades. Perfect for a twist on the classic look quickslide.co.uk
These UK-manufactured uPVC sash windows can be used in conservation areas, protected sites and buildings that have extra planning controls. They are double glazed to reduce noise and draughts, and include authentic period details. anglianhome.co.uk
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