Sash Windows

Replacing casement windows with sash windows

Share The Love

Where the present and the past can often clash

Many of us rejoice in living in period homes from centuries gone by – but this jubilance could be somewhat soured if uPVC casement windows have been added to these homes since they were originally built. Casement windows can seem out of place on a heritage property – but it might be possible to restore harmony to the home’s look by replacing those windows with sash units.

What is the difference between casement windows and sash windows?

Casement windows are the more modern option stylistically, and open and close on a hinge. Sash windows, in contrast, usually comprise two panels, the “sashes” – and are opened or closed through the process of sliding a sash either vertically or horizontally, depending on the window’s structure.

What problems can casement windows have?

As casement windows open outwards, there must be limits to a casement window’s size; the sash must be sufficiently light for the window frame to support it when the window is open. Compared to other types of window, casement windows can also be relatively easy to smash.

A modern remedy for a longstanding issue

Cast your mind back to the 1980s and 1990s. The Cold War was thawing, bands like Spandau Ballet and Pet Shop Boys were in the charts, and many homeowners were replacing their old sash windows with more modern, uPVC casement windows. You might even have been one of those homeowners, if you are old enough. Windows of this type do have many compelling benefits, including:

  • Extreme ease of maintenance
  • Strong security hardware
  • Weather gaskets preventing pesky draughts
  • Impressive insulation against excessive heat and noise
  • Increased market value for the home where the windows are fitted

Advantages like these help to explain why, during the twentieth century’s last two decades, uPVC casement windows soared in popularity. However, one consistent issue with them – an issue many people were more willing to overlook back then– is that they distracted from the established character of older homes to which these windows were added.

Therefore, you might now have a home that is largely, say, Georgian or Victorian in style but still has uPVC casement windows that look somewhat bolted on, not suiting the overall appearance of the property. If you are clamouring to switch those windows back to a sensibly traditional aesthetic, sash windows present themselves as obvious potential replacements.

What are “single-hung” and “double-hung” sash windows?

A “single-hung” sash window is known as this when just one of its sashes can be moved to open or close the window. With a “double-hung” sash window, however, it is possible for either of the two sashes to be shifted for this purpose.

Are sash windows better for period homes?

Sash windows were often favoured for homes built in Georgian and Victorian times, while some Edwardian properties were given sash windows, too. However, as casement windows are also available in period styles, sash windows aren’t always the only viable options for older homes.

Reinstating your period property’s original design

You might have an idea of what your home’s original sash windows looked like – perhaps because not all of those sash windows have been removed, or you have old photographs of your home from before the change. However, even if you are genuinely none the wiser as to those windows’ appearance, our designers could always just look at neighbouring homes’ windows for inspiration.

Our designers can do this – or, indeed, work from a sketch, old photograph or other image – when creating new sash windows for your home. Wood would be the obvious choice of material for those windows – and you could be heartened to know that we can make wooden sash windows from various types of wood, such as Scots and Baltic pine and European and American oak.

However, our expertise also extends to producing uPVC sash windows, to which we can apply a foil to convincingly emulate the appearance of genuine timber’s wood grain effect. In making uPVC sash windows, we can also give them various design features – like run-through sash horns and a deep bottom rail – visually reminiscent of those you might have noticed on actual wooden sash windows.

Choosing between wood and uPVC for your sash windows

It’s obvious why you might not initially consider anything other than wood as the material for your soon-to-be-installed sash windows. If your home is a listed building, for example, you could find that your local planning authority would not permit you to add uPVC sash windows to your home anyway – especially if it wasn’t originally given plastic windows.

In light of such potential obstacles as these, however, uPVC can have a surprisingly long list of advantages when used in sash windows. Even just functionally, the uPVC sash windows we make bespoke can have much in common with real timber windows – right down to similar-looking mechanical joints. Other merits of uPVC sash windows include:

  • A low-maintenance finish. Unlike real wood, uPVC does not need to be periodically sanded down and repainted just to be kept in good condition – the occasional wipe down will suffice.
  • Extreme durability. While wooden windows can, over time, pick up damage from rot and insect infestation, neither of these two risks apply with uPVC windows.
  • Cost-effectiveness. When you shell out for timber windows, you are likely to pay more than you would for uPVC windows of a similar style.
  • Visual versatility. Though uPVC windows are often associated with a rather crisp, clinical look, we can manufacture uPVC units very closely resembling real timber windows.

All the same, it’s also not hard to list various plus points of timber sash windows. Wooden sash windows have proven their resilience over the decades – especially as it isn’t unheard-of for homeowners to only start seeking replacements for timber windows more than a century after they were originally fitted. Here are some other, easier-to-overlook merits of wood sash windows:

  • Eco-friendliness. Out of all the sash window materials available today, timber expends the least energy in its production – and can be reused and recycled later.
  • Natural beauty. There’s a good reason why period decor provokes gasps of awe in a way quite unlike contemporary homes: timber is uniquely charming in its appearance.
  • A wide range of painting and staining options. Whatever your aesthetic tastes, wood can be painted or stained to cater for them.`
  • Impressive insulation. Here is another addition to timber’s green credentials: it is a natural insulator and so can help you to significantly slash your heating bills.

If you wish to replace your casement windows but remain unsure how to go about it or whether it’s even practically viable for your particular home, expert help isn’t far away. We don’t just create and install sash windows for London homeowners; we can also visit their homes for free beforehand to help ourselves determine exactly what sash window solution we should provide in each case.