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Home Maintenance & Repair

How to Restore Sash Windows

Sash windows are elegant windows that were the most pleasing and important elements of buildings from the 18th to 19th centuries. In the Victorian era, they were the most popular and trendy type of window around. The last 50 years has seen sash windows actually decline in trendiness, but there’s since been a growth of a more knowledgeable and open minded attitude towards conservation and appreciation of these windows and other elements of design that went into 18th and 19th century buildings. People are even restoring sash windows that were removed in days that were a bit less enlightened! Here’s how you can tell if your sash windows are original, and learn how to restore them:

Are Your Sash Windows Original?

The glass is the main component that will allow you to identify whether or not your sash windows are original. It could shimmer, or have waves or ripples, any of these traits could mean an original sash window. Take a look to see if the glass has any little air bubbles, too. The air bubbles will usually add to the windows character!

You’ll usually find that the wobblier the glass is, the older the window is. This could be any age from 120 to 180!

Should I Switch The Glass For More Energy Efficient Glass?

Modern day single glazing gives no greater thermal protection than the olden day single glazing, so there is therefore no point in replacing your sash window glass. Plus, the glass of a sash window can help to really make a building come to life. You’ll notice that when you walk past a building that has original sliding sash windows, the glass sparkles beautifully.

What Can I Do About Rotten Sash Windows?

Sash windows need to be repaired around every 12-15 years. There’s 15 different elements included in total, and luckily all of these elements can be repaired and replaced.

How Can I Make It Easier For My Windows To Slide Up And Down?

You should get your windows a full service, where they will be dismantled, eased, adjusted, realigned, re-corded and finally, reassembled. You may also need to have a brush pile draught sealing system installed, as this will give them smoother movement and help to stop rattling and any drafts creeping in.

The top and the bottom sashes were designed to slide up and down the whole length of the box frame. This means better ventilation when the weather is warmer, as warm air will leave through the top sash and cool air will enter through the bottom sash. Full movement of your windows will also help for painting and any maintenance.

Can I Replace My Old Sash Windows With Plastic Alternatives?

Your original sash windows add a lot of character and beauty to your property and once they’re removed they’re gone forever. You may find that replacing them with plastic alternatives compromises the appearance of your property and it loses some of it’s magic. Restoring the wood is the best option as it’s cheaper than a replacement, is kinder to the environment and looks much better in general!

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