What are Sash uPVC Windows?

uPVC windows

Sash windows are typically a feature of Victorian and Georgian homes that open by sliding one panel behind another.

Traditional frames were traditionally made with timber, which isn’t a very efficient material, and needs a lot of maintenance. uPVC, on the other hand, is a popular modern material and is available at a much lower price than other materials.


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What are sash windows?

Sash windows are made up of 2 panels, 1 of which is fixed while the second slides over the other to create an opening. Normally, the movable panel slides upwards but sash windows that open horizontally are also available.

Windows that slide to open, don’t swing outwards or inwards, making sash windows ideal for properties where space is at a premium.

What is uPVC?

Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC), is a tough plastic that’s proven to be a popular choice of window frame for homeowners across the UK – largely thanks to its low price tag.

It is white in appearance but the choice of colours and styles is ever growing to make it easier when searching from window frames that suit your home.

Benefits of sash uPVC windows

Traditional sash windows aren’t very energy efficient, require a lot of maintenance and can begin to lose their charm as the material wears away.

For these reasons, modern uPVC windows have been manufactured to replicate the aesthetic qualities of traditional sash windows and are becoming an increasingly popular choice.

The benefits of sash uPVC windows compared to traditional timber framed include:

  • Cheapest material available for sash windows
  • uPVC sash windows make for a smooth gliding action when opened.
  • A range of glazing and framing designs are available.
  • uPVC acts as a better insulator than the thinner frames of traditional sash windows – helping to prevent the heat from escaping.
  • Retains the elegance and charm of their traditional counterparts.
  • A highly secure material that can be fitted with modern locking mechanisms for additional security.

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Problems with sash uPVC windows

Being a cheap material is one of uPVC’s biggest benefits but this has its downsides too as it can look cheap.

uPVC doesn’t make for the most charming of windows. It’s a bulky white material that can look out of place on traditional homes. However, a range of colours and styles are available so it is possible to avoid the white plastic look.

While uPVC is an efficient addition to a home, it isn’t kind on the environment. Once it’s time for the frames to be replaced, they need to be destroyed and as a plastic material, this process releases harmful fumes into the atmosphere.

Finally, while there are savings to made by installing uPVC over other materials, it will need replacing much sooner than alternative options like timber and aluminium.

Sash uPVC window styles

In terms of colour, white sash windows are the most popular choice. This would originally mean painting wooden windows white but uPVC is a white material as it is, so need need to keep topping up the paint.

Traditionally, each panel of a sash window is separated into multiple square panes but how many there are depends on the style:

  • Georgian
  • Victorian
  • Edwardian
Sash Window Style Number of Panes
Georgian 6 panes over 6 panes
Victorian 2 panes over 2 panes
Edwardian 6 panes over 2 panes

All 3 of these styles have a distinctive period look but more modern sash windows that have a single pane of glass on each panel are also available.

We mentioned earlier in the article that, traditionally, sash windows have a single movable glass pane that slides behind a fixed panel. However, ‘double-hung’ sash windows feature 2 movable panels. So, what are the benefits of being able to move both panels?

  • Easier to clean the outside of the glass from indoors
  • Choose whether to open up the top or bottom of the window
  • Have a slight opening at both sides of the window

If you’re looking for the style of a sash window but prefer windows that open like traditional casement frames, mock sash windows could be for you. Mock sash windows have the same features as sash windows – one fixed pane and one movable pane – but the movable pane opens outwards rather than sliding behind the stationary pane of glass.

How much do sash uPVC windows cost?

The two biggest factors that determine the price of sash windows is the size and the material. As we know, uPVC is often the cheapest material around, the table below shows how much you should expect to pay.

uPVC Sash Window Size (mm) Potential Cost per Window
(without installation)
500 x 500 £500 – £600
1,000 x 500 £600 – £700
1,000 x 1,000 £655 – £725
1,200 x 1,200 £750 – £850

In addition to the size of the sash uPVC windows, there are some additional factors you’ll need to think about too:

  • Type of glazing
  • Locking mechanisms
  • Colour and style (wood grain effect for example)

While the price of uPVC sash windows begins at around £500, the starting price for timber and aluminium can be around double.

Sash Window Frame Material Potential Cost per Window
uPVC £500 – £850
Timber £900 – £1,750
Aluminium £1,000 – £1,500

Sash window installation

Finding someone to install the new windows is as important as finding the right type of windows for your home.

Each window installer will have their own rates, with some charging more than others, and for that reason we highly recommend comparing multiple quotes. That way, you can be confident you’re getting the best possible deal.

At Windows Guide, we make finding multiple quotes easy. Simply take a couple of minutes to complete our online form and you’ll get free quotes from up to 3 qualified window installers based near you.


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