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What Are Sash Windows? Types and Costs

Double glazed sash windows

Sash windows are a typical feature of our traditional Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian properties.Thanks to their distinctive design and aesthetics they have become a big part of our architectural heritage, but they are still installed today using modern and highly efficient materials.

What are sash windows?

Sash windows don’t open on a hinge. A traditional ‘sliding sash’ window is usually made up of two sashes that slide up and down (or side to side), one in front and one behind, in vertical grooves, counterbalanced by lead weights on cords. Sliding sash can be opened at the top or bottom, or both. Traditionally, they have no outward swing but modern designs tilt in and out for easy cleaning.

The glazed area consists of a number of smaller panes held together by glazing bars. The number of panes depended on the era. Sash windows for historic properties must be chosen to carefully to ensure you get the right period, as there were several developments and style changes in sash windows over the years.

Benefits of sash windows

Traditional charm

There’s no denying that sash windows are both charming and elegant. Described as the ‘eyes of the façade’, original sash windows have obvious aesthetic attributes. Handcrafted in original timber, they are stylistically in-keeping within the context of a traditional property.

Suited to homes in conservation areas

If living in a conservation area or a listed building restoration or replacement with genuine timber sash windows may be your only choice. Where possible existing sashes should always be repaired and waterproofed. However, if sash windows are beyond repair then many companies manufacture authentic replacements.

Increased ventilation

The sliding panes of sash windows are an excellent choice if ventilation is a priority for you. Two sliding sashes with an opening at the bottom and at the top of the window enables you to create a cooling convection flow which is ideal in summer.

The lack of hinges also means you don’t have to worry about a gust of wind slamming the window shut. Increased ventilation will not only improve your comfort, but also helps to remove dust from the air in your home.

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What are double glazed sash windows?

Double glazed sash windows are like traditional sash windows but with the added benefit of double glazing. Particularly during the winter months.

Double glazing is made up of two panes of glass rather than only one. It may sound like a simple idea but choosing double glazing is beneficial for a number of reasons.

  • Increased thermal efficiency
  • Lower heating bills
  • Less outdoor noise making its way into the home
  • Fewer draughts
  • Less condensation on the inside of the window
  • Increased security

Types of sash window

There are 3 main styles of sash window to choose from; your choice will depend on which suits you home’s aesthetics and, potentially, which period it dates from.

Georgian: feature ‘six over six’ panes.

Victorian: feature a ‘two over two’ grid design.

Edwardian: include panes which are ‘six over two’ in design.

Horizontally sliding sash windows are sometimes called ‘Yorkshire Sash’ windows. Either one or two of the panes can slide open.

Frame materials

Traditionally sash window frames would have been made from wood, but today we have a lot more options to choose from.


Sash uPVC windows are often used as a substitute for painted wood. Although it cannot be recycled uPVC is low maintenance and energy efficient and also comes in a wide range of colours and finishes.

Off the shelf, uPVC is the cheapest option for sash windows with timber costing as much as 40% more for the windows alone.


Aluminium frames are more expensive than uPVC, but they are stronger which is better for security and durability. The material is also recyclable and, when compared to wooden frames, needs very little maintenance.


Composite sash windows are increasing in popularity with wood on the inside and clad with aluminium on the outside. This ensures they keep the classic look of wood internally, but are resistant to weather conditions and require virtually no maintenance externally.


Wood is very durable and an excellent insulator and if taken care of properly can last longer than the modern uPVC varieties. With the use of modern finishes (available in all colours or stains) timber windows don’t have to be high maintenance.

Cost of double glazed sash windows

The costs of replacing sash windows depends on:

  • Age of the property
  • Whether you live in a conservation area
  • Size of the window
  • Style of the frames
  • Glazing (double glazed sash windows are a great option as they can help to lower heating bills).

The following table gives some approximate costs for the supply only of sash windows in white uPVC.

Size of Window (mm) Average Cost Per Window (supply only)
500 x 500 £500 – £600
1000 x 500 £575 – £675
1000 x 1000 £600 – £700
1200 x 1200 £700 – £800

For the same windows in aluminium, it’s likely the cost would increase by around £400 – £500 per window, and wooden windows could cost £400 – £800 more per window. For example, after some industry research we found the following estimated costs, this time including installation.

Frame Material Average cost per window (including installation)
uPVC £600 – £1,000
Aluminium £1,100 – £1,400
Wood £1,000 – £1,800

Of course, these figures are intended as representations only and not quotes. To get exact prices for sash windows tailored to your home you will need to find quotes from installers near you.

Get free quotes for double glazed sash windows

The final price of your sash windows will be impacted by several factors such as their size, type of glazing and frame material, but will also vary depending on which company you choose to carry out the installation. To find the best deal you need to compare at least 3 quotes to ensure you’re being offered a competitive price.

Complete our enquiry form today and you’ll get free quotes from up to 3 window suppliers working in your area. So you’ll get tailored quotes without the hassle.

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