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What Are Sash Windows? Types and Costs

London homes with sash windows

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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

A familiar sight across English villages, towns and cities, there is no denying that sash windows are both charming and elegant to look at. Described as the ‘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, but if windows are beyond repair there are many companies who will manufacture authentic replacements.

Better 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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Types of Sash Windows

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 sash windows feature ‘six over six’ panes.

Victorian sash windows feature a ‘two over two’ grid design.

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

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

Sash Window 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.

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.

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

Cost of Sash Windows

The costs of replacing sash windows depends on the age of the property and whether you live in a conservation area, the size of the window and the configuration of the frames and glazing. 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.

Sash Windows Installation Quotes

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 we’ll find you quotes from up to 3 window suppliers working in your area so you can get tailored quotes without the hassle.

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