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Published on August 14, 2015 1:18 PM

Sash windows are a very British thing or so you would think. The word sash originated from the French word chassis meaning frame. They first started bringing elegance to the homes of the rich and famous in the 17th Century. For houses such as Chatsworth, Hampton court palace and Kensington palace.

It didn’t take long for the rest of the elite and those with money to spare to fit these windows into their own homes. Keeping up with your neighbors and usurping them was very prevalent at the time as it is today. Some people just have to keep up with the Jones!

With these windows installed in the homes of royalty and the aristocracy their place in British history was sealed, and is one of the main reasons we can still see these beautiful windows framing Georgian, Victorian & Edwardian homes giving them timeless character

The royal connection ensured their popularity and the windows became synonymous with wealth & good taste. Today these windows adorn period homes but can also be installed into modern buildings giving them a great feature and talking point when entertaining.

One of the most appealing features of sash windows especially in summer is that they are extremely good at keeping your house cool in warm weather. This is because sash windows can be opened top and bottom by the same amount allowing heat to escape through the top and drawing relatively cool air through the bottom and in so doing makes the room cooler and pleasant to sit and entertain in.

Cleaning windows is not a favorite chore of anyone’s but the beauty of sash windows and one of the more appealing and useful features is that you are able to clean all the windows from inside the room and thus avoiding the dreaded climb of the ladder with bucket & sponge.

Sash Windows on a House in UK

There’s no doubt that box sash windows are beautiful to look at but seeing those windows may trigger thoughts of will I need to repair or replace. Can I choose windows that best suit my taste? Well these important questions can give you a headache and can lead you down several paths before you come up with the answers. The simple fact is that depending on the location of your home, determines what you will and won’t be able to do to with your property.

If the house of your choice happens to be listed or in a conservation area then there are restrictions on what you may do to the structure and aesthetic look of the property and this does include windows. English heritage have said that windows and doors make up part of the overall character of the house and wherever possible should not be altered in their proportions and details. Conservation and listed buildings status exists to protect the historic methods of construction and materials used in buildings of that period.

You will need to contact your local council to find out the options available to you & whether you need planning permission. Some property owners have permitted development rites which allows for alterations to the building without permission. However your home may fall under an article 4 directive which restricts your rites to freely change without planning permission alterations to the building.

There are numerous requirements when replacing windows in conservation areas & it goes into great detail for each & every facet that goes into making sash windows well sash windows. It’s generally unlikely you will get permission to replace timber with UPVC windows into your home if it is in a conservation area.

Until the mid 1880s when new processes made it easier to make thicker larger pieces of glass, window glass was expensive and hand made. The thinner hand made pieces were to some more attractive but very easily broken. So although many pieces of glass in sash windows have been replaced over time. The original thin pieces are rare and highly valued. You may be required to keep and replace like for like or at least having pieces of glass made by a craftsmen to retain as much of the old and historic features as is humanly possible. This may also apply to the wooden frames and internal workings of the frame.

As most people moving into these properties are doing so because of the character and its original features they do so in the knowledge that up keep and restoration may be required. The cost while important is not a major factor in their choice of period home and in many cases a restoration project may be something they actually want to physically do. A project is enjoyed by many people and gives them great satisfaction upon completion and brings the building to life once again. We understand your needs and can deliver the look and expertise that you require to bring the authentic look and functionality of timber frame sash windows. We pride ourselves on the materials used to produce a product you can rely on for years to come. All our products comply to building regulations and can make your windows a thing of beauty once more.

UK Home with Sash Windows

You may be wondering about the drawbacks you’ve heard pertaining to sash windows. The rattling in the wind the heat loss. These are not things that you will experience with new sash windows as they are built using modern technologies.

Now if you desire and you have permission to replace your sash windows we can give you an authentic looking window but made of today’s materials UPVC. You will need to as in the case of our wooden sash windows establish the position of your local council in relation to conversation.

If you’ve been given the green light by your council we can can still give your home the authentic look and beauty of a period windows in your home but with none of the inherent faults associated with old wooden sash windows.

As with traditional wooden sash windows the need of a competent experienced and professional company with dedicated tradesmen is essential. It is always wise to compare companies on price,but price is not always the overriding reason to engage a company. As with many other things in life recommendation is a very good place to start and if a company is reputable they will actually encourage you to seek others personal experiences of their dealings with them.

One of the other factors in choosing UVPC windows is that it gives the customer especially the home improvements enthusiast the opportunity of having a classical beautiful look but at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional wooden sash windows. Here at we are delighted to offer both traditional wooden sash windows as well as UVPC sash windows. We understand value for money and always give our customers exactly the same amount of care attention and assistance they expect from one of the country’s leading supplier of both timber and UVPC windows and doors.

There are numerous reasons why customers prefer UPVC sash windows and it’s reasonable to say one of the most overriding ones is cost. UPVC are inherently cheaper and although wooden sash windows can last for generations if looked after correctly. The vast majority of the general public have this picture in their head that wood is old outdated and therefore will not last as long as UPVC alternatives.

There are various reasons why the home improvement enthusiasts are favouring uPVC sash windows over timber windows, but from the home improvements enthusiast it usually comes down to price, either directly or indirectly.

The fact that uPVC windows give an excellent energy rating when coupled with other energy saving measures in the home is another. The fact that it is perceived that uPVC sash windows will outlive their timber counterparts is another probable reason that people are installing uPVC windows.

So what are we left with after all the discussion and after weighing up all the facts on whether to go down the road of wooden sash over UPVC. I think that it doesn’t really matter what you choose as long as your not in the position of having to abide by restrictions on conservation.

You are free to choose and indulge your personal passions and as long as you choose a professional reputable and experienced supplier the results are the same. Those results end with you having a beautiful home decorated in your own unique but framed by beautiful sash windows and doors regardless of type. One thing is certain whatever your decision you can rely on to give your home a stylish look.

Colin Greenslade
Written by Colin Greenslade
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.

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