What are Sash Windows ?

Sash Windows according to the Collins English Dictionary a sash window is “a window consisting of two sashes placed one above the other so that one or each can be slid over the other to open the window”

Sliding Sash or Box Sash windows have long been a favourite in tasteful homes from cottages to castles. The original design of the sash window is attributed to the English inventor, Robert Hooke (1635 –1703) and sash window styles have varied from the Georgian six over six, to the Victorian one over one design and many differentiations in between. Sash windows have contributed in a major way to architecture and the evolution in design of these windows show the changes in architectural and social history over several centuries.

Certified Sash Windows by Kingsbridge Joinery

Traditional sash windows have ropes and counter weights (or sash weights) set into the window frame. The frame forms a box which carries the weights and conceals them behind the outer leaf of brick or block-work, hence the term ‘box sash window’. Originally however, the boxes were left almost flush with the outer face of the brickwork. These weights allow the window sashes, top or bottom, to open without falling down. In more recent times spiral balances, or springs, have been used to replace the weights and pulleys.

Modern advances in paint technology mean sash windows can be supplied fully finished and eliminate all the problems caused by initial painting on site. Double glazing and draft sealing have greatly increased the insulation qualities of sash windows to rival those of hinged window systems and reduce heating costs.

For listed buildings and projects in conservation areas original window profiles can be replicated to retain the architectural aesthetic of the building. Specialist joinery companies can incorporate features such as single glazing, half cills and putty glazing bead which may be requested by local planning authorities.

When choosing your sash windows supplier, consider long term value. A quality sash window will last a life time while a poorly made product using cheap materials will have a much shorter service life. Factors that will contribute to the long term value of the window you choose include; the quality of timber, ironmongery and finish, along with the standard of workmanship, installation and after sales service.

Kingsbridge Joinery supply superior sliding sash windows for new build and bespoke renovation projects all over the UK and Ireland. As experts in this field we would be glad to assist with any queries you may have.

Who Installs the Sash Windows ?

Why is it that many joinery companies distance themselves from installation of their windows and doors?

I find one of the most frequently asked questions is; ‘do you install or supply only?’ It continues to amaze me how joinery/window companies expect customers to invest a substantial sum of money with them and yet expect somebody else to take responsibility for the installation. A number of companies refuse point blank, while others subtly recommend independent or preferred installers who will invoice the client separately. This will ultimately absolve the main supplier of much of their after sales service obligations and may leave the client ‘falling between two stools’ as they say.

Why do they do this? Simple really;

Mainly, they have a lack of confidence in their product. If sometime after installation a client has a problem with a window or door such as a door leaf sagging or catching the frame, which can happen even with a quality product, the manufacturer’s automatic response will be; ‘….sounds like an installation issue – take it up with the installer…..’, and so the battle begins. With a quality product adjustments can be made and normally typical snagging issues are easily resolved but with a cheaper, lesser quality product this not always possible.

They can avoid taking responsibility. If a supplier invoices you for supply only and installation is invoiced separately, the majority of their responsibilities stop when the product is delivered and paid for. They obviously must still cover components and manufacturing faults but their first course of reply will be the same; ‘….sounds like an installation issue – take it up with the installer…..’ or ‘…..it must have got damaged during installation…’ is another one.

This leaves the customer very exposed.

There is however one legitimate reason; when trying to quote for a renovation project, there is a risk that unforeseen problems will be encountered when installation begins. In an old house there is no way of telling what you will find when you start stripping back the window surrounds and in my experience every old house project will produce something to test you. These issues may add extra hours, even days to an installation which have not been factored into the price. Most clients will be reasonable when this happens, although some will still expect the project to be completed as agreed.

As a client there is only one way to purchase timber windows and doors. Find a respected supplier of quality windows and doors who is willing to stand behind their products and has a proven after sales service. Purchasing windows and doors for a home is a substantial investment and people deserve some peace of mind.

Kingsbridge Joinery offer a complete nationwide installation service on all their timber sash windows, wooden windows and alu clad windows and doors.

Sash Windows – Alu Clad or Timber?

When people are making a decision to replace their sliding sash windows or indeed install them in their new home, they quite often struggle with the dilemma of choosing between the  traditional wooden sliding sash windows and the more modern alu clad sash windows. Although there are obvious benefits associated with both, the decision will ultimately come down […]

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Old Sash Windows

Q. Is there a “new widget” to replace the ropes/weights for opening the window and closing, placed into each track of the window? Thanks in advance Best, Jackson A. Jackson, thank you for your enquiry. New sash windows can be fitted with ‘spiral balances’ instead of traditional weights and pulleys. To my knowledge there is […]

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What Type of Timber for My Sash Windows

Q. What is the best wood to use for window frames? Is pine and tulip woods ok to use for the frames as long as the windows are treated and painted. Liz A. Liz, thank you for your enquiry. I find that the best timber for external windows and doors is A Grade Sapele Mahogany. […]

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Sash Windows Listed Building Project

Q. I am very interested in your sash windows. I have a small project on a listed building and need 4 x sash windows (double glazed) 12 paned georgian style, approximately 1800mm high x 1100mm. I need some advice on whether to go with spiral balances or traditional weights and pulleys. Kind Regards Darron A. […]

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Painting Hardwood Windows – which paint is best?

Question. I am having windows constructed in sapele – due for completion early Oct. They are provided primed but I am having them painted at home. We will be painting them inside the house before they are fitted so they can several coats to protect them properly before being exposed to the elements but they […]

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Sash Windows Triple Glazed or Double Glazed?

It is not unusual for us at Kingsbridge Joinery to receive enquiries from people looking for triple glazed sash windows. This query can be expected because people are looking for the beauty of a sliding sash window combined with optimum insulation value from modern glazing. While anything is possible really from a bespoke joinery workshop, there are two […]

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Sash Windows: whistling drafts and frozen condensation on Winter’s mornings. Surely this is not still the case?

This question comes from Anne in Essex. Question. We are building a new home at the moment and I really want wooden sliding sash windows. Unfortunately, my husband grew up in an old farmhouse and his experience of sash windows is of whistling drafts and frozen condensation on winter’s mornings. Surely this is not still […]

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