Should I repair my sash windows or replace them

The age old question of sash window repair vs replacement is a hotly debated topic. Many conservationists and sash window specialists swear by repair whereas modern UPVC companies would much rather see you replace your original sash windows. In this article I take a closer look at the benefits of both and come to the conclusions based on the case studies that we look at. So let’s not waste any time and let’s get straight into the sash window repair versus replacement argument

I need new sill repair and timber splice is it worth the cost or should I just replace?

When you have a sash window sill that requires repair or splicing it would still be considerably cheaper than entire replacement. Sash window sill replacement and repair is a very common thing and also most sash windows specialist will be able to carry this out. Sash window sill replacements will last 15 to 20 years and that will give you plenty of time to reconsider your options when when you’re ready. The other great benefit of retaining your original sash window when replacing the sill is that you don’t have to go with the expensive entire replacement option. Entire replacement will cost literally 6 or 7 times the amount of sash window sill repairs and that is on the basis that you put a low quality UPVC window in place instead of original timber sash windows. If you were to install a timber sash windows then the price would literally be ten times the cost of repair.

My sash is rotten so can I make a quality sash window repair?

If you have a sash that’s not really a problem, because most sash window repair specialists will be able to just simply remove that sash and install a new sash that’s manufactured like for like, that will leave your home looking exactly as it was before but with the sash window structurally good. Most sash window lower rails or upper rails end up rotting at some point because of a lack of maintenance and decoration over the years. That doesn’t mean you should entirely throw your sash window away as a result. It just means that you need to engage your sash window repair specialist that would be more than happy to solve the issues for you.

I’m considering sash window replacement because they are far more thermally efficient.

Just because you have original sash windows doesn’t mean that they can’t be thermally efficient. You can actually have highly efficient sash window draught proofing systems installed into the original sliding sash. Full draught proofing systems can be hidden within the mechanism which means you don’t have ghastly stick on seals yet still have beautiful elegant sash windows draught proof and thermally up to modern standards. These brush piles are made of nylon and will last at least 10 years and that gives you plenty of time to pay yourself back back. Historic England and the energy trust suggest that one sash window draught proofing save you up to £20 per year. If you consider draught proofing system costs £250 and you save £20 a year, direct payback is there but that isn’t the actual biggest benefit of a sash window draught proofing system. The biggest benefit is the fact that it makes your home a more comfortable place to live in.

My sash window cords broken should I replace the entire window?

If you have broken sash window cords or they are frayed and they look like they’re on the way out then have no fear, this is one of the most simple and normal tasks for a sash window specialist , they actually just take the window apart and then reinstall new ropes and attach them to the original sash. These sash window companies do this is part of a standard overhaul draught proof system anyway. I don’t know if you knew this but originally sash windows designed to be serviced by the owner of the property. If you actually took the sash window apart then you would be extremely surprised to see that there really isn’t an awful lot to do. If you could imagine how a set of balance scales works in your kitchen, then you’ll understand the way the weights and sash simply counterbalance each other and the weights are just hidden down the back of the box frame itself. So definitely don’t go to the expense of entirely replacing the window because your sashes needs re-cording.

Conclusion of sash window repair versus replacement.

To conclude there’s absolutely no good reason to entirely replace a sash window because you can repair sash windows in an older home effectively. You might consider that you want to have double glazing because you need to reduce the noise, and that’s a separate issue but as far as actually just getting your window up to a structural sound condition and being able to pass a survey for example sash window repair is absolutely fine.

The other benefit of sash window repair is extremely sympathetic and original sash windows of course look brilliant in a period property. Sometimes it’s not worth taking out original features. Especially if you can work with them and improve them with the thermally efficient draught proofing system.

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Sash windows in London

Sash windows are one of the most amazing inventions. The most people believe that they originated from London and quite possibly it was a fair amount to do with the great London Fire.  The functionality of sash windows is  quite unique because they slide up and down and this allows ventilation at the top and bottom of the window. This means that you can create a circulatory system and that acts as a vacuum to pull hot air out of your property on the summer days.

Sash windows were originally made out of soft wood but the quality of this soft food is far superior to that found today.  Back then softwood was generally known to be BC Pine. Miss soft word  what’s slow-growing and had lots of growth rings per inch.  in time this met with the density of the Timber was high and therefore slow to rot.  You can imagine how this is extremely beneficial for external joinery.

Over the years sash windows have not really been improved upon much. This is because the original design was so good. Being Timber they are also easily repaired. it doesn’t matter if you need a  new sill section or the lowest sash is rotten.  This is all easily repaired because it’s timber.

Sash window technology has advanced considerably in the last 20 years or so. These days it’s very common to have double glazed windows. Once Upon a Time the idea of having family efficient sash windows was just a dream but now almost every single home in London has high quality draught roofing for double glazed windows.  these advancements in technology have made the lives of Londoners so much more comfortable.  I remember 30 years ago when it was common to see ice on the inside of glass. This is a distant memory.  you can   thank the advancement in glass technology for that. Typically we install Argon filled double glazed  units into every single home. There’s other benefits too, the biggest one being the advancement in toughened glass technology. Toughened glass means your children are safe and you don’t have to worry about them falling into the panes and damaging themselves. Normally speaking sash windows have toughened glass as standard nowadays.

Typical sash window London services involved repair, draught proofing, and double glazing.  Almost all sash window specialists can carry out simple work are these days. If you have traditional sash windows you should not throw them away.  They can definitely be repaired and brought up to modern standards without the cost of new windows.

If you think about the cost of sash window repairs it’s a brilliant way to save money. New sash windows can cost as much as £3,000 each and you don’t really know if they’re actually going to be any better than the original ones that you first took out.  because of the quailty of old timber it’s hard to know if the new quality will match it. Even if hardwood is used it barely comparable to high quality Pine from over hundred years ago.

When I spoke to a major sash window company called London sash window repairs they quite clearly told me that keeping the original sash windows is far more agreeable than replacement. London sash window repair normally Salvage about 99% of sash windows. I hate to throw away original Windows where ever possible I would always try to repair them and work with what your existing joinery has to offer. They aren’t alone either. There are hundreds of sash window companies in London to offer days quality repair services.

Sash windows can’t be taken lightly, they should really be looked after. You don’t know how much it will cost if you sell your house. It’s quite normal that you could expect to receive offers £20,000 less because you haven’t got the original sash windows and place. Sash windows in London on tricky just make sure you look after what you’ve got.

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How to engage a sash window company for repairs and not replacement

If you don’t like new sash windows, here are four or five important components to a good sash window repair, these all add up to making a long lasting, quality looking job. So if your going to have some sash repairs effected then reading this guide will go along way towards helping you understand what’s involved in sash window repair and what it costs.
You simply cannot rule out the possibility of sash window replacement being suggested by some suppliers, after all, this is the job they want to do and they’ll earn far more money from it. Understanding how to avoid being pressure sold new windows is a must and this article tackles that as well.

Quality sash window repairs before replacement

Repairing sash windows has a number of high positive effects, firstly, you’ll save considerable money on replacement. As we already mentioned in our last sash windows article new windows cost from as little as £2000 and believe it or not, you can pay a staggering £5000 per window if you go for a seriously high specification. We recently were made aware of a sash windows North London installation which cost nearly £25,000. They normally repair sash windows but in this case the windows were too far gone and the only economical thing to do was replace.

sash window repairs before replacement
sash window repairs before replacement

When you invite sash window companies around to your property, be clear straight off the bat that you really want to restore where possible. I am not talking about discussing this with the surveyor, that’s too late already. you need to engage the company owner or representative that you first make contact with directly. Be perfectly explicit that you will not be pursuing new windows and that you wish to restore your original windows. Some companies may be disgruntled by this but ultimately, why waste your time? If your not a fit then that’s all there is to it. Most companies will be grateful for your honesty and it’ll certainly mean that you can sift through the companies far more quickly which is good news seeing as there are so many.

Regards to getting a good quote, be clear you know the cost of repairing a window which is around £500. This normally buys a draught proofing system and the odd repair to the original frames. When a sill needs splicing or the head of the frame is bowed then it might be a bit more but it normally comes under standard sash window services. Generally speaking though you would expect to have all your windows repairs for less than £500 a window on average. There are also plenty of one man bands that will do the sash window repairs necessary for around £300 but the problem with those is trust and reliability. I always aim to work with genuine businesses that I can contact in the case of problems down the line. Normally sash window repairs can be covered by a five year guarantee which is great, but useless is a one man band goes out of business two years down the line.

What if I have a specific goal in mind from my sash windows?

So, if it’s at all possible you should be aiming to repair windows before replacing them unless you have a specific task set in mind. For example, if your looking to keep the noise out of your property then of course, single glazing isn’t going to be as useful as double glazing. Two panes of glass work as a barrier to reduce sound waves coming through the glass and normally the first pane significantly reduces the amount of noise and the second pane doesn’t take anywhere near as much of a beating and that really cuts the noise down.

The air cavity depth also plays a huge role in the amount of noise you can cut out, basically the wider the air gap the better the acoustic performance. Something else that really helps with noise reduction is having two different thicknesses of glass. This goes a long way toward cutting difference sound waves which helps the overall dB level dropping.

Another potential plan is heat insulation. You can do some amazing upgrades with a sash window draught proofing system but it will not make things considerably warmer if you have a really large surface area of glass. Single glazing will obviously keep out a good chunk of the heat loss but it’s nothing compared to two or three panes of glass and an air cavity. Double glazed units even come with Argon gas that stops heat transfer. The gas serves to slow down the energy transfer.

Make sure you doesn’t lose sight of sash window repairs

As we’ve just discussed in length double glazing will make a significant difference but you must realise that original windows look beautiful and have already stood the test of time. Ignoring this obvious solution that saves considerable money would be unwise.

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Sash Window Services

There are many sash window repairs system out there and most companies can assist you with almost any sash window repair or service that you might require. There is a solution for almost every single sash window issue that you may have. Sash window companies can maintain your sash windows, replace, or upgrade.

Here’s is a look at all services from humble sash window repairs through to entire sash window replacement in double glazed hardwood:

Comprehensive Sash Window Draught Proofing – Sash window companies carry out comprehensive draught proofing that can eliminate entirely or reduce draughts by 99%. A staggering improvement on the old rattling sash windows. Without a draught system you have the unfortunate situation of gaps all around the frame. These gaps are required to allow free travel of the sash. The issue is smooth sash travel is then penalised by the draughts that come in causing you serious discomfort.

Counterbalancing Sashes – When sashes are moving up or down without applied effort on your behalf, this is because your windows are probably out of balance. They will need adjustment or the only other possibility is that there sash ropes have become unattached and this has left you with a serious issue. “Only Windows” quotes this cost of repair to be around £150.00

Replacement sill – Sash window companies can replace sills using both hardwood and softwood. The frames have the old defective rot cut away and then treated. From here a sound piece of solif timber is put in. You can choose between softwood and hardwood though its best advised to go with hardwood as it’s more expensive but lats considerably longer. Overall a hardwood sill section is going to cost you less money when factoring a fifteen year lifespan. Typically a hardwood sill is £240 but it will last fifteen years. A softwood sill costs £120 typically and normally it’ll lat five years. That means hardwood gives you five years extra for free.

Replacement Sashes – If you need a sash replacing Sash window specialists can replicate your original sashes like for like meaning that you do not need to entirely replace your windows. This is cheaper and far more sympathetic and once finished repair effected you won’t recognise the window has been changed or realise any repairs have even been carried out.

Replacing sashes where glass was installed. – Occasionally people have installed windows called Louvres. These windows are a problem because they are dangerous and insecure. Removing the glass slats takes seconds and of course large single glazed sheets of glass can cut and even dismember if broken. If you have plastic or aluminium it’s slightly less dangerous but sash window companies are happy to reinstate your windows to the original condition and specification. Also, some people choose to instruct their sash company to install double glazed sash like for like instead.

Re-glazing – When you have a broken pane of glass or you want to improve safety most companies can individually replace panes of glass. You might also want to install obscure glazing into your bathroom windows. It’s possible that a homeowner might want to install safety laminate glass for the sake of their children and improve the security of the home. New glass can be added and replaced as required. There are literally thousands of glazing options so it would be worthwhile taking a look on the Pilkington website for these.

Overhaul your sash windows – There’s the possibility your sash windows don’t travel properly, they might be painted shut, or they simply have not been overhauled for so long that the sash cords have broken. If this is the case there is an option just to replace cords only.

Replacement Sash Windows – When sash windows are beyond full repair there is an option to fully replace. this means taking out the frame and then installing a new window back into the original position. Most companies will aim to keep the original window look and manufacture like for like. There’s more about sash windows replacement on the resource highlighted.

Sash Repairs – If you sash has a little damage and its less than the cost of replacing sash then companies can simply cut out that defective section. This is important when you’re trying to save money and a viable long term solution if all rot is removed. This means treating, and then filling with a two part resin which will bond the timbers back together firmly. It’ll also stop moisture penetrating the timber in the future which is of paramount importance to the longetnetivity of the repair.

Sash window locks – Sash window specialists can install Fasteners and sash restrictors to increase the level of security. Not only will it improve security, it’ll also help you cover your insurance. All homes require you to have a locking window mechanism in order that you are fully covered for insurance.

Replacement Sash Pulleys –Sometimes sash window pulleys will break off their axle or if a plastic pulley, the plastic roller will fail. This is quite a common issue and it’s a simple case of replacing the pulley. You remove the screws and gently pull out the old pulley. Then, carefully you cut the new pulley in and screw it. It’s quite possible that you will not have the exact same pulley.

With all these fantastic sash window services it’s important to bear in mind complete replace and repair have different objectives, not just financially, it’s also a matter of being sympathetic to an original building.

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Sash windows

Everything you need to know about sash windows can be found on this page. Sash windows are commonly found in upmarket properties that benefit from highly skilled master craftsmen of a golden age in joinery that has long since passed. We are left with the beautiful remains and there are still a few skilled tradesmen that work on them today.

In this website and article you’ll find out about every single aspect of sash windows. There are many upgrade resources, tips, tricks and guides that’ll help you establish a fuller understanding of sash windows. So let’s get started with all there is to know about sash windows:

Sash Windows Replacement

Sash windows replacement is a crucial part of modern and period properties. Without this highly skilled service homes would be left vulnerable to the elements. What’s more amazing, the carpenters were developing and making joinery that is still not bettered today. We work hard to replicate their old techniques to ensure sash windows keep their period charm. This is essential for high value properties. The cost of installing uPVC would not just be the sale price. It would also ruin the look and feel of a traditional Victorian property.

Sash window replacements come in single glazing, double glazing, triple glazing, and even quadruple glazing and beyond. The most common glazing types are the first three and the higher spec very rarely used. This is because sash window replacements are pretty costly. You’ll typically be set back in the region of £2000 per window. This would be hardwood and double glazed with a full factory spray finish. Nonetheless this is no small investment and often the reason why some unsuspecting homeowners are caught out by uPVC double glazed salesman.

Normally double glazed units are Argon filled and it’s pretty normal to use this technology in combination with Pilkington low-E glazing. Most sash window replacement methods can be taught and passed down through the generations thankfully.

Sash window repair

Sash window repair is an important part of maintenance for any property owner fortunate enough to have these windows in their property. Typically, every five years or so, it’s necessary to paint, decorate, and repair these windows. If this is kept up at a reasonable pace then you will not ever need to entirely replace your sash windows, instead you’ll be able to continue repairing and making good for tens of years to come. It’s well known that sash windows will last for over a hundred years. Most homes in the UK still have their original windows. This is not by accident. The quality of timber all those years ago was far higher as the timber grew far more slowly. This then left the grain density much lower and the result, a much harder timber, even softwood was harder than more hardwood.

If you don’t decorate your windows in the correct timeframe then get ready for a serious joinery bill. Repairing isn’t cheap; it often costs £240 to replace a sill and just as much to replace a sash. Four new sash cords will set you back around £150 from a local chippy so make sure you have a good look at some online guides because it’s not all that difficult and you can almost certainly do these yourself.

Sash window repair is a great option and it really helps to preserve history. There’s no good reason to entirely replace traditional sliding sash windows as there are a whole host of methods to bring them up to scratch including sash window draught proofing which we will go into now.

Sash window draught proofing

Sash window draught proofing is an important part of sash windows nowadays, this is because old sash windows are cold and let in considerable draught. If they are really bad then they will also rattle in the wind. In a modern era this is simply unacceptable but the good news is  sash window draught proofing actually will stop all of these issues and considerably improve the comfort of your home. It’s not uncommon for sash window draught proofing  to increase the temperature in your property by a good 5 degrees on cold days and allow the temperature to build rather than having the heating full blast and just not quite getting things comfortable. some people find sash window draught proofing and they normally opt for double glazed sash windows as an extra layer of protection. This is really beneficial to noise too but let’s talk more about that in the next section.

Double glazed sash windows

Double glazed sash windows are an incredible invention that have changed the lives for the good of so many people in the UK. Many of us will remember growing up with horrendous cold conditions and even ice on the glass forming where it’s so cold outside. These days double glazed sash windows stop that and really keep the home far warmer. In combination with draught proofing and loft insulation homes are now so much more thermally efficient it’s incredible. In fact it’s hard to recognise a Victorian home as an old leaky thing anymore, so much has the technology of  double glazed sash windows advanced things.

Most double glazing as I previously mentioned is made with Pilkington glazing and then filled with an inert gas called Argon. Actually, there’s a more efficient gas out there called Krypton. The only problem is the cost is rarely justifiable. It can increase the cost of a window by around £100 which is not particularly good value considering how effective Argon is already.

Generally Argon is the preferred choice when installing double glazed sash windows because Krypton being that bit too expensive pushes the price into the range of triple glazing which we will talk about now.

Triple glazed sash windows

Triple glazed sash windows are much like double glazed sash windows except they have an additional pane of glass. This means that there are actually two air cavities as opposed to one. This really really works to reduce he noise pollution in your home. Double glazing is already pretty efficient for heat but triple glazing really ramps up the acoustic efficiency.

Sash window summary

In summary, sash windows are an incredible invention from the Dutch supposedly and they have not been bettered in hundreds of years. By sliding up and down they create amazing vacuums that will suck hot air out of your property on summer days, and with modern draught proofing keep heat in when it’s cold. They look beautiful, and simply need sash window repairs occasionally so that full replacement is not required.

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