Is your home more than a place to lay your head? If your kitchen is bespoke, your lounge an eclectic mix of modern and antique, your lighting is subtle, your bedroom is a boudoir and your bathroom is a grand oasis, why not go the extra mile and give those outside something to admire?

There is no doubting the timeless elegance of sash windows, a style that was first developed in the 17th century and remains difficult to match using modern, mass-produced window styles.

The windows of a property offer an insight as to the interior. Imagine how less grand Buckingham Palace would appear without its dozens of sash windows staring majestically down The Mall.

In their original form, sash windows were pulled up to open, perhaps using a cord and wedged with pieces of wood. This meant they were not too efficient when it came to excluding draughts.

However, modern, professionally designed and fitted sash windows come with features to prevent draughts. There is no reason why a new installation should not offer the same levels of comfort in your home as other more modern window types.

Thanks to technological changes over the years that have had a significant impact on the weight of window panes, it is now possible to incorporate double glazing into sash units or even install secondary glazing.

If you have problems with draughts in an older installation, consult a professional sash window specialist for advice on draught proofing or consider investing in some good quality, heavy curtains.

Renovating existing sash windows

If your property is fitted with sash windows that are draughty, difficult to open and close or are rotting in places, it is recommended you consider calling in a professional sash window specialist who will advise how serviceable the current installation is:

  • Whether repair is possible, and the extent of what is required
  • Whether it is necessary to restring the windows to ensure ease of opening and closing
  • What materials are preferable and whether matching mouldings can be sourced or made
  • Whether complete replacement is necessary or preferable and the options for this

If you are looking to improve the appearance of your sash windows, consider a ‘back to the wood’ paint job. This is possible to carry out as a DIY task or you may wish to call in the services of a properly qualified painter to ensure the best finish.

Strip the old paint off (there could be many layers), carry out any small repairs using a quality filling material, prime and seal the wood and repaint.

Window fittings should also be stripped back of all paint and cleaned. You might be surprised when the paint comes off that you have quality antique brass fittings underneath. If the fittings need to be replaced, it might be possible to obtain equally old but clean fittings from a reclaimed building materials yard.

Listed buildings

Owners of homes that are listed properties are advised to consult their local council’s conservation department before amending or changing the fabric of the building. This general rule includes any changes or alterations to sash windows.

If you are planning on installing new windows, beware that the change will have to be in the same style as the current installations and may also have to be in the same materials. Again, it is recommended you consult a professional sash window specialist who will advise you of your options, of what can and cannot be saved and how best to proceed.