Picking the Right Windows for the Period of Your House

At Darcy Joinery we are experts in constructing timber joinery for beautiful homes, including doors, windows and staircases. With over 30 years in the joinery industry we really know our stuff, but we don’t expect you to. When it comes to fitting new features of your house it can be hard to know what will suit your property best, and that’s why we’ve put together this guide to clarify some frequently asked questions about windows.

What is the difference between sash and casement windows?

A sash window is made of one or more sliding panels or “sashes” that form a frame to hold panes of glass, and these are separated from other panes by narrow wooden bars called mutins. Sash windows work using a pulley system, and the weight of the glazed panel is balanced by a heavy cast iron or steel counter-weight concealed within the window frame. Our sash windows can be fitted with simple side hinges so they can be opened inwards to facilitate cleaning.

The casement window is one of the most common types of window found in the UK. These windows are made up of multiple panes of glass separated by wooden beading and a solid wood frame. Traditionally, these windows were hinged on the side and opened inward, but modern versions are fitted with rebated openers so that they open outwards and offer better storm protection.

Where are sash and casement windows found?
Sash windows were invented in the 17th century around the same time as casement windows as a replacement for stone bullioned windows. These sliding devices are most often seen in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties, but the earliest surviving examples in England were installed at Ham House in Richmond in the 1670s. If you’re not sure of the period of your house, then you can get an idea by how many panes a window has – typically the more panes, the older the house is. If the sashes have a “six over six” pane arrangement they are likely to be Victorian.

The traditional timber casement window became extremely popular in the 18th century, and by the Victorian period they were the most popular type of window. If your windows have latticing, which is often diagonal, or the panes are held together using lead then your windows probably date back to the 1800s. Although it is a shame to remove original parts of the house, the older the window, the less efficient it is. If your windows have six panes then they are likely to be Victorian. The same goes with casement windows that the larger the panes and the clearer the glass, the younger your windows will be.

If you are lucky enough to own a period property we appreciate your reluctance to replace original features. The truth about century old windows though is they require a huge amount of maintenance, and no matter how well insulated your walls are the single glazing will let heat escape. At Darcy Joinery we provide sash windows in Manchester that are carefully crafted to replicate your original windows, but with added modern features such as locking handles and draft proofing.