Should You Restore or Replace Sash Windows?

Here at Darcy Joinery, we firmly believe that the style of your home is extremely important, and when making renovations and alterations it’s imperative that you retain the natural character of the house. When replacing aspects of the building, such as brickwork or windows, the worst thing you can do is to replace it with materials that are nothing like the original – such as red brick in a traditional stone building, or uPVC windows in a period property with traditional wooden window frames. We believe that if you do have to replace elements of your home then you should attempt to replicate the original as closely as possible.

Restoring Sash Windows

Original sash windows on a period property look amazing because they add style and character. You can’t beat the delight of seeing the light gleaming off the ripple in original glass.  Most sash windows are between 120 and 180 years old, so they are part of the heritage of a building. However, if they have been affected by weather over the years and the frames are rotting, you should consider restoring or replacing them.

Sash windows are made up of 15 different components; all of which can be removed, mended or replaced.
If the cord is broken, then a specialist joiner can dismantle the window and fit a cord very easily and quite cheaply. Glass can also be replaced in a sash window; however, you cannot fit double glazing into an original frame as the frame dimensions are designed only for the thickness of single panes of glass. In order to improve the movement of sash windows, you can sand down the wood and repaint to aid smoother movement. Sanding down the paint layers right to the wood means the frame size is reduced slightly, and will prevent components from sticking.

Restoring your old sash windows is naturally a much cheaper option than buying new ones; however, it requires more hard work. If you choose to keep your original windows you will have to sand them down and repaint them at least every 5 years, and you will need to get them serviced by a professional every few years to make sure they aren’t deteriorating. Retaining original windows means you are staying true to the heritage of the house, but it isn’t an environmentally friendly option; as single glazing isn’t energy efficient.

Replacing Sash Windows

Replacing sash windows in your period property is obviously expensive, but it also means you get a modern window with traditional styling that will complement your house. We understand that every property is different, and some buildings have specific sizes and styles of sash window: we can happily create a sash window to specific requirements so that they match the originals.

Having your windows replaced means you can still have a traditional style window, but with the modern fixtures and features that make them more efficient. We fit our windows with brush pile draught excluders so that they neither let cold air in nor let warm air escape. We also create our windows with double glazing where possible for added insulation. For those windows where small panes or thin beading is required due to the style, we can use the duplex glazing system. This is where each pane is formed inside the double glazed unit, and timber beads are applied to the external surface of the glass; giving the appearance of separate panes when it is a single piece. The benefit of this is better insulation and superior weatherproofing, as water cannot seep into joints.

Replacing sash windows is more costly than repairing and restoring old windows, however, they will pay for themselves over the years as they save you money on energy bills. At Darcy Joinery, we can create sash windows in Manchester to any specification, and you even have the choice of three opening mechanisms: traditional ropes and pulleys, sprung spiral balances or the slide and tilt windows which are very handy for ventilation and facilitating cleaning.