Replacement Sash Windows
It’s a common misconception that when your sash windows are rotten that they need replacing. This is one of the biggest crimes against buildings that you could ever get! People that try to sell you new sash windows usually have hidden agenda. A lot of companies will say that your windows are not cost effective to restore when a tiny bit of rot is found in the corners or where water has penetrated. This then exposes the fact that they don’t know anything about windows or what they are made from. The reason behind this is in the ‘Seasoned Timber’. You don’t get this any more of the shelf at the builders merchants. It is all fast grown timber.
Seasoned Timber is the best and your old windows are made of this
The timber that we are talking about is pre-1919, sash windows were usually made from heartwood of imported Scots pine. It was grown slowly and matured nicely with age. It did not give you the same defects that you get from plantation trees grown quickly for the ever demanding supply- this comes in the form of sapwood, shakes & case-hardening, the high content in sapwood is the main killer because this is a natural sugar and starches that provides fungus with a supply of food source and with water penetrating the windows you have the right ingredients to welcome your new occupants.
Maybe Restoring your windows is better.
When windows are restored properly they will still out-see newly made sash windows easily. Considering the oldest sash windows (dating back to 1670) that we have had the pleasure of restoring we found that hardly anything was wrong with them, all the needed was a bit of tender care and a lot of patience. The same can be said for box frames. Years ago they used to make a lot of buildings with the materials that were found around your property and in the 17th and 18th century a lot of sash window frames were made with oak. This wood hardens through the years and has density likened to steel with age. One down side to oak is that woodworm love it due to the acid content contained inside.
The loss of traditional windows from our older buildings poses one of the major threats to our heritage. Traditional windows and their glazing make a hugely important contribution to the value and significance of historic areas. They are an integral part of the design of older buildings and can be important artefacts in their own right, often made with great skill and ingenuity with materials of a higher quality than are generally available today.
Replacement Sash windows.
So we are talking about replacement sash windows in this page. Yes we actively discourage this because if your property is listed or is in a conservation area the council will attempt to keep the integrity of the buildings and their historic value alive. This is very important as we are mere custodian’s of the property. As a custodian it is your duty to look after the house that looks after you when its cold and wet. A heritage rule is if there is anything more than a third left of your windows left or the conservation officer sees that you could restore your windows, then you have to. One can incur stiff penalties of up to £10,000 if you have not had planning permission for this.
Replacing your old Double glazed units for wooden sash windows
In the 80’s to present day people started to rip out old sash windows favouring the new plastic double glazed windows for convenience, less maintenance, and to give your property a new look. What they didn’t realise was that in time, people wanted to live in authentic Victorian properties with their rattly old windows and their high ceilings. When people first come to your property and can see that you are actually living in a historic masterpiece. With the fronts decorated extravagantly to exude that status symbol that the Victorians once had or maybe to have the house painted in colours of historical accuracy that you admire instead of bricks that were mass produced faceless and that you can’t tell one property from another.
Your house deserves the best.
We can offer you a service to do the right thing and give your lovely home that wow factor again. When people installed plastic double glazed units, all they would do is install the plastic windows inside the sash window box frame.This is not so great as one of the reasons that sash windows were actually built into the house and some windows is because they were of a structural benefit to your property. The horns of the head of the window frame would be built into the house about 4 inches. This was a solid piece of timber usually 6 x 2.5 inch’s timber and this was built under a soldier course of old stock bricks and lime .
The sash window frames would act as a lintel keeping your home still perfect as the day it was built- though not always without a few problems. When Lime gets older it goes very dusty and can crumble. This is why if you look above your windows you will see cracks were the house has settled and moved over the past. Here you will get water in to the cracks and it washes away parts of the lime mixture. This should be looked at and not left because all it will do is to start to rot the sash window frames on the inside and the soldier courses will start to fail. We have a dedicated page on this topic please see our rotten sash window frames page.
If you can see where I am going here, the sash window frames are already in and you have some unsightly bits of plastic stuck to them. The glass will start to lose its gasses which goes at 1% per year. When they are new they are filled at 90% this giving the windows a lifespan of only 20 years. Condensation can appear from the inside of the double glazed units and cause a build-up of water.
Sussex sash window restoration can install new replacement sash window in the traditional wooden style that is suited to your house or property. This would be softwood sashes dipped in a preservative. This can add many years to your windows. The real trick to keeping the windows lasting a very long time, is to keep up with the maintenance of the sash windows.
This can be done by getting the painters to prepare and paint them properly. Proper preparation is the key in this. Because if the paint has started to flake off, then the windows will need to go back to bare wood and the whole process started again. Not just sanded and the old paint left there behind the new paint. That would just act as a short term fix and the paint will start to come away and lift. It will only be a matter of time before the rest will come away from the timber. This is due to damp getting into the wood behind the paint.
The new windows would be fitted with Slimlite Ultra Clear glazing self cleaning double glazed units. This is also available in Architectural glass as well that gives you the look of Cylinder glass that was originally installed in the sash windows. Please see our page on Slimlite glazing to see the true benefits of this product. In our work, the sashes will also be installed with a full draught excluder system around the sashes, staff and parting beads. Thus creating a complete seal around the windows making them (a) better (fit) from when they were first installed in the Victorian or Regency period. We will make sure that everything is to the original specification when we make the windows. This can only be done through thorough research of your property. We really do enjoy the work and take great pleasure in seeing a happy customer at the end of the day and seeing your property restored to it’s original elegance of yesteryear.
If you want to go that extra mile please look at our antique sash window furniture store. This is dedicated to finishing of the windows in the furniture that it originally once had. These fitting are sourced constantly from all over England and Europe, every week there is new fittings arriving and some of these antiques date back to the 17th century. So if you want your home really restored and to have that wow factor, look no further than Sussex Sash Window Restoration Ltd and our new online shop.
Thank you for taking time to read this bit of information and if there is any questions or some advice then please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us on the form below.