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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Wooden Box Sash Windows and Sash Window Repairs

Sash windows (wooden windows that slide up and down) are a very popular choice for use on most homes and have been for hundreds of years. The name comes from the fact that these windows contain panels (called 'sashes') that hold the glass panes in place. At least one of these panels will be movable, allowing the window to be opened and closed. Some hung windows contain only one movable panal (sash) but most will have two. These panels most commonly open from top to bottom (vertically) but can also be made to operate in a sideways fashion (horizontally). The glass used in these units has traditionally been single-paned but recently double-pane and even triple-pane configurations have been available. When properly installed, extra panes give better insulation and efficiency.

To make the movement operation of this type of window possible the weight of the moving panel is counter-balanced by a heavy weight concealed within the frame itself. These weights are typically made of lead, cast iron or steel. They are arranged on a pulley system using either chains, ropes or cables. When older windows of this type begin to fail it can often be traced back to a problem with this pulley/weight system as they tend to wear through age and with continued use. It is important to remeber that sash windows are probably the most fashonable window in the world and pretty much EVERY landmark building in the western world will have sash windows including the famous "Buckingham Palace" in London! If sash windows are good for Her Majesty the Queen then sash windows must be good or she would have replaced them all with Upvc by now....can you imagine the out-rage in the British newspapers if she did such a thing.
 
So, if you are lucky enough to have sash windows in your property then you should not think even for just one minute about replacing them with any other sort of window! Wooden windows London provide a low cost sash window manufacture and fitting service but we would always recomend that you give sash window repairs London a chance first, sash window renovation can bring your old windows back to life and if you take the renovation to the next level and go all the way as it were...sash window restoration includes the full professional redecoration of your sash windows both interior and exterior. Having said that the cost of sash window restoration can in some cases cost you more than replacement so get some quotes. If you have time on your hands then why not give it a go yourself, even changing a sash cord is not that hard if you know what to do...I think that will be my next blog post hint hint!
 
Sometimes hinges are included whereby the movable sash(es) can be locked open and disconnected from the counter-weight system. This makes cleaning the window easier and can also aid in making a quick emergency escape if the need arises. Spring balances are also sometimes used in place of the more common pulley/counter-weight system.

If both sashes are capable of moving this is known as a double-hung window (as opposed to single-hung, if only one moves). Traditionally made from wood, these units are now commonly made from other materials (including vinyl, which has become quite popular). Vinyl (PVC) windows are usually cheaper to buy than wood and are currently a widely used option for both new construction and old window replacement. Speaking of replacement, owners of older homes are often faced with the decision of replacing or repairing existing windows that have become inefficient or nonworking. If possible, repair is usually advisable to replacement. It's cheaper, generally looks better and can be made to be nearly just as energy efficient.

In some areas (conservation areas or in 'listed' homes) certain sash windows aren't permitted to be replaced by the newer models on the market. Here, it only makes sense to save the old windows by refurbishing them to today's higher standards. In most cases, they can be made to function the way they were designed to do.