One of the main concerns we’re met with by customers every day is whether or not they should be looking to replace their traditional, timber sash windows with the modern UPVC models.
Here at Sash Windows Brighton, we’re no strangers to nerdy, jargon-filled, sash-related questions and it is our aim to answer every single one of them. Believe it or not, a question we’re commonly asked by customers is which is better, a stick on sash horn, or a run-through sash horn. So without further ado, here’s a break-down of what all of these things are, and what we think about them!
We love everything about sash windows from how they’re made, where they come from and how they originally developed. They are such an integral part of historic, British architecture, and we want everyone to know! So, we’ve comprise this short historical article to talk about how sash window styles have changed through the years.
In this post, we’ll be discussing the advantages and features of casement windows and sash windows. As windows come in every shape, size, colour and style imaginable, its difficult to know what’s right you and your home. So we’ve taken the most generic window types to take you through the pros and cons of each!
As summer approaches (we all hope), as does the ideal time to carry out any renovation work on your sash windows! Why summer, you ask? The wetter, winter months causes timber windows to expand due to water which can cause them to stick. When renovating, you want your windows to absolutely be as dry and fully sliding as possible. You also don’t want to be painting, sealing and redecorating wet wood!
Proper antique sash windows are a timeless beauty! Any homeowner would be lucky to have them and we here at Sash Windows Brighton love everything about them (almost.) If you’ve got sash windows, especially in a Victorian house, you’ll find that they often need some TLC. If you’re sash windows are awkward to open, move or just won’t stay up, its likely that you’re looking at broken sash cords!
Every sash window project is slightly different, no repair is the same and the beauty of our job is that we get to see something new every day! Nothing surprises us…
Part of the beauty of old buildings are their historic windows. Conserving, preserving and protecting the authenticity of windows such as these can be a tricky business, something that luckily, Sash Windows Brighton has ample experience in. Here’s more about it…
Repairing Timber Windows
As long as they receive the care, attention and maintenance they deserve, timber windows can live for a couple of centuries. Replacing a window entirely is hardly ever necessary, we use a combination of nifty restoration solutions and carefully matched repairs in order to get the oldest of windows looking the way they should! Careful repairs and essential to retain the original design/ fabric of your home. At Sash Windows Brighton, we see it as a challenge! Only rarely is a window completely beyond repair!
Methods and Materials
The key to a long lasting repair is in the method and the material. Many of our customers come to us under the impression that a repair will only be a temporary fix and could no way live up to the quality of a replacement window but actually, when done properly, this is far from the case!
- repair work should be limited to the minimum amount of work required to fix the problem
- work that involves tampering with the surrounded wall or built in frames should be avoided or kept to a minimum
- frame repairs are best carried out onsite unless factory renovations are absolutely necessary
Repairing Metal Windows
Metal windows appeared during the Art Deco era and have since then have suffered from mis-shaping, paint build-up, broken hinges/ mechanisms and rust! Fortunately, we have a similar number of tricks up our sleeves when it comes to repairing metal framed windows. Simple welding repairs can be done to damaged sections of wrought iron and steel windows and whilst cast-iron can’t be welded due to the risk of cracking, we’re never without a solution. ‘Cold sitching’ will repair cast-iron window frames to full, working order once more!
It always looks worse than it is. Many of our customers panic when they find rust as it’s often perceived to be a sign that you need a replacement. False! There are so many ways you can beat rust:
- wire brushes
- small grinders
These are all super-easy ways to beat the rust on your metal windows onsite. If that doesn’t do the trick and your rusting is running out of control, we can always get them sent off to a factory to be galvanised or shot-blasted. Your original metal frames that once looked completely unusable now with decades of use in them once more!
Historic buildings are our expertise. If you have an older building and you’re not quite sure what work needs to be done to get your windows looking healthy again then give us a call today. A friendly member of our team at Sash Windows Brighton will be happy to talk through your options with you.
Sash Windows are notoriously drafty. The older your house, the more of an issue you can expect it to be. We have dedicated decades of skill and technique into providing draft solutions for our customers so everyone can enjoy sash windows from the comfort of a warm, environmentally friendly home. If you didn’t catch our previous post, we gave away some tips to help you conserve energy in your home DIY.
Heat conservation and draft combatting gets a little more complicated however, if you’re looking for a long term solutions. It’s good to know what’s out there, if it’s worth it and what else you could be doing before making an investment. Luckily, we’ve got all the answers to keeping your home snuggly with help from the professionals!
1.Talk to us about replacing the glazing.
Though pricey, this is by far your best option. What we do is we’ll preserve your sash window frames but replace the existing glass with a super-thin double glazing. This leaves you with not much of a visual change but significant reductions in heat loss. Honestly, you’d need a sash-window-trained expert to make fine inspection in order to tell the difference!
2.Don’t assume you need entirely new windows, talk to us about opting for a restoration instead!
The high price-tag that comes with new windows can often drive many home renovators make the mistake of searching for cheaper window replacement deals with a normal builder…
COME TO US FIRST! We can’t tell you how frequently we have customers come to us insisting on getting all of their sash windows replaced, only to be filled with joy as we tell them that all they need is a simple restoration. Window replacement is a fairly extreme option and whilst this is necessary in some cases, there are varying levels of restorations and only rarely will we need to take out the entire window and replace it with a new one. It’s pricey as well and there are so many different routes we can go down to replace and restore parts of your window in order to meet energy conservation regulations.
3.Avoid the facade of triple glazing
Yes… it exists! Whilst triple glazing may sound like it’s triple effective, the reality is far less than the case. We discourage customers from choosing triple glazing as money can always be better spent on nifty renovations to help heat loss in other ways. If you ARE looking to upgrade to the triple glazing, you can be looking at an average annual saving of around the £2 per window mark. Factoring in the cost of your average triple glazed window compared to double glazing, it might pay for itself in over 20 years. Worth it?
Heat conservation is a fussy business, if you need any help with making your sash windows more environmentally friendly then call a member of our team to discuss your options today
The art to conserving energy with sash windows is a tricky one. They are, by nature, drafty things! The average, single-glazed sash window could be loosing 16 times the amount of heat per unit area than you would lose through a wall. Seeing as many houses built up until the 1930s had sash windows.. well, we’ll leave you to do the maths but that’s an astronomical amount of sash windows in the Brighton and Sussex area alone! Luckily, at Sash Windows Brighton, we’ve got all the sash expertise at our fingertips to give you the best advice when it comes to keeping the heat in!
1.The pros and cons of traditional window covers
Blinds, insulated shutters and thick curtains have been around historically to combat the cold for one simple reason. They do the job incredibly well! They’re cost effective, it doesn’t involve making many changes to the window area itself it’s a great way to fix your draft problem DIY. Even the most draft-proofed of draft-proofed windows would still benefit from the likes of a simple blind or shutter.
But these methods have their drawbacks. For instance, the moment you open the curtain, that method ceases to work due to radiation heat loss. Even when closed, the window will still fall victim to condensation and lastly, it doesn’t do much if noise pollution is also a problem for you!
2.Draft-proofing your sash windows
For a temporary fix, you cant go wrong with a masking tape feature, especially for windows that aren’t used and are rarely seen. Sealing them up for the winter when they’re not needed is a great way to save you money – especially with our present day gas prices! You could also try:
- side sashes in a bay
- surface mounted metal strips
- compression seals
Whilst draft proofing will greatly improve energy conservation in your home, you need to assess whether or not you still have enough ventilation. If not, you could easily end up with high humidity in particularly wet rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom etc.
There are many ways you can add a level of secondary glazing to your sash windows and they range in price, effectiveness and endurance.
The temporary fix:
If you live in a rented property and you’re just looking to get through the cold season without breaking your bank due to astronomical gas prices then the one-seasons-only window film is the one for you! Simply stick it on the window as tight as it will go and then use a hairdryer to seal it properly. Just don’t knock into it too often. It may cut heat losses down by a third if used properly but it is easily damaged. Also beware that you won’t be able to open windows if you use a temporary window film.
A slightly better temporary fix:
The step up from window films is the polyester sheet. You can choose between rigid models or roll away numbers which are great for storing over the warmer months of the year. They’re usually attached with magnetic strips and are easy to apply in an afternoon of DIY. Simply measure your windows and cut accordingly. The great thing about the rigid version of the polyester sheet is you can take them up and down in seconds if you fancy a blast of fresh, winter air!
So there you have it, three great tips for getting your sash windows to save you money DIY style. We’ll be carrying on with our heat conservation advice in our next post but if you need any help with making your sash windows more energy friendly in the meantime then give Sash Windows Brighton a call. A friendly member of our team will be happy to run through some options and give an insight into what we can do for you today!