If your house has original sash windows you have a beautiful period feature that is irreplaceable and unique.
Preservation should always be the first port of call because there is rarely a good reason for replacement unless the sashes are dead.
Here’s why you should preserve sash windows:
Original sashes are of a significantly higher quality than modern equivalents
If you have original sash windows you probably won’t be able to buy higher quality replacements today. The sash windows of yesteryear were made using higher-quality materials than are available today, by hand, usually by local artisans.
You can tell the difference when you strip back the paint and feel the sashes. The old wood is harder and clearly a better-seasoned product. The glue used for the joints lasts and lasts, and modern sashes are heavier and more substantial.
You can modify sashes with double glazing
The most common reason for replacing original sash windows is to get double glazing. But did you know it’s possible to install thin double glazing in existing sashes?
Retrofitting original sash windows with double glazing is perfectly possible so long as the depth of the sash is at least 35mm. 38mm is even better.
The retrofit will preserve the original appearance of your windows while significantly improving thermal performance. The average cost is £600 per window. This includes all necessary repair and glazing work, fitting and balancing.
Period features are irreplaceable
We would go so far as to say that replacing original sashes that can be repaired/preserved is sacrilege. Period features are irreplaceable.
Even if you can source like-for-like modern equivalents, they are nothing more than imposters. When it comes to period features, authenticity matters. Even when sashes are badly rotted, they can be repaired and salvaged.
Original sashes are a big selling point
If you ever want to sell your house the words ‘original sash windows’ will be music to the ears of people who love period features.
As an aside, sash windows are also in popular demand in modern homes because they are built to last and have no maintenance issues. It’s nice to be able to slide a sash up or down to let some air in – much nicer than a hinged window.
Replacing original sash windows costs more than preservation
If you’re wondering what the price difference is between buying new sash windows and preserving original sash windows, the difference is 100%.
For example, if a new window would set you back £1,200, the cost to preserve the original would be around £600. £600 per sash window is a typical preservation price including hardwood sills, repairs, splicing and painting.
Preservation is a fast and convenient process
If you’re concerned about not having any windows in your house, don’t be. Sash window preservation takes place onsite. One sash window can be repaired and reinstalled inside a working day. Painting takes another day.
Some homeowners are put off by the idea of having their windows taken out, but rest assured they will look miles better when preserved. Once painted, your windows will look like new and be ready for another 10-20 years of service.