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What is a Sash Window?

With period feature windows often being so coveted, you may be wondering what exactly constitutes as a sash window. You may have even moved into a gorgeous new place and are wondering whether the panes fitted in your home are indeed this style of window. So, what exactly makes a sash window? Read on to find out so you can be up to date with all you need to know. Want to know the average composite door price? Find out here about composite door prices.


Sash Window

Sash windows are composed, strictly speaking, of moving panels or frames. These panels are referred to as ‘sashes’; hence the name. Typically, there is a top and bottom frame, with one easily adjustable panel. You will often see them in homes that originate from the Victorian or Georgian era. Many of these windows have six glass panels within each frame, which is often part of their iconic image.

Many people will be familiar with the vertically sliding variety, where one panel is fixed and other slides upwards or downwards. However, there is a style that pre-dates this version, which is referred to as the Yorkshire sash. This style of sash window slides horizontally, providing a look that befits a quintessential English cottage. You can also find versions of the sash window where both panels are adjustable. These are referred to as ‘double hung’ sash windows.

It may seem as if the moving panel must be opened and closed by brute force, however, this isn’t the case. The sash moves thanks to a mixture of cords and weights. The weights provide a balancing act between the weight of the sash and gravity; allowing it to stay open.  Some modern models use spiral balances to perform this trick.

Historical details

Sash windows date back from England in the 17th century, although the exact creator cannot be agreed upon. You might be interested to know that in the United States these are referred to as ‘muntins.’ Their classic appearance and historical significance often makes people wonder whether it is possible to have anything other than single-glazed panels in them. The answer is of course: yes! Plenty of modern buildings have double-glazed sash windows installed. The only time that this can be a problem is when the building is listed – you will need to have permission to replace the single-glazed versions.

What’s the appeal?

Victorian Sash Window

To put it plainly: sash windows add character to a building. What singles out a period building to its contemporary neighbours is its standout features. Often, one of the most noticeable features is the windows, and sash windows have an instantly recognisable aesthetic. The box frame and elegant glass panels often conjure the image of stately homes and elegant Victorian houses.

Sash windows may be using mechanics that still hark back to their century of origin; however it’s a style what has stood the test of time. Not only have they proven to be a desired feature in the 21st century, but also that they can adapt to the times. You can let in light with tall, elegant sash windows but keep the cold out with double-glazing.