How To Identify What Sash Windows I Have

Sash windows must be one of the most enduring features of period architecture in the UK.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and sliding sash windows have evolved throughout the centuries and have been a near-permanent feature of domestic building design since one of their earliest appearances at Ham House in Richmond, Surrey. Ham House was built in 1610 but the sash windows are perhaps a little later and date to around the 1670s.

So, what type of sash windows do you have in your house? Here’s how to identify them.

How Old is the House?

Most sash windows date to the property if they are restored originals or new replicas which are faithful to the architectural style. If you are returning the windows in your home to their original sash design, then the date the house was built will help inform period authenticity and features.

Georgian sash windows – These feature the classic ‘six over six’ glazing pattern, this was because the Georgians didn’t have the technology or know-how to create larger panes of glass. The thin strips of wood that divide the panes are called astragal bars.

Victorian sash windows – By the Victorian period, glass technology had developed enough for larger panes to feature in sash windows. Six-over-six became two-over-two. Design became more ornate with features like sash horns which helped support the larger glass panes.

Edwardian sash windows – A six-over-two pattern was developed in the Edwardian era, which was a fusion of the Georgian and Victorian. Sash horns still featured and there were also some coloured glass panes introduced for a short period in suburban villas.

Double Hung and Single Hung Sash Windows

Both double and single-hung windows have two sashes but with a single-hung window, one sash is permanently fixed in place so only one window opens. With a double-hung window, both sashes move.

Say what you See!

Apart from the styling of the window which relates to the age or era of the house, most sash windows are identified and described by their features.

  • Window operation – if you have a traditional weights and pulley system to operate the window, then this will be concealed in a wooden box inside the frame – these are called box sash windows – the clues in the name! Newer sash windows have a more modern mechanism, they are counterbalanced by a set of springs inside a PVC tube so there is no box. This mechanism is visible and easy to spot.
  • Frame type – sash window frames can be made of wood, uPVC, and even aluminium.
  • Glazing – glazing can be single pane, double, or even triple and is usually consistent with the type of frame; old timber sash windows cannot usually support more than single pane glazing.
  • Features – features like sash window horns form part of the description of the window.

Talk to the Experts

A professional window installer will be able to see at a glance what type of sash windows you have. If you are buying a new home and it has traditional sash windows, then it’s always important to understand the different types as this will flag up how much care and maintenance the windows may need. Many old sash windows are traditional in design but have modern features like thermally efficient single pane glazing and modern brush draughtproofing.

We manufacture bespoke new sliding sash windows for all types of houses, from the traditional period home to ultra-modern new builds and self-builds. All our timber windows are made to measure so we can accommodate any style, shape, or feature. We blend the very best traditional craftsmanship with modern materials like thermally efficient single pane glazing, pre-stretched cord for the weights and pulley system, and modern draughtproofing. We also offer a repair and refurbishment service for windows either on-site or in our workshops.

Contact us here to find out more about our bespoke sash window design service and repair and restoration for your home.