Sash Window Surveys: What’s Involved?

Sash window surveys are an essential and integral part of window refurbishment and replacement. The aim is to establish what repair work needs to be done or the requirements for an authentic and quality replacement if the customer wants to fit new windows.

Installing new sash windows or refurbishing old ones is a complex and technical task, so the initial survey is crucial to obtain the right result. A survey acts as the template for what is to follow. Mistakes during survey and installation are expensive to rectify and could even prove dangerous. That’s why it’s so important to use a professional window company.

What Aspects does a Sash Window Survey cover?

Sizing and measurements are often the first things that spring to mind, but several other factors need to be established to ensure that the window repair or installation satisfies operational and aesthetic requirements, is compliant with any appropriate regulations and also meets safety standards.

Here are some key things our surveyors consider when they visit a property.

  • The design of the sash windows – this includes the heights and widths, the layout of the astragal bars (this dictates the number of individual panes)
  • The condition of the windows – have they been subject to rot and excessive weathering? Are the state of the timber sashes and frames sound, or do they need repair or replacement
  • Energy efficiency and thermal regulation – this is to comply with current regulations as well as optimising performance for the lowest possible utility costs
  • Structural features, including uneven arches, hidden lintels and arch-outside-square inside design
  • Load-bearing – this is especially important if you are swapping from uPVC to a traditional timber sash window, as uPVC is not load-bearing, so the window must be adequately supported, typically by a lintel. Bay windows require particularly careful consideration and assessment
  • Straight check or reveal – do the sash windows fit flush inside a straight reveal or behind external brickwork? The reveal is the timber frame
  • How the windows will be fixed to the wall
  • Access to the windows and the property
  • Design features, including projecting sills, trims, sash window horns and architraves
  • Attachments such as internal or external shutters and other features like hidden cabling
  • The general condition and squareness of the apertures and their surrounds
  • Previous work and other earlier window replacements. For example, if casement windows have been fitted into the old sash box but the customer wants to return to the original sash windows
  • Comprehensive measurements

Regulatory Requirements

One of the things our installers will consider during the survey is any necessary regulatory requirements. WRSW are members of FENSA, so we have the required status to ensure that any work we undertake complies with relevant building regulations.

Safety and best practice guidelines for window installations and general projects will be woven throughout the project. This includes all sorts of aspects, including ventilation, compliance with the latest energy efficiency rules, safety glass and restraint and restriction.

If the property is listed, additional factors should be considered. The local listings officer must approve any sash window work, whether new installation, repair, or refurbishment. WRSW will handle all of this and liaise with the appropriate council team. We have extensive knowledge of listing requirements, so we often advise at the survey stage what will likely be acceptable and what will be rejected before we speak to the listings officer.

Preparing for a Sash Window Survey

Understanding what’s involved in a sash window survey helps customers make the appropriate preparation. It’s essential for the surveyor to gain full access behind the existing windows; old houses are notorious for little hidden surprises, including concealed problems with cavities, arches and surrounding lintels.

It’s quite possible that architraves and trims will need to be removed on the existing windows to survey them thoroughly enough, so moving furniture, clearing away ornaments, and even removing curtains could be required on the day. Proper inspection is essential to evaluate the work that is needed to produce an accurate quote and to deliver to the customer the finished product that they want.

A common mistake that homeowners make is assuming that all the windows are the same, so if the surveyor has thoroughly examined one, he only needs a cursory glance at the rest. Wrong! The other key thing to have on the day is a good supply of tea and biscuits – this survey could take at least a couple of hours!

Our expert surveying team will advise on sympathetic sash window restoration, including repair and refurbishment or new installations. We recommend products and glazing to suit your home and budget. Every job is unique, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Our workshop produces timber sash windows in any size, specification, and style, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques and materials. Our sash windows provide acoustic control, privacy, security and optimal thermal regulation, as well as a beautiful design aesthetic tailored to your property.

Contact us here to learn more about our sash window design and repair services and to book a survey.