What Are Dummy Sash Windows?

Some windows have an upper section designed to open and a lower fixed window which doesn’t. Whilst operationally, there is nothing wrong with the function of these windows, some homeowners dislike them because the top casement is not proportional with the bottom unit.

Dummy sash windows, sometimes called dummy vents or fake sashes, are designed to create an equal sightline between the top opening window and the fixed lower panes. They look to all intents and purposes like fully opening windows, and all the panes sit in line. These windows are part functional, part decorative. Of course, you could have a conventional sash window with a fixed bottom pane called a single-hung sash window.

What is a Sightline on a Window?

An equal sightline on a window is where all the glass panes are aligned. Additionally, the panes align with the glazing bars, resulting in a symmetrical and clean appearance. Windows with equal sightlines are commonly seen in older, traditional houses and period properties.

What is a Complete Dummy Sash Window?

A complete dummy sash window is designed never to open. It might sound odd to have a wholly fixed window, but in reality, full dummy sashes are usually used on either side of an opening sash window with a broad aperture like a bay or a box window.

Which Properties have Dummy Sash Windows

Dummy sash windows are a good option for people who don’t want conventional sliding sash windows but have a listed house or a property in a conservation area. The window’s appearance is traditional and in keeping with the age of the house, and the owner can choose a top casement which can open out in a hinged design.

Most dummy sash windows are new or flush casement windows. These window styles are popular and versatile, giving the homeowner the window operation they want whilst still having a slick and symmetrical finish.

Dummy sash windows also work well with decorative glazing like leaded lights as the glazing will appear identical in each adjacent pane of glass, creating a seamless finish, especially for large feature windows.

Why not have a Single-Hung Sash Window?

It’s an obvious question, but some homeowners don’t want sash windows either because they don’t want to operate and maintain them or because they just want a different style of window opening. Some locations, like stairwells, may not require a unit that opens at all. However, a single-hung sash window unit could well end up being cheaper than a casement window design that operates as a dummy sash.

The Case Against Dummy Sash Windows

Dummy sashes may not allow as much light as other alternatives, so they are not always the best choice for small windows where light is a priority.

Sometimes, the lower element, which is not designed to open, is less secure. It just sits in the wall; there are no window locks as it’s not functioning. Homeowners should review this carefully and ensure the lower section can’t just be knocked out to gain entry to the property.

Dummy sash windows are not functional and so have no ventilation purpose. However, some dummy sash windows can have ventilation slits cut into them.

The use of dummy sash windows should be carefully considered. Typically, dummy sash windows are combined with an operating window so the homeowner can have the best of both worlds. They gain the symmetry of classic Georgian sash window styling with fixed windows that they don’t have to think about whilst retaining the different options for ventilation with the section that opens.

We manufacture bespoke new sash windows in any size, shape or style for all property types, from contemporary new builds to traditional homes and period houses. We also restore, repair and refurbish existing sash windows on-site and in our workshops, where our expert joinery team can breathe new life into old timber windows. All our sash windows offer the very best in materials and craftsmanship with optimal noise control, privacy, thermal regulation and draught-proofing.

Contact us here to learn more about our repair and restoration services and new sash window design and manufacture.