What Are the Different Types of Sash Windows?

If you are a sash window aficionado, you will know there are sash windows and sash windows. Sash windows are made from two moveable units called sashes.

If you are a sash window aficionado, you will know there are sash windows and sash windows. Sash windows are made from two moveable units called sashes, one sitting in front of the other but there is a huge amount of variety in terms of style and design reflecting the age of the property, whether the window is made from wood or uPVC and the different types of glass.

Throughout the Georgian and Victorian eras, local variations and designs were commonplace with their names such as Queen Ann variations, Arched Head Sashes, Gothic Head Sashes and Peaked Head Sashes.

Despite sash windows being historically associated with the Georgian period, these windows were fairly plain in comparison with what followed. The Victorian Gothic revival sash windows incorporated curved horns, arched heads, intricate mouldings, leaded lights and latticework.

In the Victorian era, windows were no longer flat with the house façade. Bay or oriel windows appeared after 1894 when an amendment to the Building Act decreed that windows need no longer sit flush with the exterior wall.

Sash windows were often grouped into prominent bays with ornate stone reveals. However, the glazing was simpler with either single panes or two over two vertical split glazing. Stone sills were popular with the wooden sill of the window on top. Square bay windows are rectangular and commonly seen on Edwardian properties.

Queen Anne revival homes often have bay windows with oriels with a single pane of glass in the bottom sash and the upper sash multi-paned often with stained glass features. Oriels don’t reach to the ground, instead, the window is supported by corbels or brackets.

Here are some of the other common features of sash windows.

Sash Horns

Sash windows generally have decorative horns which are a downward protrusion from the base of the upper sash sitting on either end of the horizontal centre bar of the frame.

Horns are a popular design aesthetic for lots of different types of windows but are a common feature for the sash window. They are usually seen externally but they can feature internally in Scottish properties. However, horns don’t often appear on sash windows from the Georgian era but arrived later to support a thicker meeting rail on the top sash when the multi-paned design of this time changed into windows with fewer lights as glass-blowing techniques improved.

Staff Beads

Staff beads are the detailed trim that frames the sash box internally and keeps the sashes in place. Modern staff beads include a seal channel but there are also pre-inserted options for effective draught-proofing and weather sealing.

What’s the Difference between Box and Spring?

Classic lead weights and nylon cord are found in traditional or box sash windows so called because the weights are housed in a box created by liners extending the frame on each side both inside and outside. A system of pulleys, cords and weights counterbalances the top and bottom sashes, and this can be incorporated into or refurbished in traditional windows whilst still offering excellent thermal protection and acoustic performance.

New-made sash windows tend to have a pre-tensioned spring balance to operate the sliding mechanism. However, they can only be fitted to apertures where the architect has designed a flush reveal.


Modern secondary glazing has revolutionised traditional sash windows offering wonderful thermal properties in a single pane, lightweight and thin glass, perfect for heritage homes. Householders can enjoy all of the thermal benefits of triple glazing whilst not having to compromise on the aesthetics of their original windows.

Sash window designs are described by the number of panes or ‘lights’ in each sash. The classic Georgian design of six over six reduces to three over three and two over two in the Victorian era.

We make timber sash windows to bring a distinctive and unique look to your property with all the quality and individuality that wood offers plus genuine authenticity for traditional and period homes. Upgrades, refurbishments and repairs are also available on tired sashes with full restoration bringing them back to their former glory. We incorporate modern techniques to offer the best thermal regulation and weatherproofing. We can retrofit any type of building working with or without original frames and have a large selection of shapes and sizes on offer.

Contact us to learn more about our restoration and bespoke design service.