The term sash window literally means a single frame for glazing, but we most commonly refer to the traditional sliding sash when talking about this type of window. Different designs are available, and while traditional sashes utilised lead weights and counterbalances, some modern equivalents have replaced these mechanisms with springs. You can also choose from a variety of sizes and configurations, enabling you to choose from windows that open at the top, at the bottom, or either.
While sash windows are most commonly associated with period properties, they can also be fitted to new properties, and while uPVC variants are available, modern timber frames can last almost indefinitely with very little ongoing maintenance, and they offer a more traditional look. Whether you are doing up an old period property and want traditional character, or you are decorating a modern home and want to add unique features that allow your property to stand out while offering a convenient flexible window style, the sash window could be the best option for you.
The question of material, and which is best for a sliding sash window, is one that crops up often. uPVC is the most commonly used frame material for modern windows. It is inexpensive, and manufacturers claim that it requires no ongoing maintenance. While there is no need to treat or paint the plastic, however, this benefit can become a problem if damage, discolouration, or other problems occur. A timber frame cannot be cleaned, sanded down, treated, and painted, which means that you will, inevitably, have to pay to have the whole frame replaced, rather than being able to pay for repairs to be made.
Timber frame windows, on the other hand, can utilise softwood or hardwood, they can be treated and, with a little ongoing maintenance, they can last for decades while looking great throughout. Any damage that occurs can usually be repaired, which means that you can enjoy substantially lower maintenance costs than you would with uPVC sash windows.
Hardwood is typically considered the timber of choice, because it can be treated more effectively and provides the perfect balance of strength, durability, and simple maintenance. Hardwood is also used because softwood requires a lot of treatment before it can be used, and many of the products that would be used to treat software have been banned for ecological reasons. This means that the cost and preparatory work required in the use of softwood have led to hardwood being the preferred option with timber frames.
Timber frames do require some maintenance, in order to ensure that they continue to work at their best, and also that they look their best. You should inspect your windows twice a year, and painting should only be required every five years, or perhaps every five years if your windows have suffered damage or have endured persistent rain and weather damage. Traditional glossing does require extensive cleaning, preparing, and several coats of paint, but micro-porous painted timber only requires a wipe down and a single coat of paint making it much easier to manage.
The Original Box Sash Window Company can inspect your premises, determine the best type of sash window for your requirements, and install high quality, modern timber frame sash windows that will last for decades with little maintenance.