Should I Repair or Replace my Sash Windows

For many houses in the UK, sash windows are a key character feature that we’d like to keep and celebrate and enjoy, as opposed to replace. The problem is that they tend to be old and often are very energy inefficient. So how can you tell when to invest in sash window repair, and when you really do need to replace the entire thing?

Problems With Wood Framed Sash Windows

Most sash windows in the UK are wooden framed, which means that they’re particularly susceptible to swelling and distortion of the woodwork, as well as rotting of the entire frame. If the wood shrinks, sash windows can becoming rattly and loud, as well as draughty due to gaps between the two window elements.

The good news is that in most cases these problems can be fixed. Expert tradesmen are generally able to carefully repair the sash windows and improve the draught proofing to prevent further damage. For more information, try the guys over at, who specialise in sash window repairs.

Improving and Repairing Glass in Sash Windows

Older sash windows tend to be a big problem when it comes to insulating your house, partly due to the frames becoming draughty, but also because of the old, single glazed panes. If you’re concerned about how much heat you’re losing through your sash windows, you may still be able to solve the problem without replacing the entire unit. In fact, it may be time to replace the single-paned glass in the window with double glazing, which can be done without replacing the entire thing.

Instead of one single pane of glass, double glazing uses two thin (but strong) panes, trapping a gas between them. Back in the day it was simply a vacuum, but modern double glazing utilised krypton or argon. The trapped gas between the panes creates a much better barrier between the cold outside and the warm inside, preventing thermal bridging. Not only does it make for a much warmer home, but it also prevents condensation.

It’s an expensive way to update your sash windows, but it means you can have a much more comfortable property, lower energy bills, and you won’t lose the original frames.

Other Sash Window Repairs

Broken locks and damaged cords are common problems, but can be easily tackled by experienced sash window experts. Broken glass panes can also be replaced, but again if you have multiple panes damaged then you may want to consider upgrading the whole window to double glazing. Check out this sash window gallery to see how your windows could look after repair.

Replacing Sash Windows

While a lot of people are keen to keep their original windows, there are times when replacement is the best options. There are several benefits of replacing the unit as opposed to repairing it:

  • Upgrading the materials can give the window a lot more longevity. Modern glass is much more durable and hard wearing, while newer frames can be treated to ensure that they are a lot less susceptible to future problems, like water damage and rot.
  • Modern sash windows are much warmer than old ones. Upgrading from single paned glass in an old wooden frame, to double glazing and new timber frame (or a uPVC alternative) can make a huge difference. Double glazing is much, much warmer than single paned glass, and the new frames won’t have the swelling or warping, so you shouldn’t have problems with draughts.
  • Repairing sash windows can be an expensive business, especially if you want to keep all the original frames intact. You may decide that repairing an inefficient older window is not worth the expense, when compared to much warmer new windows, which will keep in the heat and lower your energy bills.

Whether you decide to repair or replace your sash windows will ultimately come down to how much you’re willing to spend and which result matters more to you – keeping the original features, or improving your thermal comfort and energy efficiency. We’d always suggest that you get quotes for both options and weigh up your decision from there.

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