Handcrafted in original timber, sash windows are well known for being stylistically in keeping with the aesthetic of a traditional property. The charm and elegance of sash windows often avert our eyes from their functionality. So, how do homeowners slide sash windows up and down so easily? Well, the main culprits are sash lifts and sash pull handles.
What are sash lifts and where do they go?
Sash lifts provide the window user a means to operate the sliding functionality of their sash windows. Sash lifts are fitted to the bottom rail of sliding sash windows, so the user has an ‘easy grip’ to lift open the bottom sash. Sash lifts come in many assorted styles and materials, and we recommend fitting them in pairs, one on each side of the window panel, for even opening.
What does a sash pull handle do?
Sash pulls are used mainly on double hung sash windows where the sash windows feature two moveable sets within the box frame. This means that the window can be opened by sliding the bottom panel up, as well as by sliding the top panel down. A sash pull handle is usually fitted to the bottom of the top sash (on the outside of the property) so the top sash can be pulled down for cleaning or ventilation.
Single hung sash windows only have an openable lower sash and, therefore, a pull handle is not typically required.
Sash lift styles
There are many styles of sash lifts available, and your choice will typically depend on the size, style, and position of your window. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of preference:
If you are looking to achieve a more time-honoured aesthetic, sash lift hooks are a traditional sash window fitting and are great for preventing dirty finger marks. These finger hooks are usually fixed to the bottom rail of the lower panel of a sash window and, unless you have a narrow window, we recommend using a pair for ease of opening.
Sash lift hooks are particularly suited for installation on slim-line sashes, as they have a slim profile which is easily accommodated by sleeker, thinner sash designs.
Sash ring lifts are generally sold in pairs and are usually just large enough to be lifted by one finger. Sash rings can be fitted to the top or bottom panel of a sash window for ease of opening. Typically, two ring pulls are used on the bottom panel as finger lifts, one on each side of a window panel for even opening. On the top panel, a sash ring can be used as a pole eye and operated with a window pole hook. Sometimes a pole is needed to operate hard-to-reach sashes and sash rings are ideal for installing on these sashes which would otherwise be in accessible. There is no need to compromise aesthetics for functionality with sashes – there is appropriate decorative hardware for all sashes, even if they are out of your reach!
Sash handle lifts are wider than hooks and rings and can be used individually or in pairs depending on window size. They are held with three or four fingers like a pull door handle.
You will often spot these in public rooms and community spaces boasting large sash windows. They are quite traditional and Victorian looking and are long, single handles that are lifted with both hands.
Sashes are a popular window choice for many traditional homeowners. Maybe you live in a conservation area or a listed building where the restoration or replacement of genuine timber sash windows is your only choice? Maybe you have a period style property that you are just keen to preserve? Maybe ventilation is a priority for you and the ability to open the sashes at the bottom and at the top of the window to create a cooling convection flow appeals to you?