We take a look at the individual elements that make a sash window so distinctive in appearance, as well as the parts that make them more thermally efficient and easy to open and close.
The components that make up a traditional sash window (with weights and cords) are as follows:
The sash, or sashes. There will be two of these and they are simply the timber frames that contain the glass. One normally sits in front of the other and they are moveable up and down to allow you to open the window.
Box frame. This is the timber window frame that contains the two sashes.
Axle pulley. This is basically a wheel with a groove in it. A cord is placed in the grove and when pulled, allows it to pull the sash window up and down.
Sash cord. This is the rope that is fed through the axle pulley. It is attached to the side of the sash and is also attached to the sash weight inside the box frame.
Sash weight. This weight sits inside the box frame and is attached to the sash cord. It counterbalances the sash to allow the window to open and therefore, will weigh the same as the sash, and will be made from steel, cast, iron or lead.
Staff bead. This is an internal trim that is secured into the inner lining all the way around the box frame. Its purpose is to secure the sashes in their position within their frame. Newer staff beads will also contain a draught seal.
Parting bead. This bead is a vertical seal that is fitted into the box frame and creates a channel for the top and bottom sashes which allows them to move up and down seamlessly. It also holds the sashes in place, so they don’t fall when opened. Newer parting beads often contain a draught seal too. They bead remains in place thanks to the pulley stiles and head.
Pulley stile. The pulley stile is responsible for bearing the weight of the sashes and the weights. It can be found over the axle pulley.
Glazing. Modern sash windows will usually contain double glazing and there are additional glass options you can opt for too, like acoustic or safety glass. There are other factors that may affect the type of glass you choose such as, your budget, the space within your sash and whether or not your property is listed.
Additional feature parts can include:
Applied glazing bars. Astragal bars are placed across the panes of glass to make them look like smaller panes. In a modern window they will be attached to one large pane of glass on the inside and outside of the sash. However, a traditional Victorian or Georgian window would have housed multiple panes of glass held within glazing bars. Glass in those days was very expensive, so replacing one small pane would be preferrable to one large pane. Nowadays, it is much cheaper to produce a singular pane, which is why the astragal bar is used instead – it creates the same look for a fraction of the cost.
A sill. This is mainly for decoration, but most sash windows will boast a sill. We typically craft our sash windows with hardwood sills as this allows better protection from the elements.
Sash horn. Sash horns are the features that protrude in a downward direction from the base of the upper sash in a window frame. They are more of a decorative feature used to add authenticity and are a subtle nod to the Victorian period that they originated from.
Draught-proof strips. We can fit these to help improve the window’s thermal efficiency if they are not already included within the parting/staff bead as mentioned above.
Whether you are restoring your existing sash windows or considering investing in new ones, we would love to help. We craft all our windows bespoke for your property and take pride in transforming homes across East Sussex with our beautifully crafted sash windows. Contact our team today and we’ll do the rest.