There are so many properties across the UK that proudly house sash windows within their walls and they remain one of the most popular window styles worldwide. Throughout history, we have seen different styles of sash window evolve, and owners of period properties are always keen to pay homage to the time period that their house was built in by retaining the original window style. When fitting replacement sash windows in an older property or choosing new sash windows for a period-style self-build, its important to get the time period correct as it will mean a slight difference in the sash style used.
Sash windows traditionally consist of a number of small panes held together by glazing bars – astragal bars – to create a larger glazed area. This is because glass technology at the time did not allow for very large spans of clear glazing, unlike what we are able to produce today.
Victorian living was focused on elaborate designs and intricate details, and Victorian sash windows were a great way for people to flaunt their wealth. During the Victorian era, it wasn’t uncommon for windows to have four, eight, 12 or 16 panes. The number of sash windows and their size was an indication of the wealth held by the homeowner. Even today, they remain one of the main window designs guaranteed to add to your home’s value.
So, what makes Victorian sashes different? Typically, they were designed with a two over two panel grid design on both top and bottom panes, offering a balance between ventilation and light. All Victorian sash windows were traditionally single glazed, but advances in glass technology means that today, the majority have been replaced with double glazing. Even double glazing for listed properties has seen a breakthrough in recent years, where owners can retrofit vacuum insulated glass into their existing/original frames thanks to the amazing triple glazed thermal capabilities it performs at the same thickness of single glazing.
The period of the house will dictate the number of panes in each sash separated by astragal bars:
Georgian: Traditional Georgian windows date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. You will recognise them as a large window made up of six or more smaller panes held together by horizontal and vertical bars. Often known as the ‘six over six’ style. The bars tend to be thinner than their surrounding frames to allow more glass to be seen and more light let into a room.
Victorian: The ‘two over two’ was commonplace during Queen Victoria’s reign, but as we discussed above, many other configurations were seen throughout the era.
Edwardian: The Edwardian period (1901-1910) was mainly known for its ‘six over two’ pane formation, but, as in Victorian times, there were many variations in style.
Nowadays, those in period properties do not have to choose between authenticity and performance when it comes to sash windows. All our timber windows (and doors for that matter) are made from softwood (as it is generally more thermally efficient than most hardwoods) with hardwood sills (to aid protection against the elements and the risk of decay). All our products and all our timber come from FSC or PEFC certified forests. So, if your windows are installed by us, you can rest assured that the wood used to create your products is of exceptional quality, sustainable and good for the environment. We are also able to double glaze all the windows and doors we make.
We make all our windows and doors bespoke for every customer in our workshop in Sussex ensuring a custom, precise, quality fit and finish.