Broken sash windows – repair or replace?

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Sash windows are one of the most beautiful features of period properties. When they are properly manufactured and maintained, they can last for over a hundred years; however, timber requires a lot of maintenance. Wooden windows need sanding, painting and varnishing around every 3-5 years, which is why it’s easy for them to fall into disrepair.

If your wooden windows look like they have seen better days, read on to see if they can be repaired or whether you will need to consider a replacement window.

Restored sash windows in a period property

Damaged timber frames

Timber frames exposed to the elements can become tired and worn down over the years, leading to rotting or warped frames. This can then sometimes affect the mechanism and functioning of the sash window. In most cases damaged timber can be repaired, but in extreme cases of neglect, wooden windows may need replacing entirely.

Verdict: Repair or replace

Broken windowpane

If the pane of glass is cracked or shattered but the wooden frames are still in good condition, it is possible to replace just the plain, patterned or decorative glass sheet. Traditional sash windows usually have single glazing, although this is not very thermally efficient. If you are not renovating in a conservation area or listed building, it may be possible to install more insulating slimline double glazing into your old timber frames.

Verdict: Repair

Wessex Restoration team repairing sash windows

Trouble opening and closing sash windows

If your wooden windows get stuck halfway up or down, the likelihood is that your sash window has a broken pulley system. Pulley cords or spring balances can be replaced if this is the case. If you can’t open the window at all, it could be that the sash window has been painted shut. Contact a professional sash window repair company like Wessex Restoration.

Verdict: Repair

Rattling or draughty sash windows

Most timber windows are single glazed, leading to heat loss, cold spots, draughts, and mouldy or damp interiors. Draught-proofing and weather-sealing can help exclude draughts and extra insulation can be achieved with secondary glazing. These measures improve the situation to a certain extent, but for a fully insulated, warmer house consider upgrading to double glazed sash windows.

Verdict: Repair or replace


Faulty locks

If the locks or catches on your timber windows have broken, it is simple to replace them. There is a wide range of heritage style locks available for sash windows that keep with the traditional aesthetic, alongside the benefits of modern security. In addition, a variety of finishes are available, such as antique brass or chrome.

Verdict: Repair

Repairs and replacement sash windows by Wessex Restoration

Wessex Restoration team repairing sash windowsIf you wish to repair or replace timber windows in a listed property or conservation area, there are certain regulations you must abide by. We act on conservation officers’ recommendation that it is better to repair wooden sash windows where possible, rather than replacing them.

Whatever the state of your timber windows, Wessex Restoration can help you improve their appearance and performance. In most cases, we have found there are cost-effective solutions to rejuvenate tired wooden frames that save you from shelling out for a replacement.

Our team of renovation experts can help you with your home improvement project for your period property by repairing your original wooden windows, or if that is not possible, by designing new windows that maintain the traditional appearance of the building.

For free advice about timber sash windows or more information about restoration services we offer, send us a message today.