5 Signs Your Sash Windows Are In Need Of Repair

When it comes to buying or renovating a property, there are a multitude of features that potential homeowners may be looking for. Among them, sash windows are often high up on the wish list. First and foremost, sash windows are incredibly stylish. They have a timeless look that can suit a wide range of architectural styles, from Georgian and Victorian to more modern designs.

Their elegant design adds charm and character to any home, and can significantly enhance its curb appeal. In addition, sash windows can be customised to suit a homeowner’s specific preferences. However, over time, they can begin to show signs of wear and tear and may require repair, replacement or maintenance. Here are some signs that your sash windows are in need of repair:

Sash window maintenance

Sash window maintenance, therefore, becomes part of owning a period property, and maintaining these original features preserves their charm and heritage and ultimately adds value to the property.

Well-looked-after original wooden sash windows should last another 60 to 80 years, as the materials they were made from such as Accoya and Sapele are such high quality.

At Ventrolla, we can help our customers to keep as much of the original windows as possible, while solving a variety of issues, such as draughts, rattles, rotten timbers, leaks, dust ingress, heat loss, noise problems and operational issues. By renovating you can tackle main issues like draughts and rot whilst maintaining the look and heritage of your home – always a win/win in our eyes.


before and after sash windows

Before & After: Sash Window Renovation


However, let’s focus on 5 of the most common signs your windows may be in need of some TLC:

1. Draughts and Rattles

The main issue we hear is that sash windows are cold, largely due to gaps around the edges, so we install a draught‐proofing system in and around the sashes, closing these gaps but still allowing the movement of the sashes. This is usually just the improvement in thermal efficiency that our customers need, but we can also install slim double glazing for further energy savings.

2. Rotting Timber

Another common problem we encounter with sash windows is rotten timber in the sill or sashes from years of getting the brunt of our trademark British wind and rain! If there is extensive rot in the window sill, we replace the full sill and the lower box. We do this to create a completely new corner joint of the window box, keeping its strength and ensuring all rotten timbers are removed.

If you notice that the timber around your window frame or sash has become soft or spongy to the touch, this can be a sign of rot. As the wood begins to deteriorate, it can develop cracks and splits. These can start out small but can grow over time, compromising the structural integrity of the window and potentially causing it to fail.

As timber windows become more damaged, they can start to warp or twist. This can make it difficult to open or close the window, and can also compromise the seal between the window and the frame, allowing drafts and moisture to enter your home. If you notice a musty or damp smell near your timber windows, this can be a sign of rot. The smell is caused by the fungi and bacteria that are breaking down the wood and can indicate that the damage is extensive.



3. Noise

As an inherent feature in the period properties that make up many of the UK’s towns and cities, sash windows are often found in bustling areas. Noticing an increase in noise levels from outside of your home is one of the first signs that you may need to look at the condition of your windows. If you’ve become more aware of external noise, and your home no longer enjoys the peace and quiet that it used to, a window MOT could make a noticeable difference.

4. Operational Issues

In old houses that have seen many owners, lots of rounds of decoration, and layers of paint, sash windows are often found to be sealed shut. Conversely, some windows can be opened but won’t stay in an open position! Restoration can help to strip back the windows, un-sticking them and improving their fit so that you can open your windows as much, or as little, as you like. By doing this you can improve ventilation, and control the temperature of the room better in the warmer months; quite literally a breath of fresh air!

5. Aesthetics

Period windows have the ability to enhance a room, bringing classic proportions and a gentle nod to historical architecture, all while performing their more practical functions. Even if your sashes are in full working order, you may feel that they’re not quite matching their former glory. Perhaps it’s time to consider some new hardware, a lick of paint or an update to your window dressings. Small changes can make a big difference.


men repairing sash windows


Refurbishing your timber windows is not just about restoring their appearance but also about improving functionality and energy efficiency. Addressing issues like decay, drafts, and operational difficulties is essential. Additionally, consider taking the opportunity to upgrade to double glazing during the refurbishment process. This investment will not only enhance the aesthetics of your home but also contribute to long-term energy savings and increased comfort. Embrace the charm of timber windows while enjoying the benefits of modern technology to create a home that is both timeless and efficient.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have your sash windows inspected by a professional. In some cases, simple repairs may be all that is needed to get your windows functioning properly again. In other cases, replacement may be necessary.

When it comes to sash window repair or replacement, it’s important to choose a reputable and experienced professional. At Ventrolla we are passionate about wooden window renovation. We offer advice on renovation and repair projects and, if needed, can hand-make bespoke new windows to preserve original styles and match the proportions and detail of your wooden period windows.

If you have wooden sash or casement windows and would like to find out more about our services, you can contact our team and we’ll be happy to help.


FAQs about timber window repair

1. Why do timber windows need to be repaired?

Timber windows can suffer from a range of issues, including rot, weather damage, and wear and tear. Repairing these issues can extend the lifespan of the windows, and help to maintain their appearance and functionality.

2. How do I know if my timber windows need repair?

Signs that your timber windows may need repair include visible rot or decay, difficulty opening or closing the windows, drafts or leaks around the windows, and visible damage to the window frame or glass.

3. Can I repair my timber windows myself?

It is possible to repair timber windows yourself, but it can be a complex process that requires some skill and experience. If you are unsure of your ability to repair your windows safely and effectively, it is best to consult a professional.

4. What are the benefits of repairing timber windows?

Repairing timber windows can help to extend their lifespan, maintain their appearance, and improve their energy efficiency. Additionally, repairing windows can be more cost-effective than replacing them entirely.

5. How much does it cost to repair timber windows?

The cost of repairing timber windows can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the size of the windows. It is best to consult a professional for an accurate quote.

6. How long does it take to repair timber windows?

The time it takes to repair timber windows can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the size of the windows. It is best to consult a professional like Ventrolla for an estimate of the timeframe involved.

7. Can timber windows be repaired if they are very old?

Timber windows can often be repaired, even if they are very old. However, it may be necessary to replace some parts of the window, and the repair process may be more complex.

8. How can I prevent my timber windows from needing repair in the future?

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and repainting the windows, can help to prevent the need for repairs. Additionally, addressing issues such as leaks or drafts as soon as they arise can help to prevent further damage to the windows.