Sash windows have been a traditional feature of period houses in Britain for over 300 years and can tell you a lot about the history of a property. With an increasing interest in conserving the historic craftsmanship of period windows, we’re keen to preserve the aesthetic appeal they embody.
Ventrolla are specialists in the renovation of timber windows and work on a variety of styles from a range of eras.
So how do you identify the type of windows you have and the period they originate from?
There are three main styles that were developed over three eras.
The single-hung sash is the oldest design dating back to the early 1800s and has only one section that moves. The Georgian’s were then responsible for developing this style into the double-hung sash which was an architectural feature that carried forwards into the Victorian and Edwardian eras too. Both sections (sashes) open and close using a weight and pulley system, and have many variations of panes of glass, eg.; six-over six, four-over-four, nine-over-nine and six-over-two etc.
The Georgians particularly favoured the six-over-six design of the double-hung sash window and introduced smaller panes being separated by a number of glazing bars to the style. In contrast, during the Victorian era you then found sash windows had one large pane of glass in each sash, and they chose to feature larger sashes on the ground floor and smaller sashes in upper storeys. At this time, due to a heavy window tax, the size of your window pane was seen as an indicator of your wealth. However, the Edwardian era adopted a multi-pane approach to their sashes by using multiple panes on the upper sash and a single pane of glass on the lower sash.
In contrast to these windows is the horizontal sliding sash, which has two sashes that slide sideways on tracks rather than up and down, negating the need for pulleys and weights. This design is far less common than the vertical sashes and does not belong to a period of history as such. However, if you live in Yorkshire, this could be the type of window that sits in your house as it is thought this is where the design originated from, often referred to as a ‘Yorkshire Slider’.
Casement windows (side hung ‘normal’ windows) were around long before the sash window, when they often consisted of leaded glazing bar detail and smaller glass panes like the Georgian sashes, and were installed into simple, unglazed openings. Towards the mid-19th century timber casement windows became even more elaborately designed with gothic arches, small panes and shaped woodwork detailing such as scrolls and fleur-de-lis.
Similarly to the sash window, as time progressed the smaller glass panes were replaced in popularity by larger single panes, resulting in the modern casement window style we know today.
If you have been unable to relate your windows to any of the above styles, this may be that your windows are a variation on these standard designs. During each era, Architects developed their own interpretations of the single-hung, double- hung, horizontal sliding sash windows and casement windows, which led to additional forms.
Ventrolla offers bespoke renovation services for timber windows of all shapes and sizes, helping to preserve the history of your windows whilst bringing them up to modern energy performance levels with options such as draught-proofing and sympathetic slim double glazing.