What Are Sash Windows?

What Are Sash Windows?

Sash windows, often seen gracing traditional buildings, are charming windows that open vertically and add character to any home.

They feature 2 framed window sashes, set one behind the other, and are often known as “sliding-sash windows.”

The sashes glide up and down in their frames, which are cleverly designed using vertical grooves to ensure smooth, frictionless movement. The movement is gracefully achieved through the use of counterbalances, which are weights connected by cords & pulleys, ingeniously concealed inside the frame.

In some instances, these are displayed inside the window, though that’s a lot less common.

Unlike hinged windows, sliding-sash windows don’t swing outwards, though modern versions may tilt inward for easy cleaning.

Sash Window Designs

Glazing bars play a significant role in sash windows, contributing to that quintessentially English look found in Edwardian and Georgian homes. These are the horizontal & vertical wooden strips that hold together smaller glass panes, creating a larger window. This design was born out of necessity in earlier times when glassmaking was rudimentary, and only small glass panes were feasible.

Today, though we can produce much larger glass panes, the charm of traditional windows is often desired, especially in heritage properties. Modern sash windows replicate this classic look with single large panes overlaid with window bars to mimic the historical style. Innovations like ultra-thin double glazing, enhance this illusion, making the windows appear as if they’re made from just a single glazed unit.

What Are The Different Types Of Sash Windows?

Sash windows come in various styles, each reflecting the architectural trends of different historical periods. The type you choose should complement your home’s design and the era it represents or emulates.

There are quite a few different types of sash window, here are 3 of the most common ones:

Georgian-Sash Windows

Georgian-Sash Windows

These windows are recognised for their 6/6 pane arrangement, featuring 2 window units, with each unit having 6 glass panes.

This design epitomizes the Georgian era’s symmetry and proportion in architecture.

Half Georgian-Sash Windows

Similar to Georgian sash windows, a half Georgian sash window typically features a 6/1 pane arrangement.

Victorian-Sash Windows

Victorian-Sash Windows

Victorian sash windows typically showcase a 2/2 design, where each window unit comprises 2 large panes, divided by a vertical glazing bar.

This style reflects the Victorian penchant for simpler, yet elegant designs.

Edwardian-Sash Windows

Edwardian sash windows often feature a 6/2 design. Reflecting the era’s emphasis on spaciousness and light, these windows usually have larger lower units made from 2 panes of glass, allowing more light to enter.

The upper sashes follow the Georgian style with 6 panes.

Sash Window Gallery (click to enlarge image)

Considering Sash Windows For Your Home?

If you’re thinking about getting sash windows for your home, get in touch with our team. We have a wide service area, covering: Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire & North Essex.


How do sash windows work?

Sash windows work by featuring two framed window sashes set one behind the other, which glide up and down in vertical grooves within the frame. This smooth movement is facilitated by counterbalances, typically weights connected by cords and pulleys, hidden inside the frame.

What does ‘sash’ mean on a window?

‘Sash’ on a window refers to the individual framed units that make up the window. In sash windows, there are typically two sashes – one in front and one behind – that slide vertically to open and close the window.

What is the difference between sash and casement windows?

The difference between sash and casement windows lies in their opening mechanism. Sash windows slide vertically, with framed window sashes moving up and down. In contrast, casement windows are hinged at the sides and swing outwards or inwards, like a door.

Why do people like sash windows?

A lot of people like sash windows for their classic charm and elegance, particularly in traditional buildings. They offer a distinct aesthetic that adds character to homes, especially with their unique glazing bars and pane arrangements that evoke historical styles.

Are sash windows hard to open?

Sash windows are not typically hard to open. Their design incorporates counterbalances within the frame, which aid in a smooth, frictionless movement of the sashes. However, ease of opening can depend on the window’s condition and maintenance.

Are sash windows warm?

Sash windows can be warm, especially modern versions that often incorporate advanced features like ultra-thin double glazing. While traditional sash windows might not have been as effective in insulation, contemporary designs enhance thermal efficiency, making them more suitable for retaining warmth.

What is a sash window hidden spring system?

A sash window hidden spring system is a mechanism that uses springs, typically spiral-shaped rods concealed within the window frame, to facilitate the opening and closing of the window. This system replaces the traditional weight and pulley systems found in older sash windows. It is particularly useful in modern buildings where there may not be enough space to accommodate the larger traditional sash box. The springs are adjustable to match the weight of the window, allowing for easy and lightweight operation.