In the UK we are lucky enough to still have thousands of houses which are Victorian or older. Most of these have the old style sash windows – unless they have been replaced by UPVC windows. While the plastic double glazed units are good at keeping in the heat, they can destroy the look of an older property and in some cases may not be allowed due to planning restrictions. So how can you repair your wooden windows, retain the style and good looks of your windows, while also getting the benefits of modern draught excluding double glazed units?
Specialist companies exist which will both repair and upgrade your sash windows to get them up to modern specifications. In most cases they take the following steps to offer the best of both worlds:
- Remove the window from the sash box and scrape away any rotten timbers to expose the good wood.
- New wood will be spliced in where required or the holes are filled and moulded to match the timber.
- The sash cords are replaced and the glass is resealed.
- The window can then be upgraded by adding a bead around all the railings. This will prevent the window from rattling and keep the heat in.
- Secondary glazing can also be installed on the inside of the property. This will mean that the sash window will still look the same from the outside, but the look on the inside may be lost.
- Secondary glazing units can be the sort which lifts out or they can be sliding units.
If you want to improve the look and performance of your sash window without having the expense of getting an expert in, then there is plenty you can do. Taking your sash window apart may be a difficult task, but the window can be repaired while still in place.
- Simply sand down the wood and remove any rotten sections.
- Carefully use filler in any holes and sand down until it matches the profile of the sill or rail.
- Use a primer and wood preservative and then paint over with a good outdoor paint.
- The putty holding in the glass can also be scraped away and replaced if necessary.
- Window furniture such as handles and locks can be found in DIY stores and can be easily replaced.
If your cords are broken it is possible to replace these yourself. Remove the beading at the bottom of the sash, cut the cord and remove the sash in one piece. Remove the old cords from the sash and detach them from the weights. Drop the new cords through the sides of the sash and tie them to the weights. Ensure each cord is the same length and sits straight. Fit the sash back into place and replace the beading.