Est. 1999

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About Woodmaster Joinery

Woodmaster Joinery has been in operation since 1999. We operate from a workshop unit in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and can work with local conservation officers in all the areas we cover.

We ensure that the repair and restoration work that we carry out is in sympathy with the appearance of the building and that only appropriate materials are used. Our objective make sure that the work we carry out for you lasts a long, long time.

To find out more about us, please visit the main Woodmaster Joinery website

About Sash Windows - a history

sash windows

A sash window or hung sash window is made of one or more movable panels or sashes that form a frame to hold panes of glass, which are often separated from other panes (or lights) by narrow muntins.[1] Although any window with this style of glazing is technically a sash, the term is used almost exclusively to refer to windows where the glazed panels are opened by sliding vertically, or horizontally in a style known as a Yorkshire light, sliding sash or sash and case (so called because the weights are concealed in a box case). The design of the sash window is attributed to the English scientist and inventor, Robert Hooke.[2] The oldest surviving examples of sash windows were installed in England in the 1670s, for example at Ham House.[3]

The sash window is often found in Georgian and Victorian houses, and the classic arrangement has three panes across by two up on each of two sashes, giving a six over six panel window, although this is by no means a fixed rule. Innumerable late Victorian and Edwardian suburban houses were built in England using standard sash window units approximately 4 feet (1.2m) in width, but older, hand-made units could be of any size, as the image illustrates. It consists of an upper and lower sash that slide vertically in separate grooves in the side jambs or in full-width metal weatherstripping. This type of window provides a maximum face opening for ventilation of one-half the total window area. Each sash is provided with springs, counterweights, or compliant weatherstripping to hold it in place in any location.[4]

To facilitate operation, the weight of the glazed panel is usually balanced by a heavy steel, lead, or cast iron sash weight or counter-weight concealed within the window frame. The sash weight is connected to the window by a sash cord or chain that runs over a pulley at the top of the frame, although spring balances are sometimes used. Sash windows may be fitted with simplex hinges, which allow the window to be locked into hinges on one side while the counterbalance on the other site is detached, allowing the window to be opened for escape or cleaning.

Construction is usually of softwood, and units are generally single glazed; although double-glazed sashes are available it is more common for single-glazed sash windows to be replaced with top-hung casements when double glazing is retro-fitted. Some top-hung double-glazed units are manufactured to give the appearance of sashes.

raditional problems with wooden sash windows include rot, swelling or distortion of the woodwork, rattling in the wind (due to shrinkage of the wood), and problems brought on by careless application of paint. The sliding mechanism makes sash windows more vulnerable to these problems than traditional casement windows. Sash windows are relatively high maintenance, but offer advantages in return (looks, abides by laws (relating to older houses and buildings), natural resources etc.). It is also possible to clean all the glass from within the building by sliding the two panes to different positions.

A significant advantage of sash windows is that they provide efficient cooling of interiors during warm weather. Opening both the top and bottom of a sash window by equal amounts allows warm air at the top of the room to escape, thus drawing relatively cool air from outside into the room through the bottom opening.

Article references:

sash windows
  1. Ching, Francis (1997). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-02462-2;
  2. Louw, HJ, Architectural History, Vol. 26, 1983 (1983), pp. 49-72+144-150 JSTOR and BBC;
  3. The Gardens of Ham House, London Gardens Trust;
  4. Old House Web (source website inactive, last checked 12 Aug 2019).

Source and full article:

Wikipedia (text reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License).

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Sash window repair and restoration in Hitchin, Letchworth, Bedford, Cambridge, Welwyn Garden City, St Albans, Hatfield, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Royston and Luton