Can traditional sash windows be repaired?
Period timber windows and doors can almost always be repaired and restored.
To repair sash windows is usually far less expensive than to replace existing windows. Repairing a heritage window is also the best way to preserve the character and architectural significance of a period home.
Our sash window repair service is very extensive and so we can usually repair sash windows, casements and doors much more economically than replacing them. Indeed many old windows that our customers had thought to be beyond repair have been repaired and restored to good working order. For over 20 years we have been experts at sash window repairs, rebuilding rotten bay windows, replacing window sills, curing wood rot, renewing broken sash window cords as well as replacing broken glass.
Replace or repair old sash windows?
The timber used in the past was slow growth, high quality durable wood that should be preserved whenever possible. The quality of this old timber is why so many heritage windows and doors are still in use today. Unfortunately many of the modern replacement timber windows on the market may need replacement after only twenty years or so.
Victorian sash windows often feature ornate timber moulding that are very costly to replicate. Repairing your windows will ensure that these fine details are preserved, retaining the charm of your period property.
How We Repair Wooden Windows
Wood rot is the most common problem associated with period windows and doors. Failure of the paintwork or glazing putty allows water to penetrate, creating ideal conditions for wet rot or insect attack.
We utilise a range of products during our sash window repair and restoration projects. Time proven traditional repair methods of cutting out rotten wood and splicing in new timber are greatly improved after being bonded with modern products, such as epoxy resins and glues. Our repair work is of the highest possible standard to ensure that we create a permanent, long lasting repair.
Repair Sash Window Counter Balance Systems
Sash Cords / Ropes
Replacing snapped sash cords is a routine sash window repair procedure that can often be completed by a competent do-it-yourself handyman. In fact this website, and our company has grown on the back of our diy guide, explaining how to replace sash cords. First published in the 1990’s this was the first sash window repair guide ever published on the internet!
Traditional sash cords are made from a waxed cotton rope that will perish over time due to wear and ultra-violet light exposure. UV from the sun weakens the natural fibres in these traditional cords and so ultimately they all snap. The modern replacement sash cords that we fit as standard are far more durable and UV stable, ensuring they last far longer than waxed cotton cords.
Whilst we can replace just the sash cords in your sliding sash windows the best value for money repair service that we can offer is our Draught Sealing & Sash Window Overhaul Service. In most cases this service is chosen, by our customers, over just replacing the sash cords as this service also rectifies other common problems associated with sliding sash windows. Draught seal & overhaul not only replaces the sash cords but also upgrades the energy efficiency with concealed draught seals and ensures the window is preserved and restored to face many more years of trouble free use.
Sash Window Spring Balance
There are a variety of spring balances that have been incorporated into sliding sash windows since the 1950’s. These can be a little more tricky to fit than sash cords and often diy handymen or carpenters fail to get them right. The replacement balances are manufactured in a range of lengths and weight ranges to suit the glazed window sash. Sash Window Specialist can replace broken spring balances to repair sash windows that incorporate all types of spring balances.
Repair Rotten Windows
Repair Rotten Window Sill
The most common area of rot development is the window sill, fortunately we are expert at replacing rotten sills. We utilise a range of products during our sill repair projects. The traditional methods of splicing in a new hardwood sill are greatly improved by bonding the repaired sections using modern solutions such as epoxy resins & polyurethane glues. We select all of our materials to ensure we provide a durable, permanent repair that will last for many years to come.
Repair Window Sash
Unlike with aluminium or uPVC windows a wide range of repairs are possible with traditional wooden windows.
Timber Bay Windows
Timber bay windows protrude from the building line which makes them more exposed to the elements. Being more exposed, along with the additional joints in the window frames, often means that bay windows rot more quickly than other period window types. To replace these windows is always an expensive project because they comprise at least three individual windows joined together. Bay windows also support a structure above them that must be supported during replacement.
Rebuild & Repair Bay Windows
Sash Window Specialist have economically rebuilt many rotten bay window frames with either casement or double-hung sashes. First we must remove all rotten wood, which generally includes removing all of the existing window sills and a significant part of the vertical timbers. A replacement hardwood window sill can then be fitted and splice repairs performed to rebuild the lower vertical sections. Bespoke replacement sash frames or casements are then installed into the repaired bay window frames. Our bespoke sashes and casements are supplied paint finished with low-e double glazing or single glazed for conservation areas. All of our window renovations are draught sealed as standard.
How We Repair A Victorian Bay Sash Window
Repair Period Doors, Door Frames and Side Lights.
Sash Window Specialist do not only repair wooden windows we also repair period doors including front doors, patio doors and french doors. The same skills required to repair wooden windows are employed to repair rotten doors and door frames. We also ease and adjust the door to ensure it is not binding and that the door locks properly align.
See more examples of our door refurbishment & repair work.
Modern Repair Materials
Using Epoxy to Repair Wooden Windows
Using epoxy resin to repair rotten wood has a proven track record from the shipwrights who have use it extensively to repair wooden boats. We use the same marine grade epoxy resins to repair rotten windows & doors. Epoxy can be cut and shaped to match damaged mouldings or used to bond open sash joints. Whilst it is an expensive product it does offer a superior wood repair that will last decades, unlike the cheap polyester based 2 part fillers or ‘builders bog’ that does not bond nearly so well. Used alone or combined with a timber splice or dutchman (embedded timber block) the epoxy bonds extremely well to the original wood ensuring a long lasting permanent fix.
Epoxy resins provide an advanced solution to rectify timber defects and repair rotten windows or doors.
Replace Broken Glass
We undertake glass repair and glazing upgrade work as part of our renovation services. From simple squares to curved glazing we can replace all types of broken glass in period homes. We can supply all glass types including coloured, etched and patterned. For single glazed properties in conservation areas we can often supply reclaimed hand made glass to ensure that modern float glass does not spoil the heritage appearance of the property.
Linseed putty is the traditional compound used on heritage glazing. When paintwork has been neglected the putty can dry out and crack allowing rain to soak into the wood, creating prime conditions for wet rot to develop. We can replace failed putty but it then needs 7-21 days to form a skin before paint can be applied. Due to this curing time the responsibility to over paint the putty is usually by others. The paint should extend beyond the edge of the putty and onto the glass by 1-2 mm.
It is seldom possible or economically viable to repair broken catches, pulleys or other window hardware. We can however replace most types of architectural ironmongery on doors, casement windows and sash windows.
Is it ‘window cill’ or ‘window sill’?
Whilst both spellings are correct “window sill” is now the most commonly used form. Architects and tradesmen still frequently use “window cill” as that spelling was commonly taught at technical colleges. Our website originally used ‘cill’ but all references have since been changed to ‘sill’ to reflect the most common form, however some of our branches may still reference ‘cill’ in their quotes and invoices.
What is the difference between a scarf joint and a splice joint?
Both splice joints and scarf joints are traditional methods used to join timber members end to end in woodworking. We use marine grade epoxy resins to glue and bond the joints, ensuring a long lasting repair.
Bespoke Replacement Windows & Doors
If your windows have rotten beyond sensible economic repair then we can copy the originals and manufacture our ‘Authentic Replica’ bespoke timber sash windows & doors. Our replica replacement windows are of the highest quality and constructed using traditional joinery construction methods. We offer joinery crafted from premium timbers including Accoya Wood that has a 50 year warranty.