How Do Sash Windows Work Tips, Home Glazing Advice, Property Glass Help

How Do Sash Windows Work – Terms You Need To Know

18 Dec 2020

A sash window has one or more movable panels that make up a frame. It contains glasses of various types. Between them are glazing strips and profiled wood elements, which affect the aesthetic look of the glass unit and the functions it performs.

Most experts say that sash vinyl windows are the best fit for Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian architectural home styles. These home designs are focused on balance, proportion, and classical ornamentation, where sash windows perform exceptionally well due to their structure, which typically features multiple glass panes divided by wooden glazing bars, enhancing these homes’ aesthetics.

Contemporary sash windows are installed in living rooms and bedrooms for their elegance, functionality, and versatility. These units offer superior ventilation, abundant natural light, and excellent insulation, while their timeless look complements the overall historic charm and period features of the previously mentioned home architectural styles.

sash windows house facade

What is a Sash Window?

A classic sash window consists of various parts, including:

  • windowsill;
  • idles;
  • weights;
  • cords;
  • wooden plate.

The combination of these elements provides a unique look of a glass unit. When every detail works properly, the window opens well, does not let cold air through and does not fog up. Otherwise, it is worth considering a sash windows repair.

How do sash windows work – movement guide

To make the windows open and close easier, a counterweight made of steel, cast iron or lead is used. It is connected using a cord, which is braided into a braid and is passed through the upper part of the pulley along the upper idle. When another element is added to the lower part of the glass unit, the structure is complete. Weights are divided evenly to make movements of sash windows smooth.

Weights are not visible, since they are located inside the wooden plate. They form the main frame of an insulating glass unit. This ensures the aesthetic look of the windows. A classic window sill or horizontal wooden board is installed near the base of each sash. It is made at a certain angle, so that water flows down during rain and doesn’t accumulate near the frame. If the window sill is installed incorrectly, the wooden elements of the glass unit will get wet and rot. In this case, you will have to repair rotted window sash.

Timber windows terms you need to know

A window consists of several elements:

  • upper idle (horizontal frame located in the upper part of the glass unit);
  • a sash cord (an element necessary to hold weights, it is fixed with a pulley wheel);
  • pockets for weights (wooden plate, located in the side parts of the windows, in which weights are placed);
  • dividing board (an elongated window sill designed to align the sashes and keep the upper part stable);
  • idles (elements that connect sashes in the middle of the window);
  • horizontal window sill (a board adjacent to the outer part of the sash). Due to its shape, water flows down without staying at the window;
  • weights (they are made of lead or other materials and are located on both sides of the cords of the sashes; they are designed to balance both sashes);
  • Wooden plate (it is a component of the casing of the glass unit frame; it’s hollow, due to which weights are placed inside);
  • pulley wheels (the sash cord passes over it, on which the weights are placed).

If at least one of the listed items is damaged, you will need timber sash window repairs.

Repairing and Restoring Sash Windows

Repairing windows yourself is dangerous. To return a wooden glass unit to its original state, you should contact a professional company. Particular difficulties in wood window sash repair may be caused by cord breaks. To gain access to the damaged element, it is necessary to disassemble half of the glass unit. It’s impossible to do it without relevant experience.

Sash windows look very attractive, but if there are any problems, the house owners rush to completely replace the glass unit. To preserve the look of the window and save the family budget, it is enough to find a breakdown and fix it.

Comments on this How Do Sash Windows Work guide article are welcome.

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