The importance of original features in the home

Picture this: a tall, elegant, Period house, with spacious, light rooms, intricate ceiling roses and large bay windows. But instead of flaunting traditional box sash windows in-keeping with the other original features, the windows are plastic-edged double glazing, mass produced and about as unsympathetic to the house's history as a large satellite dish.

So why would anyone desecrate their original features like this? There is a misconception that sash windows are high maintenance, hard to use and ineffective at keeping wind and damp out and heat in. The rise in energy bills has perhaps given some homeowners an incentive to replace sash windows with more modern, double-glazed alternatives that maintain room temperature, prevent draughts and deaden outside noise.

What many people don't realise is that modern maintenance and repair methods for sash windows are so sophisticated that many of the problems associated with timber-framed windows are no longer valid.

Common misconceptions linked to Box Sash Windows include the belief that they will always let in draughts, therefore leading to increased heating bills as heat is lost through gaps in the frames. It is thought that in older houses around 20% of heat from a home escapes through windows. This may seem like a significant amount, but when you consider that the rest is lost through wooden floorboards, open chimneys and other ventilations, it's clear to see that double glazing alone won't solve these inefficiencies - but it will blight the appearance of your home, possibly even reducing its resale value.

The best modern, professional draught proofing method uses woven brush pile with a polypropylene backing and a central seal to stop dust and ingress. The process machine brushes pile carriers in to the new timber staff and parting beads and then slides the brush pile into the carrier and the old staff and parting beads are discarded. This offers the following benefits:

  1. Significant reductions in the amount of heat lost improving energy efficiency, cutting heating bills and lowering carbon emissions

  2. Reduces out sound outside noise

  3. Cancels out the irritation of rattling from loose-fitted sashes

  4. Ensures smooth sliding windows

  5. These enhancements will not affect the visual appearance of your sashes

Everyone makes a choice about the kind of house they live in. Those that chose to live in older buildings gain the benefit of residing in gracious, elegant buildings with history and character. Many believe that alongside this comes a responsibility to maintain these properties as sympathetically as possible.

Although this has to be balanced out with home comforts - no-one wants to shiver in their living rooms just to avoid making architectural changes - there is no need to struggle with this dilemma any more. Have your sash windows lovingly restored and you'll get the best of both worlds: a comfortable home and beautiful windows. And if nothing else, keeping your home's original features means you can keep shutting the door on the dreaded double glazing salesman!