For anybody not aware of what a Sash Window is, you could always check the Wikipedia entry for Sash Windows. But for a quick intro to Sash Windows, keep reading. They were invented around 400 years ago, they usually have a sliding mechanism where by the upper, lower or both sections of the Window move up and down rather than in and out like a modern Window. They are usually always made from wood, although some modern versions in uPVC have been manufactured.
One of the issues with Sash Windows is that although they do look very nice in a period property, they are more reliant on regular maintenance unlike a uPVC Windows. What this means for Landlords is that if you have a rental property with them installed, you need to be aware of what you’re going to do about the maintenance of these Windows since they could become very expensive to replace if they are not taken care of on a regular basis and well looked after. Not everybody has the greatest tenants in the World, nor should it be left to the tenant to keep up with the maintenance of the Sash Windows so you have a dilemma. If you have regular breaks within the tenancy, this would be an ideal opportunity to have some maintenance work carried out on them. However, if you tend to rent the property for long durations, beyond 2-3 years, then you will need to consider how best to work with your tenants to be able to keep up the maintenance, since not all tenants will feel comfortable with the upkeep.
If you choose to carry out the maintenance yourself, you will obviously need to gain access to the inside of the property to carry out checks and maintenance as well as being able to check the external facing areas. There is also an interesting article here about taking care of a properties Sash Windows in the Winter months which is also relevant to maintenance in a rental property.
- Tidy up the areas around your Sash Windows paying particular attention to any plants that may have been growing up around the walls of your Windows. These will inevitably end up dying during the cold spell and could cause problems with the paint and wood.
- Once you’ve cleared the Sash Windows, take a look at the condition of the Windows. If the paint looks to be in good condition and there are no obvious problems with the Windows, you should be proud of yourself. However, if there are any problems such as flaking paint, now is the time to consider repainting the Windows that are causing you concern.
- On the side of the Sash Windows, make sure they are fully closed and firmly secured. Now run your hand around the inside of the Sashes and the Frame and see if you can feel any drafts at all. If you do not know how to do this yourself, getting in a specialist Sash Windows Company to fix any draught issues you may have will save you potentially many tens if not hundreds of pounds on your fuel bills over the Winter months.
- Whilst the weather is still reasonable, going over the Sash Windows and giving them a really good final clean before the Winter conditions set in will save you added trouble doing it when the weather is much colder.
- Maybe too late for this Winter, but if you still have your existing Sash Windows including the single glazed glass. Investing in Double Glazed Sash Windows which only requires minor work to the Sash Windows Frames and replacement Double Glazed Sashes, could potentially make your home a much warmer place and saving you many hundreds of pounds off of your heating bills.
One other option, probably a little drastic especially when the Windows that are in place at present are in good condition would be to have them replaced for the less maintenance intensive uPVC Windows, although we personally would not advise them. Although it seems like a good option now, but there is every opportunity that you may want to sell the property in years to come and having the existing Sash Windows in place will help increase the value of the property. Another issue that is little explained by the Double Glazing salesmen is that a regular uPVC Window will have a shelf life of around 10-20 years, where as a well maintained Sash Window should in theory last anywhere from 30-60 years if looked after. Although this is a very conservative estimate since there are some original Sash Windows in period properties owned and maintained by the National Trust, such as Ham House with it’s Sash Windows which date back a few hundred years.
If you are having any problems with your Sash Windows, it can be expensive getting them back into full working order. For information and advice on Repairs, Replacement and even Double Glazing your Wooden Sash Windows. There is only one website you can rely on – SashWindowsGuide.co.uk.