Every now and again, the UK and much of the world beyond realises that a certain design or décor element we’ve been relying on for generations really cannot be improved upon. And when this happens, it becomes the new ‘in-thing’ for those looking to outfit their homes with the most desirable features and accents, regardless of the fact that they’d have otherwise never given the idea so much as a second thought.
A prime example to illustrate the point – here we are at the foot of 2015 and classic sash windows have once again stepped into the spotlight and become a fabulously fashionable feature. From Hampton Court Palace to Kensington Palace and the vast majority of stately homes up and down Britain, sash windows have been around since before most modern buildings were even in blueprint form.
For those not up to speed on the subject, sash windows are the types of windows where the panes of glass are mounted in a ‘sash’ and can slide either side to side or up and down to open. They’re the quintessentially classic windows found on country cottages and vintage city abodes up and down the country, though have only just begun to once again creep out as a window style of choice for refurbs and upgrades.
Which of course begs the obvious question – why? Do sash windows have any genuine benefits above and beyond standard windows, or is it just another case of a flash in the pan fad?
Well, first and foremost it’s worth taking into account that when sash windows are added to a property, its overall aesthetic value climbs a considerable peg or two. New windows and doors will always give any home a wholly new dynamic and can represent a major overhaul in their own right. But in the case of sash windows, there’s very little out there that can replicate this kind of old-school charm and classical elegance, which harks back to a simpler time missed by most. So if the time has come to lavish the home’s exterior with a touch of timeless elegance, sash windows could be the way to go.
For any window to be of any real use against the great British elements, it needs to be versatile on a quite unique level. Sash windows may not leap out as the most versatile inventions ever to grace the UK, but in terms of year-round usefulness around the home, they’re pretty unrivalled. The reason being that while it’s perfectly possible to open a sash window fully in the summer for maximum ventilation, it’s also possible to close them to just the very narrowest gap in poorer weather. As such, essential ventilation can continue even when the elements are doing their thing outside with no risk of moisture making its way inside.
The unique way in which a sash window is manufactured and used makes it particularly hardy against the tests of time. Normally, a window’s functional areas and hinges are fully exposed to the outside world and therefore susceptible to corrosion, warping, rot and other kinds of slow but steady damage. With a sash window however, everything is encased and therefore much better protected against all environmental pressures.
In tests, modern sash windows created using the best double glazing on the market have proved consistently more resistant to attack than their conventional counterparts. Not only are sash windows generally impossible to unlock and open form the outside, but they are also considerably harder to gain entry through by breakage. The reason being that several smaller windows surrounded by several additional frames make for a much bigger challenge than a single sheet of glass of a much larger size. So in terms of peace of mind, sash windows take the prize once again.
Last but not least, one of the biggest benefits of all that come with modern sash windows is the way in which they have the potential to significantly increase any given property’s value. Sash windows are increasingly being looked toward as a sign of good taste and timeless elegance, adding that certain special something to pretty much any property they grace. So where there’s bound to be some level of expense in getting them installed in the first place, there’s a very good chance all such costs will be repaid further down the line.
Or in other words, it’s the kind of rare investment that promises to go on giving generous returns for the long-term.