Why does it matter?
You might be wondering why you should care which era your sash windows are from. Firstly, it is an issue of style. Period homes need to have matching fixtures for aesthetics. If you know your home is from the Georgian era, for instance, you should check your windows are Georgian styled rather than Victorian.
It also affects their value. A Victorian home with post-Edwardian sash windows will be valued lower than one with the correct windows installed. This extends to period homes with uPVC windows too. Made since around the 1960s, uPVC windows do not have a matching period. They are simply an unauthentic alternative to real wooden sash windows.
Starting with Georgian…
While sash windows were used in the Stuart period, they were very rudimentary and have mostly been replaced by now. Georgian sash windows are the oldest we see today. They feature the classic six-paned style of other Georgian windows. However, rather than the full window having six panes, each sash is made up in this style.
This multiple-pane design was necessary because larger panes of glass were very difficult to manufacture at the time. Six panes made it easier to create bigger windows, and has now become a stylish option replicated in many modern windows. A wooden pediment, or stone header over your sash windows, is also a sign of their Georgian roots.
Into the Victorian era
One of the major developments heading into Queen Victoria’s reign was the enhancement of glass production methods – namely, plate glass. Larger panes of glass could be made, meaning each sash of the window could be made up of just two glass panels with one glazing bar.
The abolishment of the window tax in 1851 also meant that many late Victorian sash windows were produced larger than the standard sash. In this case, windows had several panels, but in a noticeably different style to the Georgian windows. Four, eight and sometimes 12 or 16 panels were used to make windows larger and allow in more light – a phenomenon that continued into the Edwardian era.
Retaining the beauty of original sash windows
Following the Edwardian era and the First World War, sash windows became less popular – mainly because they weren’t suitable for new housing styles. But there are still thousands which remain in Georgian and Victorian homes. It’s important to restore these original windows, not only for aesthetics, but also for the value of the property.
At Fortis & Hooke, we offer a full restoration service for wooden sash windows. Our team of experts can renew the beauty and function of your windows without resorting to unauthentic replacements. If your windows are in need of repair or restoration, we would love to speak to you. Book your free, no-obligation survey today.