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Noisy neighbours, cold
draughts and rising energy bills frustrating problems faced by almost every
property owner at some point. Homeowners with sash windows are no different.
Whilst double glazing may seem like the perfect answer, those with sash windows
may face several issues, including preserving the heritage of their home and
legal restrictions to listed properties.

In this post, we take
a closer look at the main benefits of double glazing, the problems faced by sash
window owners and what they can do to overcome these issues…

The benefits of double
glazing

Since
2002, homes with replacement glazing options must comply with Building
Regulations that ensure adequate thermal and ventilation standards. Due its
insulation properties, it is no surprise that double glazing has become a
popular choice for homeowners. The number of amazing benefits, include:

Improve heat insulation

Double-glazed
windows have two sheets of glass with a gap typically around 16mm. When fully
sealed, that gap acts as an effective barrier between your home and the outside
elements. It helps homes stay cooler in summer and warmer in the winter. Whatever the
weather the temperature of your property stays regulated.

According to a Which? survey, 51% of people who now have double glazing said they originally bought it to make their property warmer.

Save on
energy bills

This improved insulation also helps homeowners save money. Because your
home keeps heat in, you won’t need to use as much gas or electricity to maintain
a comfortable temperature. The same is true for air conditioning in the summer,
so you’ll see a significant reduction to your energy bills all year round.

If you eventually want to put your property on the market, this can be a
major selling point. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint, so you can
lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Soundproof
your property

If you
live near a busy residential area or have noisy neighbours, you’ll understand
how important it is to have an extra layer of soundproofing in your home. As
double-glazed windows are thicker, they act as an extra barrier to help reduce
noise pollution from outside your property.

Prolong
the life of your interiors

This barrier is also a fantastic way to prolong the life your interior
furnishings. Too much sunlight can damage fabric and wood over time, because of
the UV rays. An extra pane on your window will act as protective, glare-proof
layer for your home.

Limit condensation

The
benefits don’t stop there. When warm air meets cold surfaces, the moisture is
drawn out of the air, condensing on the cold surface. Condensation can be
unsightly in any home and even messy as it rolls off the windows. It’s common
on single glazed windows because they are typically cold on the inside.
However, with double glazing, the gap between the two panes stops the interior
pane becoming as cold as the outside of your home, eliminating condensation.

Why double glazing is
problematic for sash windows

Despite
the wonders of double glazing, it’s not always suitable for every type of home.
Standard double glazing comes with serious drawbacks for period properties with
sash windows. As the gap is often too small on original sash window frames, the
double-glazed panel can’t be installed without damaging the original wood.

Double
glazing can also be an issue for listed properties or homes in conservation
areas. Listed properties are considered to be nationally important buildings,
whether for their historical interest or special architecture.

These
properties are subject to various regulations to protect their original
structure and style. This includes the whole building, attached structures and
fixtures as well as any extensions.

Needless to say, those regulations include the original windows and glass. By adding modern PVC double glazed units and removing the traditional wooden window structure, you could diminish the heritage. To work on windows, owners will need to apply for Listed Building Consent.

Are there alternatives
to double glazing?

Quite
often, these problems force homeowners to look for alternatives. In truth,
there are a few options to choose from without the need for replacements.

Additional
shutters can be a great way to reduce external noise and improve insulation.
Another way to add a thermal layer is with lined curtains. However, both
options reduce the amount of daylight in the property.

Secondary
glazing is another option. This adds an extra glazed panel on the inside of the
window frame to help reduce noise and improve thermal retention. However, it
can often look out of place in period homes.

Repairs to original
windows

Fortunately,
there is an alternative to these makeshift solutions for period property
owners. Working with the window specialists at Fortis & Hooke, you can
avoid unnecessary sash window replacements, whilst restoring them to their
former glory. Using our expert techniques combined with traditional carpentry,
we restore the functionality and the aesthetic appeal of your original
features. 

We
achieve this by making repairs to the damaged construction joints, windowsill,
middle rail, bottom rail and of course the window frame. To add extra thermal
insulation, we also use our specialist Fortis DS Perimeter Draught Sealing
System.

Adding double glazing

However,
the big question is: can you add double glazing to original windows?

At
Fortis & Hooke, we offer glass replacement services including low-e glass, which is typically
used in double glazing. This option has a metallic coating, which helps retain
40% more heat compared to standard double glazing.

Not only
does this act as a thermal barrier, it means you get all the benefits of
standard double-glazed units without the unsightly look – retaining both the
heritage and beauty of original windows.

If you
are the proud owner of a listed building, the expert team at Fortis & Hook
can also help you apply for permission with local authorities. With years of
experience, we understand the process from start to finish, so we can make sure
you have the best chance of a successful application.

Speak to the window
experts

Whether
it’s guiding you through the listed building permission process or restoring
your period property with our long-lasting double-glazing, Fortis & Hooke
are here to help with your original sash windows.

Our
professional team have a genuine passion for sash window restoration and work
hard to retain the beauty of your period properties. To find out more about our
services or to arrange a free consultation, get in touch with the friendly team
today on 0800 313 4688 or info@fortishooke.co.uk. 

Pieter Boyce

Pieter Boyce

Wooden Window and Door Specialist

This article has been written on behalf of Fortis & Hooke by Pieter Boyce. Find out more about Pieter and his wooden window and door consultancy services at www.boultonboyce.co.uk

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