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 

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