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Sash windows provide a timeless way of getting more natural light and controlling airflow in your property. For these reasons, these are very popular in older properties. Thankfully, the mechanisms underlying sash windows haven’t changed too much over time. This means that it should be easy for you to restore an older sash window to its former glory. Sash window issues vary with location due to varying environmental exposures. Here’s how you can restore your sash window in Kent.

Know the regulations

If you have purchased an older property, you should make sure that it hasn’t been listed. To protect the heritage of the United Kingdom, the government lists historically important properties on a registry. If you suspect this might be the case, you should look up your address on this website. If you have a listed property, you might need to follow several restrictions during the renovation. For example, you might need to get approval before you start the project. You will also need to consider the kinds of materials that you use. Talking to a conservation officer will provide you with more clarity about your obligations.

Consider the condition of the frame

The first thing that you should do when restoring a sash window is to look at the condition of the frame. This will tell you how intensive the renovation will need to be. Some of the warning signs that you should be looking for include holes or a musty smell. These might be signs that the frame has started to rot. Once you spot this, you need to figure out how intensive the damaged area is. This will often determine whether the frame can be repaired, or if it needs to be replaced entirely. Depending on the extent of the damage, you might need to call in a professional company. Replacing a portion of the frame can be a very difficult process, so you want to make sure that you get someone who will be able to perform this procedure correctly.

Rotten frame

If the frame does show signs of rot, you might want to check the surrounding wall. If it has spread into walls of the building, it might be a structural problem. For this reason, you should make sure to contact a professional. They will be able to assess the extent of the damage and provide you with advice on how to best deal with the problem.

Warped frame

If the frame doesn’t appear to contain any major damage, you should make sure that it’s still square. You can do this using a level. This will let you know if it has been twisted out of shape over time. If this is the case, there are some things that you can do to fix the problem. Typically, all that is required is the use of a shim. These are small metal wedges that you can place into the window to keep it square. Once you are satisfied with the frame, you can move on with the sash window restoration.

Give it a new paint job

One of the best ways to change the way a window appears is to change the way that it has been painted. Before you remove the window and apply the paint, you might want to consider which colour you want to use. There are multiple factors to think about when making this decision. For example, you might want to consider the way you will style the rest of the room. Also, you might want to use paint testers. These are physical samples that you can place against the frame. This will give you an understanding of how it will look once the frame has been painted. You might also want to consult social media to provide you with plenty of styling inspiration.

Once you have decided which colour you want, you will need to apply it to the sash window. To do this, you will have to remove the window from its frame. Then, you will need to sand back any old paint. Once the old paint has been stripped back, you can apply the new colour. For the best results, you might want to paint with the grain. You should give the frame two coats of paint. Then, leave it to dry before applying the stain. This will help the window resist damage from sunlight or changes in the temperature. Finally, re-hang the window frame.

Check the seal

During your Kent sash window restoration, it’s important that you check the way that the windows have been sealed. This can have a big impact on how energy-efficient it will be. If the seal is cracked or broken, the window will be less efficient. This can have a big impact on your property. For example, you might have to use more resources to heat or cool the building. Once you spot a broken seal, it’s important that you take action. For example, you might want to contact a professional company and have them reseal the windows for you.

Clean the window

The final step is to make sure that the window is kept clean. This is fairly simple. First, you use a brush to remove any dirt or cobwebs from the frame. Then, mix water and detergent, before applying a damp sponge to the window. After this, you will need to use a squeegee to remove the water. To make sure that you don’t have streaks on the window, you might want to clean the blade of the squeegee between each stroke. By doing this whenever the window gets dirty, you will be able to ensure that dirt or grime doesn’t build up and damage the glass. This will help prolong the life of the glass.

You might also want to check out: Sash window restoration project: costs and considerations for restoring your windows


If you decide to restore older windows, you will be able to save a lot of money, compared to the costs of buying new ones. You will also be able to have more control over the way that the windows look. So, use these tips to ensure that you will have a successful sash window restoration.

Pieter Boyce - Wooden Window and door specialist

Pieter Boyce
Wooden Window and Door Specialist

This article was written on behalf of Fortis & Hooke by Pieter Boyce. Pieter has an intense passion for English Architectural history and has been specialising in the conservation of original wooden windows and doors for decades. His exceptional knowledge of timber windows and doors, both listed or non-listed, is attributed to his hands-on approach to learning all aspects of the complete restoration of original features as well as having personally surveyed thousands of items throughout his long tenure as a head surveyor for one of the largest window and door restoration companies in the UK. He now runs a boutique wooden window and door consultancy and fervently champions the retention of original windows and doors. To learn more of Pieter’s services, visit his website at www.boultonboyce.co.uk.

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