Replacing Sash Windows – 5 things to think about before using casement windows as an alternative.
It’s a well-known fact that at some point, if you have old worn out timber ones, you are going to have to get around to replacing sash windows.
As one of the costlier (and complex) types of window, not everybody has the inclination or the budget to do a “like for like” replacement.
In cases like this the option that is favoured is to replace the sliding sashes with regular casement windows.
However, before you commit to do so and buy replacement windows, it will prove worthwhile to take some time to learn more about what you are letting yourself in for.
Here are 5 things you should know before replacing your sash windows with casement windows.
1. Are you allowed to swap?
You may think that its’ your property and you can fit any windows you please. But you need to be aware that is not necessarily always the case.
When replacing sash windows, a lot can depend on where you live and the nature of your property (or if you are a leaseholder).
Listed buildings or buildings in conservation area (AONB – area of outstanding natural beauty) usually need to get approval for home improvements like this. It may be the case that the local planning authority do not approve the change and insist on keeping the same type of window.
In any event, this is one thing you should check before you spend any money or commence work.
2. Will it make your home clash with the rest of the homes in your street or local area?
If all the houses around you have sash windows, then your home will “stick out like a sore thumb”. I would also guess that your neighbours would not be too pleased as they may think casement windows lowers the tone (and value) of the locality.
An alternative option is to look at false sash designs
3. You could lose a means of escape from upper floors.
It’s not something we like to think about, but what about getting out of the house in a hurry? If you are in an upper floor and there is some kind of emergency below you (maybe a fire) then, because the sash fully opens at least half the window, it makes it easy to use as an exit.
You won’t be able to do this if you have a fixed casement with a small top opening section.
4. The frames are different thicknesses.
Even double glazed casement window frames are much thinner than old timber sash window frames. Whilst this is going to improve the amount of light entering, it’s going to mean a lot of remedial work either to the inside or outside of the window reveals.
Which leads us onto our next point.
5. Will you actually save money by swapping?
For a similar sized unit, it’s true that you will find cheaper casement windows than you will find vertical sliding sashes.
However, you will find that the cost of fitting the casement windows in place of those sashes is costlier. This is simply due to the extra work involved cause by the different frame thicknesses.
Once you remove the sash and fit a casement, there will be a lot of “making good” to be done around the inside of the window. In order to fill the gap left behind by the removal of the thicker frames it will need to have new rendering and a cost of plaster.
Not only that, but if you had wallpaper, it will now stop short of the window by a couple of inches – how will you remedy that?
In short, casement windows are cheaper, but fitting them is more expensive than normal. I know of one installer that used to charge a minimum of 10% to swap casement for sashes. This will need to be discussed at the quote stage.
Low cost Sash window options
If you take all of the above into consideration, then you can see it’s not necessarily a simple decision when replacing sash windows. So it’s best to sit and discuss with your installer in detail before you come to a final decision.
However, all is not lost. You could consider using uPVC sash windows instead of timber.
Modern designs are very secure, long lasting. If you add a wood-grain effect it’s likely that you won’t really notice the difference visually from street level.
It’s not that you can get really cheap uPVC sash windows, but they do cost significantly less than timber.
If you would like to get some quotes, just click on the button below.