Back to the Future: The Wooden Sash Window and Modern Housing Design

There was once a time when the wooden sash window fronted pretty much every house in the country. modern houses, in town and country, the British house was a pleasant aspect, a neat fascia framed with these pretty two paned eyes. The advent of the casement, which was far easier to maintain, however, through the sash into the annals of history in fairly short order – more and more houses were built with the new hinged opening windows and those that weren’t, over time, had their own original sashes replaced.

Anyone who likes the look of a well made house will tell you this: when the wooden sash window went what seemed to be the way of the Dodo, the British home lost a little of its character. Thankfully, that character, unlike the Dodo, has cast off its bandages and walked again. From the ashes of the past, the window of the future is resurrected: a sash window that looks every inch as good as the old ones, but that is easy to maintain, replace and clean.

The major problem with old sash windows was damp, which got in at the seams and quickly set about rotting the rope that lifted and dropped the sash. The modern wooden sash window is of course double glazed and hermetically sealed, which means no moisture ingress or indeed weather ingress of any sort. Moreover, the modern sash is well treated with anti fungal and weather proofing coats that combine to see off any of the normal effects of wear and tear that one might normally expect a window to evidence.

The sash dropper is no longer made of old rope, but a modern and well lubricated nylon: the whole thing neatly hidden inside the frame. The frame is constructed of milled and treated wood, which can be stained or painted to match any design, look and colour scheme: making the modern wooden sash window as ideal for use on older houses as it is in newly built ones. Wood is a hugely versatile decorative element, responding equally well to plain treating or colourful stain: homes fitted with a wooden sash can be made to look well in any style required.

The greatest trick of all performed by the new wonder window, though, is its removability. The frame is designed to be installed in existing window holes as well as newly made ones – a builder can simply detach the whole of the old window and lever the new one in, in its place. A modern wooden sash window can apparently be fitted even in the walls of a room that has been fully decorated, without leaving any interior indication that work is being, or has been, done. Furthermore, the wooden sash has completely removable panes – which mean that cleaning is a simple clunk clip operation. A home owner just reaches in for the special catch inside the frame, detaches, and the whole thing comes right out of its socket. It’s ideal – beautiful, versatile and completely modern. Welcome back, wooden sash window.

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