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Sash Windows Restoration – 5 Reasons to Consider Replacement

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Sash Windows Restoration – 5 Reasons to Consider Replacement

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Published on: October 7th, 2021

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Sash Windows Restoration vs Replacement

If you have older windows that are in a bad state of repair, you are probably asking yourself the question: Sash windows restoration or repair?

In this post we’ll show you why restoring your sash windows isn’t always the best option and why installing modern windows doesn’t mean a compromise on traditional looks.

1 – Modern windows are more efficient

Modern, double glazed sash windows are far more energy efficient than traditional windows. A window with low emissivity or low-e glass and vacuum insulation in the cavity is very efficient at keeping the warmth in and the cold out. Even if you do have double glazed sash windows, the performance reduces over time and even when new they couldn’t have matched the energy efficiency of a good vacuum glazing unit.

Even the frames will be better insulated, especially if they are built with modern timbers such as Accoya® which are less dense than traditional timber used for windows and have air pockets which improve the performance.

Installing modern double glazed sash windows will save you money and over the longer-term help save to the environment through better performance. Restoring old

2 – Modern windows will not ruin the authentic look of your traditional home

You may think that modern windows won’t fit in with an older building and often modern windows are unsuitable. However, there are some options on the market which achieve the correct aesthetic while also performing at a very high standard.

Even if your home is a listed building or in a conservation area, you can still have replacement windows that look original. You may need planning permission to replace your windows from your local authority and Heritage windows are the solution. These are windows with modern performance, but are designed to look authentic. 

Traditional styling coupled with modern technology is the key. For example – your planning officer may specify that your windows need to be single glazed in order to maintain the original appearance of the building. However, heritage windows fitted with ultra-thin vacuum glazing are currently being passed by authorities who have specified single glazed windows. This means that you can have all the benefits of modern double glazed sash windows without spoiling the look of your traditional home.

3 – Modern windows will last longer

Sash windows restoration is only a temporary fix and offer diminishing returns with each subsequent round of renovations. Windows restorers are highly skilled craftsmen who will do an amazing job of renovating old windows, but a well-made modern window made with Accoya® will have a far longer service life, much lower maintenance requirements and will be many times cheaper over a typical lifespan.

Modern timbers such as Accoya® is treated to prevent water ingress and is resistant to expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature. This means that it is far less likely to rot. Also, any paint or varnish will be under less strain and will not crack or flake, giving the wood even more protection.

Restoring an old window is just putting off the next round of repairs for another 10 years. Good quality modern windows should give a 60-to-70 year lifespan.

Close up shot of restoring a heritage window with filler

Restoring windows just means keeping the rot at bay!

4 – Modern windows will need very little maintenance

As mentioned above, older windows will need constant maintenance due to the long-term degradation of the materials and the inability to correct anchor repair materials and paint coatings to the damaged substrate. Even the best restorations will still need maintenance every couple of years. Compare that to the long, lifespan and low maintenance cycles for good quality modern windows – who wants to be constantly repairing and repainting? Especially when quality suppliers such as Gowercroft offer serviced maintenance packages that are comparable in price to the cost of arranging your own maintenance, but with a lot less effort!

Click here to find out more about our TimbaCare packages.

5 – Restoration doesn’t save that much money

If your decision to restore rather than replace your sash windows is a financial one, you may still want to consider replacement as the cheapest option.

According to Checkatrade, it costs as much as £920 to restore an average sized sash window. Good quality replacement sash window should cost between £1,000-£1,750 depending on size. Remember that you are getting a window that will still be in good working order after you have had to re-restore your original windows two or three times. After this number of years your restoration costs have gone up to nearly £3000 per window, while your new windows are still giving you good service. This is before you consider the interim maintenance and reduced energy efficiency into the equation.


We believe that sash windows restoration is a noble cause, but in the end modern windows are much better for you as a homeowner and for the environment with no need to sacrifice traditional looks over performance – if the correct products are specified.