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What is the Difference Between a Casement Window and a Sash Window?

Posted: 21 March 2024

Casement and sash windows are the two most common window designs on properties in the UK. Over the years, each has enjoyed periods of fashionability, but today you can choose from either sort. Deciding whether to choose timber sash windows or timber casement windows for your property is mostly a matter of aesthetics and how important originality is to the homeowner.

Timber Sash Windows – An Overview

Sash windows were first introduced in the UK in the late 17th century. They were popular throughout the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras, with only minor variations over a period of more than 200 years.

Sash windows have two panes, called sashes, which are usually placed vertically, one above the other, but occasionally horizontally. One or both sashes can be slid alongside the other for ventilation.

Introducing Timber Casement Windows

By the post-war period, sash windows fell out of popularity in favour of casement windows. These are, however, an even older design that was first used in Tudor times.

Casements have a combination of fixed panes and opening panes that are attached either vertically or horizontally using hinges. 

Pros and Cons of Sash and Casement Windows

One reason casement windows became more popular in the early 20th century was their lighter weight, which made them cheaper to buy and easier to operate. The casements sealing more tightly than the sliding sashes also perceived them as more energy efficient.

However, in 2024, modern spring sash windows will be as energy-efficient and easy to operate as casements. Buyers' main factors are deciding which type of window they feel looks better in their home and, in period properties, how important it is to retain originality.



 1) Are casement windows more secure than sash windows?

In years gone by, that was true, and it can be the case with old windows. But today, sash windows and casement windows are both manufactured to meet stringent security standards to resist forced entry by intruders.

2) Are sash windows more draughty than casement windows?

In period properties, original Georgian or Victorian sash windows can be draughty. However, the same applies to original casement windows fitted 100 or more years ago. Today’s sash windows set new benchmarks in terms of thermal efficiency.

3) Are sash windows more likely to stick?

Period sash windows have a reputation for being sticky. However, modern sash windows are simple and smooth to operate. They will give decades of reliable service as long as they are kept clean and given periodic lubrication.

4) Can I replace sash windows with casement windows?

Yes, unless your property is subject to some conservation regulations that specify the type of windows, you can change sash windows to casements or vice versa if you choose. Keep in mind, however, that maintaining originality helps maximise the value of period properties.

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