Casement vs Sash windows – can I replace my sash windows with casement and are they better?
The difference between Casement and Sash windows:
The big difference between Casement and Sash windows are the way they open. Sash windows slide vertically in the frame and occasionally horizontally. Casement windows open outwards or inwards via hinges on either the side, top or bottom of the frame.
Build and cost
Sash windows are more complex in the way there are built with a counter weight on a rope either in one side or both sides of the frame to ease the movement and counter balance the opening. This often makes the frames thicker than Casement windows. Some of the more contemporary Sash windows have resolved this issue with spring loaded tensioners in place of the weight and rope. The more complex build is reflected in a higher cost for Sash windows compared to Casement windows.
The construction of Casement windows is much simpler where the window is fixed to the frame with hinges and the windows just swing open and closed with no complicated inner workings.
Pros and cons of Sash windows
Sash windows are often a feature of traditional homes from the Georgian or Victorian periods with a classic arrangement of three panes across by two up on each of the two sashes, making a total of six panes. Traditional wooden sash windows can be plagued with issues including rot, swelling or distortion of the woodwork or shrinkage which can lead to draughts. One other common problem is decorators painting the sash stuck. Sash windows look very attractive in period properties, but do require regular maintenance to avoid these issues. There are also modern uPVC equivalents that do combat these problems.
Replacing Sash windows with Casement windows
Often traditional or period properties are listed or in a conservation area and have strict stipulations about replacing windows, so check with your local planning authority to see if there are any restrictions.
Having said that, if there are no restrictions there are many benefits to replacing your old Sash windows with Casement windows, particularly composite windows.
By using smaller panes and/or glazing bars the same period look can be achieved and with composite windows there is minimal maintenance, so your windows stay looking good and functioning well for years to come.
Westcoast composite windows are available in a range of window styles and openings. From the Classic double-glazed Series and contemporary triple-glazed Design Series to the more traditional heritage feel of the Antik range, with ovolo moulding.
The low maintenance aluminium exterior can be finished in a range of period colours including bright white, available from the RAL colour range. The warm wood interior is supplied in knot-free laminated pine, finished in white, clear lacquer or a range of wood stains. Alternatively we offer oak or other species for a premium wood feel.
Take a look at our range of projects and case studies, where our composite windows are used to good effect in period properties:
Period Cottage Suffolk
South Norfolk Barn Conversion
The Old Corn Mill
Norfolk Farm House
(Shown right, bottom image, is the house before the replacement composite windows with the original sash windows.)