Sash window

Last updated
A sash window DETAIL OF (SINGLE SASH) WINDOW, WEST-FRONT FACADE - Moncure Building, 1415 North Court House Road, Arlington, Arlington County, VA HABS VA,7-ARL,7-7.tif
A sash window

A sash window or hung sash window is made of one or more movable panels, or "sashes". [upper-alpha 1] The individual sashes are traditionally paned windows, but can now contain an individual sheet (or sheets, in the case of double glazing) of glass.

Contents

History

The oldest surviving examples of sash windows were installed in England in the 1670s, for example at Ham House. [1] [2] The invention of the sash window is sometimes credited, without conclusive evidence, to Robert Hooke. Others see the sash window as a Dutch invention. [3] H.J. Louw believed that the sash window was developed in England, but concluded that it was impossible to determine the exact inventor. [1]

The sash window is often found in Georgian and Victorian houses, and the classic arrangement has three panes across by two up on each of two sash, giving a six over six panel window, although this is by no means a fixed rule. Innumerable late Victorian and Edwardian suburban houses were built in England using standard sash window units approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) in width, but older, hand-made units could be of any size.

Mechanism and application

Exceptionally wide sash window (approximately two metres or 6.6 feet wide) in a pub in Bromyard, Herefordshire, England BigSashWindowBromyard.jpg
Exceptionally wide sash window (approximately two metres or 6.6 feet wide) in a pub in Bromyard, Herefordshire, England

To facilitate operation, the weight of the glazed panel is usually balanced by a heavy steel, lead, or cast-iron sash weight or counter-weight concealed within the window frame. The sash weight is connected to the window by a braided cotton sash cord, or a chain, that runs over a pulley at the top of the frame, although spring balances are sometimes used. Repairing a broken cord requires disassembling parts of the window frame. [4]

Sash windows may be fitted with simplex hinges, which allow the window to be locked into hinges on one side while the counterbalance on the other side is detached, allowing the window to be opened for escape or cleaning.

The term "sash windows" is used interchangeably with the term "box sash windows" in the United Kingdom, and frequently used to describe the same thing. Historically box sash windows are heavier and more stately in nature than modern sash windows, but both terms are used within the industry when referring to the same type of window.

The name "hung sash window", which is more usual in the United States than in the United Kingdom, typically refers to a double-hung window with two sashes that can move up and down in the window frame. These windows are commonly found in older buildings in warmer climates, as they promote airflow and are easy to clean. A significant advantage of double-hung windows is that they provide efficient cooling of interiors during warm weather. Opening both the top and bottom of a sash window by equal amounts allows warm air at the top of the room to escape, thus drawing relatively cool air from outside into the room through the bottom opening. A double-hung window where the upper sash is smaller (shorter) than the lower is termed a cottage window.[ citation needed ]

A single-hung window has two sashes, but normally the top sash is fixed and only the bottom sash slides. Triple- and quadruple-hung windows are used for tall openings, common in New England churches.

Construction is usually of softwood, and these sashes were traditionally only single-glazed.

The glass in old windows can be the very early 'plate' or 'broad' glass to 'crown' or 'cylinder'. [5] Old glass is recognised by its imperfections ('ream') which result in optical distortion. Traditional cylinder glass is still made, but other sorts of antique glass are no longer available.

Modern double-glazed sash windows are available. These may have true muntins or "glazing bars", or may imitate them by applying them to the surface of the glazing, giving the appearance of multiple small panes, whereas each sash consists of only one large double-glazed unit.

Issues

Traditional problems with solid wooden sash windows include rot, swelling or distortion of the woodwork [6] or rattling in the wind (due to shrinkage of the wood). [7] These problems can be solved by careful repair and the introduction of draught stripping. It is also a common problem for painters to paint the sash stuck. The sliding mechanism makes sash windows more vulnerable to these problems than traditional casement windows. Sash windows are relatively high maintenance, but offer advantages in return (style, aesthetics, abides by laws (relating to older houses and buildings), natural resources etc.). However, well-maintained sash windows should last generations without needing parts replaced. It is also possible to clean all the glass from within the building by sliding the two panes to different positions.

uPVC or vinyl sash windows have become available since the first PVC window frames were being introduced in Germany in the 1960s. [8] They have come to dominate the window industry with more than 50% of all window sashes being made of vinyl in the USA as of 2017[ citation needed ]. Vinyl sashes offer many benefits to the manufacturer and are generally the least expensive type of window for the consumer. The waterproof nature of uPVC and ease of installation are also benefits. Problems include durability. Over time the plasticizer chemicals used to make vinyl sashes flexible evaporate leaving the material brittle and prone to breaking. Vinyl is also weaker than wood and aluminum sashes and requires extra support in large window openings. Vinyl is also used on wood windows as an outside cladding to protect the wood from the weather but allow the inside of the window to take advantage of the appearance of fine wood. Vinyl is also available in a large range of colours and textures although white is by far the most common. Vinyl is limited mainly to residential usage and low rise commercial due to its flammability and the toxic fumes it produces when burned. In the future fire rated versions of UPVC windows may be used in high rise construction, but currently flammability and toxic fumes are a significant obstacle. [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

Window Opening in a wall, door, roof or vehicle that allows the passage of light and may also allow the passage of sound and sometimes air

A window is an opening in a wall, door, roof or vehicle that allows the passage of light and may also allow the passage of sound and sometimes air. Modern windows are usually glazed or covered in some other transparent or translucent material, a sash set in a frame in the opening; the sash and frame are also referred to as a window. Many glazed windows may be opened, to allow ventilation, or closed, to exclude inclement weather. Windows may have a latch or similar mechanism to lock the window shut or to hold it open by various amounts.

Putty Common material used as sealant or filler

Putty is a material with high plasticity, similar in texture to clay or dough, typically used in domestic construction and repair as a sealant or filler.

Window blind Type of window covering

A window blind is a type of window covering. There are many different kinds of window blinds which use a variety of control systems. A typical window blind is made up of several long horizontal slats of various types of hard material, including wood, plastic or metal which are held together by cords that run through the blind slats. Vertical blinds run along a track system which can tilt open and closed and move side-to-side. Window blinds can be maneuvered with either a manual or remote control by rotating them from an open position, with slats spaced out, to a closed position where slats overlap and block out most of the light. There are also several types of window coverings, called shades, that use a single piece of soft material instead of slats.

<i>Shoji</i> Japanese sliding paper door

A shōji is a door, window or room divider used in traditional Japanese architecture, consisting of translucent sheets on a lattice frame. Where light transmission is not needed, the similar but opaque fusuma is used. Shoji usually slide, but may occasionally be hung or hinged, especially in more rustic styles.

Mullion

A mullion is a vertical element that forms a division between units of a window or screen, or is used decoratively. When dividing adjacent window units its primary purpose is a rigid support to the glazing of the window. Its secondary purpose is to provide structural support to an arch or lintel above the window opening. Horizontal elements separating the head of a door from a window above are both a head jamb and horizontal mullion and are called "transoms".

Window film is a thin laminate film that can be installed to the interior or exterior of glass surfaces in automobiles and boats and also to the interior or exterior of glass in homes and buildings. It is usually made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family, due to its clarity, tensile strength, dimensional stability, and ability to accept a variety of surface-applied or embedded treatments.

Window shutter

A window shutter is a solid and stable window covering usually consisting of a frame of vertical stiles and horizontal rails. Set within this frame can be louvers, solid panels, fabric, glass and almost any other item that can be mounted within a frame. Shutters may be employed for a variety of reasons, including controlling the amount of sunlight that enters a room, to provide privacy, security, to protect against weather or unwanted intrusion or damage and to enhance the aesthetics of a building.

Window screen

A window screen is designed to cover the opening of a window. It is usually a mesh made of metal or plastic wire, or other pieces of plastic and stretched in a frame of wood or metal. It serves to keep leaves, debris, spiders, insects, birds, and other animals from entering a building or a screened structure such as a porch, without blocking fresh air-flow.

Sunroom

A sunroom, also frequently called a solarium, is a room that permits abundant daylight and views of the landscape while sheltering from adverse weather. Sunroom and solarium have the same denotation: solarium is Latin for "place of sun[light]". Solaria of various forms have been erected throughout European history. Presently, the sunroom or solarium is popular in Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Sunrooms may feature passive solar building design to heat and illuminate them.

Storm windows are windows that are mounted outside or inside of the main glass windows of a house. Storm windows can be made of glass, rigid plastic panels, or flexible plastic sheets; and may be permanently or temporarily mounted. They function similarly to insulated glazing. The term may also refer to a small openable flap found in the side window on light aircraft.

A thermal break or thermal barrier is an element of low thermal conductivity placed in an assembly to reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials. The opposite of a thermal barrier is a thermal bridge.

Sliding glass door

A sliding glass door, patio door, or doorwall is a type of sliding door in architecture and construction, is a large glass window opening in a structure that provide door access from a room to the outdoors, fresh air, and copious natural light. A sliding glass door is usually considered a single unit consisting of two panel sections, one being fixed and one a being mobile to slide open. Another design, a wall-sized glass pocket door has one or more panels movable and sliding into wall pockets, completely disappearing for a 'wide open' indoor-outdoor room experience.

Leadlight

Leadlights, leaded lights or leaded windows are decorative windows made of small sections of glass supported in lead cames. The technique of creating windows using glass and lead came is discussed at came glasswork. The term leadlight could be used to describe all windows in which the glass is supported by lead, but traditionally and correctly, a distinction is made between stained glass windows and leadlights, the former being associated with the ornate painted images on windows of churches and other such works of architecture and the latter with the windows of vernacular commercial and domestic architecture and defined by its simplicity.

Muntin Strip of wood or metal that separates and holds glass panes in a window

A muntin (US), muntin bar, glazing bar (UK) or sash bar is a strip of wood or metal separating and holding panes of glass in a window. Muntins can be found in doors, windows and furniture, typically in western styles of architecture. Muntins divide a single window sash or casement into a grid system of small panes of glass, called "lights" or "lites".

Casement window

A casement is a window that is attached to its frame by one or more hinges at the side. They are used singly or in pairs within a common frame, in which case they are hinged on the outside. Casement windows are often held open using a casement stay. Windows hinged at the top are referred to as awning windows, and ones hinged at the bottom are called hoppers.

Window insulation reduces heat transfer from one side of a window to the other. In the US, U-value is used to refer to the amount of heat that can pass through a window, with a lower score being better.

Glazing (window)

Glazing, which derives from the Middle English for 'glass', is a part of a wall or window, made of glass. Glazing also describes the work done by a professional "glazier". Glazing is also less commonly used to describe the insertion of ophthalmic lenses into an eyeglass frame.

Insulated glazing

Insulating glass (IG) consists of two or more glass window panes separated by a vacuum or gas-filled space to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope. A window with insulating glass is commonly known as double glazing or a double-paned window, triple glazing or a triple-paned window, or quadruple glazing or a quadruple-paned window, depending upon how many panes of glass are used in its construction.

Skylight

A skylight is a light-transmitting structure that forms all or part of the roof space of a building for daylighting purposes.

Temora Post Office

Temora Post Office is a heritage-listed post office at 173 Hoskins Street, Temora, New South Wales, Australia. It was added to the Australian Commonwealth Heritage List on 8 November 2011.

References

  1. Due to the word's etymology, "sash" (without -es) is an alternative plural form, now used mostly by professionals.

  1. 1 2 Louw, HJ, Architectural History, Vol. 26, 1983 (1983), pp. 49–72, 144–150 JSTOR, BBC
  2. "The Gardens of Ham House". London Gardens Trust. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  3. Jardine, Lisa: Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory, Harper Press, 2008
  4. "Sash Window Repairs". Monday, 7 January 2019
  5. "Glass and Glazing". www.rmears.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  6. Jackson, Albert; Day, Day (2009). Popular Mechanics Complete Home How-to. New York: Hearst Books. p. 181.
  7. "How to Fix Rattling Windows". SFGate. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  8. "Life of a PVC-U window". British Plastics Federation. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  9. "Building Code Commission Decision". Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Retrieved 3 July 2017.