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Sash Windows - double glazing and alternatives advice

(20 Posts)
Maeb Tue 16-Oct-12 18:28:42

Our Edwardian semi has lovely ornate windows on the front. There are 2 x sash windows in the living room, 3 x sash in the bedroom bay window and 1 x casement window. They are 100 years old with the original glass and therefore draughty and quite marked. After 2 years with plastic film glazing to keep the cold out I want a permanent solution.

I was thinking of having replacement matching windows made but I've been quoted £10k plus VATshock which includes replacing the boxes for the sashes which they don't need.

Does this quote seem about right?

Has anyone had just their existing windows double glazed?

Would just refurbing/draught-proofing the windows be better value for money?

Does secondary glazing look rubbish?!

If I can't come up with an alternative I'll have to back to the plastic film sad

PigletJohn Tue 16-Oct-12 18:59:18

if you can keep the original windows, perhaps restored, then secondary glazing will keep the originality, and is also better for sound insulation.

If the glass is clean and the secondary frames thin, it will not be visually intrusive, and if you have nets it will be pretty well invisible.

LittleMilla Tue 16-Oct-12 21:17:24

We had our victorian sashes refurbed for £250 per window - new cords, getting seals sorted etc.

Was quoted £1250 per window to replace, plus fitting? But then we're having some work done to the back of our house and builder is quoting £750 per window and labour will obvs be part of the overall build.

I would say shop around a bit more and see what can be saved before completely replacing.

freelancegirl Tue 16-Oct-12 21:23:50

Who did you have those done with LittleMila? Was it a nationwide company? Just I am looking for quotes for the same thing.

Pannacotta Tue 16-Oct-12 21:28:30

I'd have the windows refurbed (we did this too for similar price per window to LittleMilla) and then if needed think about having secondary glazing and hiding it with wooden blinds or muslin panels.
There is another option for secondary glazing where you just add plastic on top of the glass, will hunt around for a link and post again.
I think replacing them is a last resort - SO expensive - and also involves unnecessary work replacing the boxes.

starfishmummy Tue 16-Oct-12 21:28:40

We have used ventrolla to refurb Edwardian windows. Their guy was very good and even came in under the original quote. We didn't double glaze - just have thick curtains!

Pannacotta Tue 16-Oct-12 21:29:55

Had saved thios under my favourites (am thinking about putting it on our bedroom windows as its so cold in there)

Flosshilde Tue 16-Oct-12 21:31:41

I would get them refurbished with secondary glazing installed. I spent my teenage years in an east facing bedroom with an original sash window and secondary glazing. It wasn't cold. In fact when my mum and dad had it as the guest bedroom for a bit it got too hot in there overnight with more than one person sleeping in it.

I know a reputable company who does sash refurbs in the NW if anyone is interested.

tricot39 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:31:46

I have been looking into this myself recently. My conclusion is that i would go with timber framed double glazed secondary glazing. This can be made bespoke for your windows so that it looks better than the aluminium framed stuff (which actually is best for soundproofing and drafts rather than thermal performance - the aluminium wicks heat away which is not terribly efficient). An extra advantage is that you get to keep the original window frames (slow grown close grained timber) which is better than new softwood. The double glazed unit is also protected by the outer glass from uv so its seals should theoretically last longer.

Some places do these units as glazed "shutters" while others have hinged/tilt frames. The latter has been trialled in scotland and goes by the name Thermal Shield. That systen also insulates linings and walls and i suspect costs close to 2k per window for the full works. However given that double glazed replacement sashes are at least 1k per window for basic panes with much lower thermal perfornance and durability it seems worth the extra to me.

Certainly if you have ornate windows which can be left in place with plain double glazing your costs might come out close to the quote you have already had?

Of course this is not widely available in england yet, but a decent timber window person should be able to do it.

tricot39 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:39:59

pannacotta we have the 365 system on the bay to our front room. A bit ugly but cheap and took an afternoon to install. Brilliant for reducing drafts but a bit flimsy. Our windows are about 1.8m tall and 0.9m wide. We had to modify cable clips to hold the panels to the frames so i think we are at the limit of window size. Bigger wouldn't work. We have it hidden behind nets as it is not suitable for being on show imo.

tedglenn Tue 16-Oct-12 21:56:08

marking place, the victorian we are buying has decent sash windows in good condition, but some old (1980s?) secondary glazing, which is so obtrusive, the owners hang curtains in between the window frames to hide it (i.e. a bay, made out of three sashes, has 4 curtains hanging down).

Secondary glazing must have moved on since then?!

likeatonneofbricks Wed 17-Oct-12 00:48:40

starfish, I'm also considering ventrolla - are you saying that you still need thick curtains, as it's still draughty? I thought this is supposed to draught-proof, but I can't imagine how they seal vertical gaps with these 'brushes'.

How much did they charge per window, could you tell me? I don't have curtains, just flimsy shutters, so I wonder if paying for vetrolla AND lined big curtains would be cheaper than actual double glazing? Mine are very large sashes, so double glazing would be horrendously expensive. But I only need to do two large windows.

This is gonna be a popular thread with such cold weather already! last Oct was SO warm <sigh>.

lindsell Wed 17-Oct-12 06:21:07

We have had all our sashes refurbed, double glazing put into the original sashes and draught proofing put in. I've been pretty impressed with the result, you can't tell visually that they've been double glazed unless you look v closely but that combined with the draughtproofing has made a real difference to noise and heat loss. The costs varied between about £500-£1k per window depending on the size. We used a local company who specialise in this, their system is the same as the national company the sash window workshop (whose quote was much more).

Personally I don't like the look of secondary glazing. we did try on one window a plastic system similar to the 365 thing mentioned above and it was a disaster - the plastic kept coming unclipped, when it was windy the draughts from the window made the plastic rattle awfully and it didn't seem to cut either noise or reduce heat loss - gave up on that pretty quickly

ShaneAlphaSash Mon 22-Oct-12 17:04:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ShaneAlphaSash Mon 22-Oct-12 17:06:06


WACG Wed 20-Feb-13 16:30:37

Hello Maeb

I don't know if this is expensive Maeb, but it seems so considering what I paid myself. Certainly removing the boxes sounds pretty awful. My house 1851 had a significant refurbishment of sash windows, but because I live in a non-conservation area i had the sash elements re-made double glazed. By all accounts you can't do this unless you remake them because it would look awful because of the thickness of double glazing compared with original glass. Made sense to me!

Without the double glazing, draft proofing comes with the refurbishment along with other stuff like a good polish and the windows open up and down now. smile
There are a few companies, although and I'm in Derbyshire i used - I only had double glazing and they worked out about £550.00 per window. They might be half that for just a refurbishment without double glazing?!!

Hope this helps, Will.

ProfessorDent Tue 19-Mar-13 16:09:14

Anyone know of any decent retro double glazing in the South London/Surrey area?

I have one dumb question/point about double glazing. My Dad got some done (with Anglian - not a joyful experience, could have been worse), but he wasn't replacing sash windows. They were just your basic kitchen/bathroom windows, erm, all glass, swing outwards when you open them, two small windows up top. But you can't quite replace like with like, it seems. You either have the wide expanse of glass in effect narrowed, with really thick icing on wedding cake type frames, OR, you opt for the nice large windows BUT dissected with a thin metal lead lighting effect, not as ugly but you don't have your customary uninterrupted view out onto the garden.

The only advantage is the French windows - they can be done with a thinner framework, so you actually gain light with those.

PigletJohn Wed 20-Mar-13 10:14:42

I don't understand this

You either have the wide expanse of glass in effect narrowed, with really thick icing on wedding cake type frames, OR, you opt for the nice large windows BUT dissected with a thin metal lead lighting effect

Maybe that's all the supplier you spoke to wanted to sell.

If you have plastic windows <boak> then the frames will generally be rather bulky because it is a fundamentally weak, flexible material, and it will be much worse if they have opening casements or sashes.

ProfessorDent Thu 21-Mar-13 20:10:11

Well, it was Anglian if you were 'angling' for a name.

Oh, it was a disaster. My Dad invited them along, he was at that stage, see the Checkatrade thread. He got cold feet, tried to cancel - surprise, they were not keen to oblige. Anyway, we sort of changed it, but we never got a catalogue sent from them, it was going thru the book the salesman provided. My Dad had signed already so we were backpedalling from the start.

My Dad will tell you what he had for lunch in great detail, but stuff like this he'll hit you with after the fact.

But to be fair, yes, I've only seen those two options walking up and down our residential road. We did want a window we could open on part of it, mind, so maybe that's where we went wrong.

I shudder to think of asking for catalogues, it will mean a barrage of phone calls.

user1474800825 Sun 25-Sep-16 12:14:02

Thought I'd post this in case anyone else thinking of refurbing their sash windows. I just had mine done, originals always best to keep if you can as they last much longer than new ones. I had my back south facing sashes replaced 10 years ago and double glazed, but they are already looking worn, my front windows however which are north facing are in pretty good condition so I just had them draft proofed and serviced, i.e. new beading, cords etc. This was a 4 hour job for which they charged £200 per window and that was the cheapest quote by far. My advice is if you're getting your windows draft proofed and serviced try a carpenter or joiner first. Anyone that has sash in the title or says they are a specialist sash servicer, replacer, draft proofer, restorer etc is going to charge this kind of money, but the work is very easy (I saw him doing most of it) and can be done by any decent DIY person or good joiner. 4 hours for £800 is a bloody good hourly rate! Hope this helps any future people looking to have their sashes restorered.

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