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Upvc sash windows

(27 Posts)
Swimbikerun Wed 19-Dec-12 22:17:09

Can't find any recent threads about this. We are renovating a Victorian property which currently has v unattractive PVC windows (approx 30 years old we understand). We are thinking about having them replaced with sash windows, which will look much better. But, we are also thinking about PVC rather than wood because of the maintenance wood requires. House is 3 storey so scaffolding would be needed, and it just seems such an effort and expense to do on a regular basis. Would really rather be doing other things with my time.

Has anyone got PVC sash windows? Are you happy with them? Any recommendations in the midlands?

greyvix Wed 19-Dec-12 23:52:32

Sash windows should be wood IMO, particularly for a Victorian house.

PolterGoose Thu 20-Dec-12 08:25:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Dec-12 10:28:34

I agree about wood being preferable.

There must be modern scientific designs for protecting the timber from the weather, which is very important. Cheap softwood joinery doesn't last. A breathing paint system on the outside would be probably more durable, but the inside faces can be stained as they are not exposed.

I have been using linseed oil on external hardwood recently, but windows tend to get neglected if you need ladders or scaffold to get at them. The sashes of mine can be lifted out (with some difficulty) from inside the room for ease of maintenance but are an older design in aluminium, I would prefer hardwood. I have not studied the market yet as it is going to be expensive. I would probably get my local joiner to fit them, he has done windows before, but I would want to choose the product and treatment system.

The modern "furry pile" draft excluders are very effective on sliding sashes, I have them, they allow the sashes to slide freely unless very dirty and can be replaced by sliding a new piece into the groove.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Dec-12 10:30:32


the sections of plastic frames and sashes are thicker and wider than traditional timber windows, and to my eye never look right.

funnypeculiar Thu 20-Dec-12 10:35:41

I know they are the devil's work on here - but having replaced old sash windows with wood, and with upVc in two different houses, & I LOVE the upVc. Looks like wood, if you go top of the range, but easier to maintain (mine tilt like Poltergoose, as well as working as normal sashes) and so, so much cheaper. Yes, agree with PIgletjohn that there is a different thickness issue (ours are double glazes too, which makes this more pronouced. But for the ease, convenience and price, I'll take that downside grin

PolterGoose Thu 20-Dec-12 10:53:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

funnypeculiar Thu 20-Dec-12 11:01:02

Yup, sounds like the same arrangement - it's blissfullly easy to clean after years of contorsionism (sp?) cleaning sashs!

funnypeculiar Thu 20-Dec-12 11:02:30

My next door neighbour has what looks like uPVC sashes, but actually they only tilt, not slide. She hates them - very impractical - but I know they were a much cheaper option.

MousyMouse Thu 20-Dec-12 17:05:33

you can get thinner framed upvc windows, but if they are strong enough for sash, I don't know.
we need new windows soon but will probably go for upvc ones that look like sash but aren't iyswim. it's just more economical and ecological looking at the long term.

Shattereddreams Thu 20-Dec-12 21:09:07

I have upvc sash tilting windows. They were £700 each so you can get them cheaper than the price ^^
My only bother with them, which would also be relevant with wood ones, is that you can't have them open with small children about, it's a great big hole in the wall for them to fall out. I never open my upstairs windows.

PolterGoose Thu 20-Dec-12 21:20:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shattereddreams Thu 20-Dec-12 21:34:09

That'll be why mine were £700!!!!

PolterGoose Thu 20-Dec-12 21:44:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sausagedog27 Thu 20-Dec-12 22:14:33

I'd go for wood all the way- no plastic looks like wooden sash windows IMO and it would put me off buying a house I'm afraid.

In ecological terms plastic is much much more harmful to the environment due to all the chemicals involved in the manufacturing, and the fact that they can't be recycled once they are past their sell by date. Their shelf life is much shorter than wood as well- if yours have been in 30years op that is very good going. 15-20 is more usual- compared with sash windows that have often been in for 100's of years.

I'll step off my high horse now!

PigletJohn Thu 20-Dec-12 22:52:52

you can get a dual screw for wooden sash windows, to prevent themn being opened more than X amount. The same fitting is used to lock the windows tight shut.

It is a very small and unobtrusive fitting.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 20-Dec-12 23:05:29

I was going to post exactly what Sausagedog said.

Swimbikerun Thu 20-Dec-12 23:35:37

I guess there is always a risk that the changes you make to a property migh put some people off buying. We have approx 25 windows to do including 4 bays, so it will be a significant cost. At lot of the windows at the moment are non opening, not even casement style, so anything we do will be better. And of course PVC has got thinner in 30 years (I hope). I have been trying to find PVC sash windows to look at, but either I can't tell the difference or there aren't that many around.

Will it make a difference who makes them, or will they be pretty standard?

neenienana Thu 20-Dec-12 23:44:01

We got a quote for both timber and IPCC sash and the difference in.price was astronomical it was a no brainer to go for upvc. We ca'nt all afford to save the environment sausage dog. We have had loads of compliments from neighbours ans they look really good, also they are very energy efficient.

Sausagedog27 Fri 21-Dec-12 10:51:33

I do get the affordability argument, but thinking longer term you have to weigh that up against the impact on the value of the house.

What really bothers me is people ripping out perfectly fine sash windows for 'energy efficient' uPVC, when the reality is they are more damaging for the environment and traditional sash windows can be repaired and upgraded so that they are actually really efficient- not far off new double glazed windows. This also has the benefit that the value of the house isn't affected and the repair works can often be done at a fraction of the cost of new uPVC.

It's slightly different in the OP's case, however, as they inherited it with uPVC windows in, but I'd still try and work out finances to insert wood if possible. There is more of a backlash now a days with traditional houses and uPVC IMO, obviously I am biased in that respect smile

Swimbikerun Fri 21-Dec-12 14:01:45

But what about the maintenance ? Just seems madness to have to put scaffolding up every time we want to paint. Maybe worth looking into specific paint or window treatments that need less care. We will get comparative quotes and then see I guess. After we have drunk a lot gin!

sashman Fri 21-Dec-12 17:28:37

hi I must confess to having an interst, I own a PVC sash window making business. If I can answer any specific question I will, no charge!

there is a really good video by a glass company explaining how window energy ratings work and why its important on a new compare web site

IMO people are at last more concerned about the esthetics and retaining the character of their homes, there are really good companies who would share that view and produce excellent products (that most people genuinely believe are wood) Yes these can be £1600/£2000 each window fitted etc.

You can buy less expensive sash windows but they will have give away signs that they were cheaper alternatives.

If energy is important then look for A rated sash windows, however most take out the steel reinforcement (using plastic to reinforce plastic?!? never did understand the logic). Steel reinforcement is very important because sash windows move, and the police need strength if windows are to be secured by design, the polices preferred standard.

check out EST here

or the SBD police site for sash windows here

good luck


Sausagedog27 Fri 21-Dec-12 18:49:57

I'm not sure you need scaffolding. My parents have a 3-storey house and have never had scaffolding to paint a d maintain- decorators are happy to use la doers or take out the sashes to overall from upstairs. To me it's something you factor in every 5years, same as roof repairs etc.

I have also seen products for uPVC windows (ie brightening paint etc) so I don't believe the manufacturers claims that they are completely maintenance free!

Enjoy the gin smile

joyedbfq Thu 16-Jan-14 13:20:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

searle1968 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:18:47

I have purchased pvc sliding sash windows, but as we live on a very busy main road, the Windows don't keep the noise out. As much as I love the Windows and they are very stylish they are no good for keeping the t radix noise out. So be aware!!

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