The Sash Guy sash window company has been trading since 2005. Its proprietor, Guy, is a highly experienced, qualified carpenter. His wealth of skills and knowledge enable him to undertake all aspects of sash window repair, restoration and manufacture. Guy heads a small team of assistant carpenters and installers. The Sash Guy prices very competitively and the company aims to offer a personal, honest and reliable service.
“Most of my work comes through personal recommendations and I pride myself on attention to detail and professionalism. I am now based at my rustic workshop in beautiful East Sussex and offer services throughout South East London, East Sussex and Kent.”
The Sash Guy’s sympathetic restoration will bring your windows up to a high standard. Sash windows are stripped back to the bare box and refitted with new beading. This is machined to house the invisible yet highly effective brush system. Sash cords are replaced and weights checked for the correct balance. Repairs to the sashes, frame and sill are carried out, as required.
The Sash Guy provides new sash windows, made of the finest quality timber. These may be required where unsuitable UPVC windows have previously been installed. Very occasionally, new sash windows are required to replace originals that are beyond repair. In any case, Guy’s team’s attention to detail results in a reproduction window that is equal to or superior to the original.
All of the company’s windows are bespoke and made to customers’ exact specifications; The Sash Guy does not offer “off the shelf” modern windows, as these look inappropriate. Because of this, the team is able to craft the style and size of window to suit your property, preserving the heritage of your home.
Single or double glazed sash windows can be supplied, with traditional weights and pulleys. A box frame in good condition can be fitted with single or double glazed sash windows as required. The Sash Guy maintains a stock of window furniture, available in chrome or brass. Satin is available by request.
‘Very happy to have found a company to make a bespoke sash window for our home. Appreciated the personal service, attention to detail, and competitive pricing. Will definitely use again for the next state of refurbishment’ - Shona, Anerley Park.
‘Very happy with work done by The Sash Guy recently. Draft-proofing all sash windows in our house (Victorian semi), new cords and balancing checked, also some significant work to replace one rotten bay window all done well, taking just 2 days and for a very competitive price. Result: windows that move up and down smoothly, don’t rattle and no drafts. Highly recommended! ‘ Freddie, Casewick Road
'I can thoroughly recommend The Sash Guy. He made and fitted complete boxes, also repaired sashes and draught-proofed them. All done to an excellent standard and we were really pleased with the job. ‘ Lesley , Belvedere Road
Recommended on The East Dulwich Forum and The Sydenham Forum
'I was really impressed with his professionalism and attitude'
'My recommendation is The Sash Guy. I'd rather pay a tradesman working on his own than go through a larger company, and he worked mighty hard and did a great job for us'
'Glad The Sash Guy is getting so many recommendations - after so many so-so tradesmen he was a breath of fresh air'
If you live in a conservation area or own a listed building you will be aware that there are strict rules in place regarding replacement of your timber windows. However even if your home isn’t affected by such regulations, there are a number of reasons why you should still stick with wood.
Some homeowners are tempted to replace their sash windows with a modern alternative. This is expensive and often unnecessary. Original sash windows contribute significantly to the historic character of a building and should be retained if possible. Additionally, English Heritage advises that sash windows can add value to a building. When buying a new property, prospective buyers are usually willing to pay more for a property with period features intact and/or sympathetic replacements.
Original timber windows are made of very high-quality wood seldom found nowadays and therefore it is often a false economy to replace them. Where the timber is cared for with suitable paint and weatherproofing, there is no reason that your sash windows will not last for many more decades. Because of this, The Sash Guy will meticulously assess the condition of your windows and put forward a restoration plan wherever possible.
Whereas some sash window companies employ hard sell tactics and avoid refurbishing windows in favour of replacement, The Sash Guy never writes off restorable windows. You can be confident that the team will only suggest new sash windows or frames where the originals are truly beyond repair. In these cases experienced craftsmen will work to create a high-quality replica of the original windows.
Some sash window companies make ‘sash style’ plastic windows. The Sash Guy never deals in these products. Plastic imitations of sash windows will always look like plastic imitations. Thick frames, highly visible joints and fake horns cannot compete with authentic wooden sash windows.
From an ecological point of view, producing new plastic windows consumes a great deal of energy. This results in a high manufacturing footprint. In addition, ‘sash style’ plastic windows often end up in landfill after a useful life of only 20 years or so. Far from being ‘no maintenance’, UPVC frames discolour whilst their double glazed units can mist up in less than ten years.
Part of the reason that some homeowners consider replacing wooden sash windows is that they are trying to improve the thermal performance of their buildings. A strong thermal performance reduces both carbon emissions and heating costs. Although some traditional wooden sash windows perform poorly in this regard, replacement is certainly not the only way to achieve higher insulation standards. Research by Glasgow Caledonian University found that sash window repair and secondary glazing can make a dramatic difference to thermal performance. A simple restoration was shown to reduce heat loss by up to 34%. Where professional draught proofing was carried out, leakage was cut by up to 86%.
Modern wood treatments and paints reduce the need for regular maintenance. Modern locks can be fitted to wooden sash windows to ensure that they are secure. A variety of parts are available to restrict opening and keep your windows safe. Thanks to modern draught proofing and secondary glazing, as well as traditional shutters and heavy curtains, sash windows can perform well for heat and sound insulation. Together, these factors indicate that, even in the twenty-first century, wooden sash windows remain a strong investment for the future.
www.lpoc.co.uk Listed Owners Property Club – Britain’s only advice service
dedicated to helping the owners of listed buildings.
www.english-heritage.org.uk English Heritage
www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk The East Dulwich Forum
www.sydenham.org.uk The Sydenham Town Forum
www.buildingconservation.com Information resources for conservation,
restoration and repairs
is the national charity dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and
www.victoriansociety.org.uk Campaigns for the preservation of Victorian
and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales.
The original sash window was single hung. The bottom frame moved but the top one was fixed in place. Because there was no cord to counterbalance the two frames, the bottom frame was fixed open by wooden gates or pins. This first type of sash window was probably first seen in Britain in the seventeenth century and was thought to have been copied from France.
Around the turn of the eighteenth century, double hung sash windows were created. This technological advance was probably British. The new system allowed both sash frames to be moved independently, thanks to hidden cords and counterbalances. At the dawn of the Georgian era, the double hung design had begun slowly to spread across the Channel to Holland and around the world via British and Dutch colonies.
Before 1700, sash frames tended to be made of hardwood. However, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the price of native oak was rising. Thanks to international trade, lower cost softwoods were becoming more easily available. Thus, Georgian sash windows are typically made of ‘deal’ wood from pines or firs.
As sash windows became more widespread, legislation was put in place to lower their fire risk. These laws initially affected Georgian London but were later applied throughout Britain and America. They subtly changed the ways that sash windows were designed and installed over the years.
Advances in glazing technology also affected sash window design. Glazing bars became thinner as glass became stronger. However, in a Georgian house, windows only ever used by servants were glazed to a lower standard to reduce cost. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see a variety of sash window styles in the same building.
By the mid-nineteenth century, many sash window frames had no need for glazing bars because their glass was so strong. Robust plate glass was available at an affordable price. As a result, subtle design variations were necessary so that wooden sash windows could cope with the extra weight of glass.
Wood treatment has improved significantly in recent decades. Therefore, you would assume that the newest wooden sash windows easily outperform their Georgian ancestors. This is not always the case. In fact, some examples from the second half of the twentieth century are already in a poorer condition than sash windows five times their age. This is largely due to timber quality.
Wood from the middle of a tree, or heartwood, is very durable. However, after the Second World War, the joinery trade made extensive use of poor quality wood. Hence the poor longevity of some 1960’s wooden sash windows.
Because older timber is often very high quality, it should be restored and retained where possible. In cases where repair or replacement of timber is required, the lessons of the 1960’s should be learned; heartwood should be chosen, or at the very least sapwood that has been well-treated. Even modern softwoods traded from well-managed, reputable sources can last for many decades.
The superb design of the wooden sash window has helped it to stand the test of time. It is still more than viable today. The historical value of wooden sash windows is beyond dispute. With modern repair and restoration techniques, existing sash windows can also continue to provide significant practical value to your home well into the future.