Preserving the historical charm of heritage sliding sash windows is a rewarding endeavour. These windows are not only architectural treasures but also contribute to the character of a building, see our previous blog here for the importance of sliding sash windows with listed properties.

Although they certainly are charming the reality is if you live in a period property with original sliding sash windows then you will undoubtedly experience some of their characteristics! Like draughts and rattling when the wind blows.

So, what’s the best option if you are experiencing this? Well, the most cost-effective method, as well as sometimes being the only option if your property is listed or you live in a conservation area is to renovate your existing windows.

Renovating them requires careful attention to detail and adherence to traditional techniques. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how we refurbish traditional sliding sash windows.

Step 1: Survey & Assessment

Before diving into renovation work, we will assess the condition of your sash windows. Look for signs of decay, rot, broken cords, damaged glazing, or paint deterioration and provide you with a report for each individual window listing the required works.

Step 2: Remove Window Sashes

We start by dust sheeting the work area around the window, the first step is to remove the internal staff beads, this then allows us to remove lower sash, then we can remove the parting bead, this is the thin strip of wood that separates the 2 sashes, now we can remove the top sash.

Step 3: Inspect and Repair Sashes.

Inspect the sashes for damage. We will remove any loose or decayed putty and clean the rebates out, the sashes will then be sanded and checked for any rot within the timber, ideally, we like to keep as much of the original timber as possible. When repairing the sashes we use a mixture of resin repair compound and splice in any new timber as required.

Glazing and putty, any cracked panes of glass will be replaced and any putty repairs carried out using traditional materials, please see our recent blog on putty pointing

Step 4: Inspect and Repair Box Lining

The outer box of your sash window, or lining will now be inspected and checked, generally the lower section of the linings and the cill are the vulnerable areas which often need full replacement. To carry this out we will cut out a lower section of the external lining and remove the cill, a new hardwood cill will be installed, and the new sections of linings will be spliced back into place using 2 – part resin, all new timbers will be fully primed as the work proceeds. The next step will be to open the pockets of the linings this allows us access to the original lead weights within the lining and remove the old cords.

Step 5: Draught Proofing

Now that we have done the repair work, we will look to start assembling the windows, prior to this we will router in grooves within the existing sashes, this allows us to install draught proofing to improve the thermal performance your sash windows, and stop that pesky rattling!

Before assembly we weigh the sashes against the lead weights to ensure your windows will be correctly balanced when complete.

Step 6: Window Furniture

Now we can start putting the windows back together, we also provide the option to provide new hardware, including pulley wheels, fitch fasteners, ring pulls and sash lifts, although you may prefer to keep your original in place if they are in full working order, new sash cords will be fitted and tied to the weights.

New parting and staff beading will be installed, again these will be routed to include brush seal draught proofing that will ensure your sash windows are now draught and rattle free, and provide a premium feel when operating your window.


Step 7: Completion

Once fully assembled the windows will be checked for operation ensuring that opening sashes can operate freely and are draught free, then we will clean down the glass and the work area, we even carry hoovers!

All windows will be left fully operational and primed ready for your final decoration, and I a position to provide with many years of service


Renovating heritage sliding sash windows requires patience, skill, and attention to detail. By following this step-by-step guide, you can see how we breathe new life into these architectural treasures while preserving their historical integrity.

Whether you’re restoring a period property or simply maintaining its character, refurbishing sash windows is a worthwhile investment that will ensure you will get decades of further use from your period windows.

Following completion of the works if your still looking to further improve the performance of your windows then we can also offer an additional  service of secondary glazing, this is an ideal option if you live in a conservation area and are unable to change your existing single glazing, further information on how secondary glazing works  can be found here.

So if you live in the North East of England we operate from York up to the Scottish borders, so if you   would like to discuss how we can help with your heritage property then please contact us to arrange a survey.


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