A short history of Sash & Case windows

The term sash and case refers to windows consisting of glazed panels that slide vertically or horizontally by use of concealed weights in boxed casing around the framework of the window.

The earliest examples of sash and case windows dates all the way back to the 1670’s and is attributed to the English scientist, and inventor, Robert Hooke.

Sash windows are more commonly found in Georgian and Victorian buildings and the most common window type is the 6/6 style panel arrangement. To allow for operation and smooth closing of windows a sash cord or chain will run over pulley wheels. This will be attached to the weight made of heavy steel, lead or cast iron.

Around the middle of the 1800’s technology dictated that it was possible to produce larger panes of glass and so sash and case windows became less subdivided. It was often the case that period fashions and trends were mirrored in the production of these windows. This lead to extra ‘accessory’ features such as thicker astragals. Sash and case windows are well suited to the Scottish climate. They are hardy, tough and given the right care and maintenance many sash and case windows can have a life span of over 100 years.

In recent times the marketplace has been flooded with UPVC windows which seek to replicate the traditional sash and case timber window. These windows will have a significantly reduced lifespan and not as versatile when it comes to ventilation and the ability to clean and maintain.