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How Our Brockley Windows Work

Everyone loves sash windows in brockley. They look great. That’s why you’re here on our site! They remain an important part of our architecture and culture.


But the question remains for many. How are these windows going to work in my home? I want to understand them! We get that, so let’s get into it. First we will quickly define sash windows, then focus on why they operate how they operate… Then we will look at the inner workings of the window. 


For any invention to be made it generally has to solve a problem. Or no one will want it. An entertainer could use their performance as a product and it solves the problem of boredom. Sash windows are no different. 


We continue to operate throughout Brockley after working in the area for over 30 years! 



How they work


There are many types of sash windows, but let’s focus on the most common type for simplicity. So, sash windows consist of two sliding ‘sashes’. A sash is a movable panel of wood, the word coming from the French word ‘chassis’ which means frame. 


The sash is the wooden frame which holds the glass panes. Glass panes allow you to see through the wooden barrier (AKA the sash) and allow light into a property. Glazing bars separate the panes and generally create a square image on the window. They were used because large panes of glazing were hard to create. Obviously large panes of glass are now very easy to make but the panes are still in circulation simply because they look great. 


So these two sashes slide against each other vertically for two key reasons. This is very relevant to being in London and even Brockley alone. London is packed! The idea was to save room. Instead of a window opening outwardly like a casement window, the window slides up and uses no extra room. No matter how narrow the space is between properties, the window can easily open! 


The second reason is because two sliding sashes allows for two separate openings for the window. You can have an opening at the top and the bottom. The two openings take advantage of convention currents meaning the house could be kept cool on a hot day. Hot air is able to escape from the top of the window while the cool air is taken in from the outside below. From invention to inception, sash windows were a thriving success and have survived for hundreds of years. This is why we are still installing and renovating sash windows in Brockley! The windows are practical, beautiful and historic. 



What exactly defines a sash window?


The most obvious answer is the unique sliding sashes but there are some other characteristics to consider about the sash window. Interestingly, the sashes are on separate tracks as they have to slide past each other. This means there are bottom rails and top rails that host the bottom and top sash. Two tracks allow both sashes to move independently of the other.


The next main component are the cords, weights and linings that help the sliding mechanism between the sashes to work. Locks are also used which allow you to put the sashes at particular heights and leave them securely while maintaining safety. Then you have the entire box which houses the whole thing. Not all windows have this, but a decent amount do. The box needs to be made precisely for each window. Overall, there are a lot of components to a sash window but the final result is both wonderful and simple.





Glass is really heavy. Heavier than you would think. How do you avoid the window falling then? If it works from a vertical sliding mechanism? Well, you use counter balancing. A sash cord is attached from the top of the window and runs over a pulley system. The cord then attaches to a counterbalance that rests away from the wall cavity so that you can’t see it. It’s not aesthetic, only practical. A long as the counterbalancing has been setup correctly, you should be able to easily open and close your window without fear of everything falling.



Rounding up 


That’s it for now on how our windows work. There’s a bit more to it, like how you stop friction, but we’ll go into that on another day. If you need any sort of repairs for your window be it the frame, paint, glazing, glazing bars, sashes, box, counterbalancing… Anything! We can definitely help. Just give us a call and we can arrange a quote to get it done for you. Thanks! 

TR Sash Windows & Carpentry

TR Sash Windows & Carpentry,
4 Bayfield Road,