Do my timber windows need repairing or replacing?

One advantage of having timber windows is that they can often be repaired, rather than requiring complete replacement. So how can you tell whether your windows need replacing?

Repairing timber windows is not only cheaper, but also less disruptive compared to replacing windows.  Windows located on the south and west of the buildings generally deteriorate faster than those on the north and east sides.  However, if you’re replacing some windows it may be a good idea to do them all together.

Replacement sash window by The Sash Window Workshop

How to check your timber windows for rot and damage 

It is important to check your windows regularly and thoroughly.  Check for rot and that they operate properly.  To check for rot, take a flat blade screwdriver and tap the window, moving all the way around.  If the screwdriver can easily be pushed into the wood, it is a good sign that the window has begun to decay.

Windows that don’t open or shut correctly can lead to more extensive problems.  They can also contribute to heat loss and increased energy bills.  Windows that are painted shut might look more secure, but they are also more prone to rotting.

New sashes into existing frames by The Sash Window Workshop

Repairing Timber Windows

Repairs can include: minor fixes, such as replacing broken cords; draught proofing and overhaul; and installing new sashes, the moving parts of the window, into the existing window frames.

The Sash Window Workshop draught proofing a sash window

Although draught proofing can reduce draughts in a property, it is important to remember that most of the cold will come through the glass, as glass is an excellent conductor of heat.  Therefore, double glazing is often advisable if you want to improve the thermal performance of your windows.

If your windows are single glazed, depending on their condition, it is sometimes possible to double glaze the existing windows using a service called Bi-Glass (click here to find out more).  This helps improve the energy efficiency of your home without requiring the window to be replaced.  The service also involves draught proofing your window, helping reduce any cold draughts.

However, it is important to note that double glazing is unlikely to be approved for listed buildings.  Instead, secondary glazing is often recommended.  Secondary glazing is a separate window installed internally to provide effective heat insulation and noise reduction.

Secondary glazing by The Sash Window Workshop

Replacement Timber Windows

If the windows are in a poor condition and beyond repair, you will need to replace them.  The golden rule when it comes to replacing windows is not to look for short term solutions. You might think you are saving money by going for cheaper windows, but in the long run it is likely to cost you more.

If you are replacing your timber windows, check the type of wood being used for the new windows.  Not all types of timber have the same qualities.  It is important to select a highly durable and stable timber, like Accoya.  Choosing a high quality timber will reduce how often maintenance is required and increase the lifespan of your windows.

Replacement casement window by The Sash Window Workshop

Useful Contact

The Sash Window Workshop were founded in 1994 and specialise in the repair and replacement of timber windows in London and the South.  Where required, the company can comply to conservation area and listed building requirements.

Find out more information on The Sash Window Workshop’s timber window and door services, and see examples of their work, by visiting: www.sashwindow.com.