What Are Sash Windows?


For homeowners looking to choose a classic yet beautiful window style, sash windows have been the obvious choice for centuries. Loosely defined as a window type with more than one moving part, sash windows work to increase airflow and functionality without limiting a homeowner’s view. For this reason, they’ve stood the test of time, originating in the mid-1600s in American homes and making their way down into the modern age, where they serve as a much-beloved window style in modern and classic homes alike. Sash windows are a great option for showcasing a brilliant view and catching a lot of sun, but before you say “I’m callingĀ Renewal by Andersen of Central North Carolina and asking for sash windows!” take a moment to learn a bit more about the pros and cons of this specific window style.

Pro: Aesthetics

The best quality of a sash window is its ability to let in the view and the light from a fixed angle. Because of the elegant look of sash windows, the style has been favored by New England homes and architects since the earliest days of American independence. Sash windows carry a certain historical appeal and are never out of place even in the most luxurious modern homes.

Con: Cleaning

If you’re someone who enjoys spotless, consistently clean home windows, sash windows might not be the right choice for you. Many times, a sash window will involve one fixed section that can’t be removed and another moveable section that can be more easily accessed. Because of the way they’re made, sash windows can be difficult to fully clean. It’s hard to get into the fixed part of a sash window without scraping a lot of paint off, and fully removing your sash window can prove a trial. Still, diligent homeowners who are fully committed to their sash windows can easily find a way around this issue.

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Pro: Movement

Sash windows are only rivaled by casement windows when it comes to their ability to ventilate a room without sacrificing style and comfort. Because of their unique, simple design, sash windows can be as wide or as narrow as a homeowner wants while still providing a great amount of airflow to a room. Wide sash windows can be extremely breezy when opened and securely weathertight and watertight when closed, creating a perfect solution for volatile, stormy weather.

Con: Protection


Because sash windows are an older style, they tend to be made of wood and painted over. While this isn’t completely necessary, many homeowners and business owners prefer the look of natural wood treatments when it comes to sash windows. For drier climates or more mild areas around the country, this doesn’t present a problem. However, when it comes to moist, volatile, or extremely hot or cold climates, sash windows do present the possibility of internal rotting and general compromise when it comes to their structure. There are ways to avoid this of course, including weatherproofing windows each season and investing in special wood treatments, but if you’re in the market for a window that’s impenetrable and hardy, a sash window may not be the best choice for you.