Sash windows have long been a distinguishing feature of classic period homes, prized for their aesthetic charm and practical functionality. Interest in sash windows remains high today, even in modern homes, so how much do these beautiful windows cost to install or maintain? 

As you might expect, from your choice of material to sizing, glazing, and installation considerations, the cost of sash windows can vary widely depending on the specifics. 

This article will explore the ins and outs of sash window pricing, including factors that impact costs and typical price ranges, so you can determine whether these iconic windows align with your budget. We’ll also look at common repair costs to keep existing sash windows in good working order.

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What are sash windows?

Sash windows consist of one or more movable panels, or “sashes”, that hold small panes of glass, often divided by glazing bars. Historically, these windows are synonymous with the facades of Victorian, Edwardian, and Georgian homes, for which they’re still highly popular today. 

In fact, many homes retain their original sash windows; as long as they’re well-maintained, they can last decades.

Over the centuries, the design of sash windows has been refined, but their fundamental appeal remains unchanged. Meanwhile, the mechanisms have become modernised, and we can now choose from uPVC, aluminium, and composite frames rather than just wood. 

Whether restored in period properties or incorporated into modern designs, sash windows offer an excellent balance of style and functionality today as they did hundreds of years ago. 

Sash windows: How do they work?

In the traditional vertical setup, each window consists of at least two sashes that move up and down within the frame, enabled by a balancing mechanism typically hidden within the frame itself.

This mechanism uses weights and pulleys or spring balances, ensuring the sash remains stable as it extends and retracts. Spring balances (called torsion balances) are more common today, as they’re considerably more reliable than the classical weight and pulley system.

Part of the reason sash windows picked up popularity is because their vertical opening prevents open windows from touching across narrow streets typical of 17th- and 18th-century Europe. 

Horizontal sash windows, often referred to as Yorkshire sash windows, operate on a similar principle but slide side-to-side. This is less common but offers the same practical benefits.

How much does it cost to buy sash windows?

Several key factors can influence the cost of sash windows, making them a more premium option than standard glazing solutions on the whole. 

Craftsmanship and complexity

Sash windows involve a relatively complex construction process compared to casement windows. Modern sash windows are spring-loaded and operate through a mechanism called torsion balance. 


Like any form of window, the material choice impacts the cost:

  • Timber: Timber sash windows are sought after for their timeless appeal. Hardwoods are preferred for their longevity but come at a higher price. The cost here reflects the material, care, and maintenance timber windows need to resist weather and time.
  • uPVC: A more budget-friendly option, uPVC windows cut down on maintenance but might not match the aesthetic appeal of timber. They offer good insulation and durability at a lower price point, making them a practical choice for many.
  • Aluminium: For those looking for durability with a modern twist, aluminium offers an alternative. They tend to be more robust and have a longer lifespan but come at a higher cost compared with uPVC. Their price reflects their strength and the sleek, contemporary look they can provide to a property.

Size and customisation

Larger windows or those needing custom dimensions or specific features to fit a property’s style can push the price up. 

Glazing options

Standard double glazing is the most popular option for its thermal efficiency when installing new windows, but opting for triple glazing can bump up the price. The extra layer offers better insulation but at a higher cost, which might be worth considering for energy savings.

Installation complexity

Fitting sash windows, especially in older homes or those needing tailor-made solutions, can be intricate and time-consuming. This contributes to the cost, reflecting the expertise needed to ensure the windows are set up perfectly.

The cost of sash windows in numbers

Considering these factors, the cost of sash windows can vary widely. For a standard-sized uPVC double-glazed sash window, prices might start from around £500-£990 per window. 

Timber windows, known for their traditional appeal and higher material costs, can range from £1,500 to £1,700 per double glazed sash window. 

Aluminium and composite windows, offering durability and a modern aesthetic, may fall somewhere in between or higher, depending on the specifications.

Here is a table of costs for both double and triple glazing across various sash window materials and sizes:

MaterialSize (mm)Glazing TypeEstimated Cost Range
uPVC600 x 900Double glazing£500 - £990 per window
uPVC600 x 900Triple Glazing£600 - £1,320 per window
uPVC900 x 1200Double Glazing£580 - £1,065 per window
uPVC900 x 1200Triple Glazing£696 - £1,420 per window
Timber600 x 900Double Glazing£1,500 - £1,580 per window
Timber600 x 900Triple Glazing£1,860 - £2,070 per window
Timber900 x 1200Double Glazing£1,700 - £1,800 per window
Timber900 x 1200Triple Glazing£2,040 - £2,390 per window

How much does it cost to repair timber sash windows?

Repairing timber sash windows is essential to maintain their functionality and aesthetic appeal.

With proper maintenance, a wooden sash window could last centuries. Conversely, neglecting timber windows is risky and will likely lead to wear and tear, dampness, mould, and fungus growth over time.  

Let’s take a look at some of the costs of repairing timber sash windows:

Repairing old timber frames

Timber frames can suffer from rot, wear, or damage over time. Repairing them can involve removing the decayed wood, filling in the gaps with a wood filler or epoxy resin, and then sanding and refinishing the surface to match the original appearance. 

The cost for this type of sash window repair can vary widely depending on the extent of the damage, but minor repairs might start from around £120 to £240 per window. 

More extensive damage requiring replacement of parts of the frame can cost upwards of £400 per window.

Fixing broken cords

The cords in sash windows are crucial for the smooth operation of the sashes. Over time, these cords can fray or snap due to wear. 

Replacing sash window cords is a relatively straightforward job for a professional, with costs typically ranging from £120 to £160 per window. This price includes the cost of the new cord and labour.

Stuck sliding sash

A sash window that won’t open or close properly can be due to various issues, including warped wood, paint buildup, or a problem with the window’s counterbalance system. 

Resolving this issue might involve planning down the wood, removing excess paint, or repairing the counterbalance system. 

Costs can start from £100 for simpler fixes like removing paint but can increase to £250 or more for more complex issues like repairing or replacing the counterbalance system.

Maintenance cost of sash windows

Regular maintenance is key to keeping sash windows in good condition, whether they’re made from uPVC or timber.

  • Painting: Timber sash windows should be repainted every 5 to 8 years to protect the wood and keep the windows looking fresh. The cost of painting sash windows can vary depending on the window size and condition. You might expect to pay between £150 to £350 per window for a professional paint job, including minor prep work like sanding and priming.
  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning of sash windows helps maintain their appearance and functionality. Professional window cleaning services typically charge between £4 to £10 per window, depending on accessibility and the level of cleaning required. The window cleaner must be made aware your windows are sash windows (and made from wood, if that applies), as they’ll need to be thoroughly dried. Also, you mustn’t pressure wash wooden windows. 
  • Draught-proofing: Installing or replacing seals can help improve the energy efficiency of sash windows. You could also consider secondary glazing if you have single-glazed windows and want to upgrade them to double-glazed without replacing the whole window. 

Other small tasks might involve lubricating sash window locks or freeing debris from inside the mechanism. 

Remember, these costs are approximate and can vary based on location, the specific requirements of your windows, and the rates of the professionals you hire.

It’s always a good idea to obtain multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting the best service for your money.

Summing up

Though premium materials and customisation can drive prices higher, even standard uPVC sash windows cost more than their casement counterparts. These classic windows remain a highly sought-after architectural feature today, but their visual appeal and timelessness come at a price. 

Given their lasting durability, aesthetic qualities, and value, investing in sash windows pays dividends for years to come. Just make sure you stay on top of maintenance and tackle issues like wear and tear or mould proactively. 

With proper maintenance, sash windows stand the test of time. In the case of well-maintained, high-quality wooden sash windows, they should last a lifetime.  

All in all, for homeowners seeking to balance style, functionality, and long-term value, sash windows warrant their higher price. 

Frequently asked questions about sash windows