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June 11, 2017
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How Much Do UPVC Sash Windows Cost?

How Much Do UPVC Sash Windows Cost?

uPVC Sash Window Features and Prices

Double hung uPVC Sash

Double hung uPVC Sash Window Open

With their particular uniqueness, sash windows can be seen in many homes around the UK, particularly in those built in the Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian periods.

Such is the lasting appeal of the design that it has continued to be developed over the years, so that you can now find some superb examples constructed using uPVC.

Whilst some purists will say that the only true sash window is one made from timber, there are many advantages of using uPVC sash windows and we will look at those features in this article.

The aim of the article is to be the ultimate guide to uPVC Sash windows and will cover:
  • Back to basics – what is a sash window & how does it work?
  • What are the main design options for uPVC sash windows?
  • UPVC sash window features – basics & added “extra’s” (colours, finishes, glazing options).
  • What are the advantages & disadvantages?
  • How much do uPVC sash windows cost?

What is a sash window & how does it work?

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upvc sash window

Double Hung uPVC Sash Window Top Open

For those of you who are not quite sure what a sash window is, how it works or how it is different from other types of window, this should explain it for you.

The first thing to know about sash windows is that they open or close by sliding vertically up and down. Unlike other windows which open from the side, bottom or top, classic sash windows do not use hinges. The opening sections simply slide / move within tracks on the side frame (more about specialised opening functions later). The moving sections are commonly referred to as “sashes”.

Because the weight of the sash is not taken by a set of hinges, is has to be counterbalanced another way. This is done by attaching a rope (sash cord) and counter weight to the moving section.

The sash cord runs up the side of the window frame track, over a pulley wheel and then runs back down inside the window frame and is finally connected to a counterweight.  So this miniature rope & pulley system is what takes all the effort out of sliding the window open or closed.

A uPVC sash window is simply a version constructed from a rigid polymer called Unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride. UPVC is a very tough, long lasting, light and strong material that is also used in many other types of new or replacement windows or doors.
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What are the main design options for uPVC sash windows?

Standard uPVC Sash Windows

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The typical installation for a residential property will have 2 moving sections. One at the top and one at the bottom, each section taking up half of the height of the window.  The bottom section is usually on the inside track.

The sashes can be all glass or be divided by Mullions, Muntins or Astragal bars into smaller sections, some quite decorative, some simple.

As briefly mentioned above, a lot of period homes (Georgian, Edwardian or Victorian era properties) still have sash or box sash windows (they are the same thing really) and you will see that there are a few main glazing styles used.

Quite often you may see top & bottom sashes made up of 6 smaller panes – this would be a 6 over 6.  This setup can also be seen in 2 over 2, 3 over 3.  See the images below.

Square uPVC Sash Window Designs

square upvc sash windows
Plain Glass / Victorian, Edwardian / Georgian

Curved uPVC Sash Window Designs

Curved upvc sash window designs
Victorian / Edwardian, Offset / Plain
tilt & turn sash window M

Tilting Vertical Double Hung Sash Window

There are 2 major different uPVC sash window versions which are commonly known as:

  • Single Hung: Only the bottom section can open.
  • Double Hung: Both the top & bottom sections can open.

For very tall sash windows, you can get Triple, or even Quadruple hung versions, but they will need to be made to order from a specialist supplier and are not readily available or hugely popular.

A more recent innovation is to use tensioned springs in place of the sash cord & weight. These springs are set into the side frame and can be adjusted to suit.

The use of tensioned springs as the counterbalance allows for the actual window frame to be much slimmer, as the mechanism does not take up as much space as the classic version by having to hide the counterweights inside the frame.

You can have uPVC Sash windows made in different dimensions, but there will be a “practical” limit to how wide or how high you have them made. One huge, wide, single sash window would be difficult to operate for most people. So for wider openings, most installations will have smaller individual frames fitted side by side.

Common combination of widths and heights (in mm):


Tilting & Turning uPVC Sash Windows

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There are uPVC Sash window designs that offer additional opening options, these are known as “tilt & turn sash windows”.

By means of fitting of specialised tracks, the sash itself can be rotated, turned or tilted out of the frame to allow for ventilation, ease of cleaning or a potential escape route in an emergency. Three very useful features.

UPVC sash window features – basics & added “extra’s”

The average uPVC sash window will come with a set of available features and further customisation can be achieved by the use of optional extras.

Glazing: New or replacement installations all benefit from double glazing as standard and could be B or C rated for energy efficiency. If you take advantage of gas filled double glazing and low-e glass, then you can boost the energy rating to A or even A+.

Decorative Glass: If you want privacy, you can fit obscure or frosted glass in plain or patterned appearance. 

Frames: The UPVC profiles used for the frames will be multi-chambered for improved sound, heat and weather proofing.

Storm proof weather strips / seals: The tracks are fitted with brush seals to prevent draughts and water infiltration. Drains are also built in to redirect water flow during wet weather.

Window horns: Originally there at the bottom of the side of a moving sash to prevent the window going down too far and getting stuck. These, now mainly decorative, features sometimes come as “screw-on” items.

The more authentic way to do it is to have the a “run through” horn where the end of the side frame is fashioned into an actual horn.
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Tilt Hinge 1

Tilt Hinge 1

Window Bars

Window Bars

Window Horn

Window Horn

Tilt Hinge 2

Tilt Hinge 2

Mullions & Astragal bars: These are the strips that divide the window panes. They can be true physical dividers (part of the frame itself) or inserts or overlays.

The inserts are fitted between the double glazed panes, the overlays are fitted on top of the glass surface, physical dividers are structural parts of the windows.

sash window locks

Single lockable centre catch

Locks & Security: A locking catch is fitted where the top & bottom sashes meet in the centre, you can fit 2 for wider units.  Opening restrictors, night vent and “anti-jemmy” bars can all be fitted to further enhance security,

Opening restrictors are very useful in upstairs windows or where there are children about. They are also convenient for when you want to be able to open the window slightly for ventilation without worrying about uninvited guests (human or animal) being able to climb in through it.

Secured by Design: If security is really a high priority, then it will come as a great comfort that many modern uPVC sash windows meet the coveted “secured by design” standards from ACPO (the Association of Chief Police Officers).

coloured sash windowsTrickle vents: Specially made ventilation slots to combat condensation within well insulated homes. If your home does not have some fresh air circulating into it, the property will suffer from condensation and mold over time.

Coloured uPVC Sash Windows: The material does not only come in white, there are more than 12 plain colours and 10 wood-grain colours in the market, the majority of which can be used for uPVC sash windows such as, light oak, Irish oak, Chartwell green, beech, cream, black/brown and others.

Wood-grain surfaces: Specially bonded wood effect finishes in different shades can be applied during manufacture.  These textured finishes replicate the feel and look of real wood.

It’s permanently bonded fade proof and will not crack or peel off.

upvc sash windows corner set

“6 over 1” Sash Window Configuration

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What are the advantages of uPVC windows?

Lifespan: uPVC is exceptionally hard wearing and durable. It doesn’t really react to air pollutants and cannot rust or corrode like metal (aluminium). Neither is it subject to the same problems with shrinkage, warping and cracking such as with wood.  Woodworm and woodlice are not a problem and neither is wood rot.

As a material this “inert”, that is negligibly impacted by its surrounding environment, it keeps its original properties for far longer than competing materials – and so you get better value for money.

Maintenance: It’s something you may hear a lot about, but uPVC sash windows really do not take a lot of looking after. Obviously, they don’t need repainting like wood.

Some light lubricant on the locks and keeping the tracks free of dirt is all that you need to do, apart from washing them down occasionally to keep them clean. How easy is that?

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Price point: Timber box sash windows are not cheap to buy. There is a lot of work that goes into making them and many homeowners have actually replaced them with casement windows as a result.

Generally, the price point for a Upvc sash window will be considerably lower than that for a timber one of the same size and design.

Safety & security: It may not have occurred to you to think about it, but they can’t be blown open or shut by the wind.

The various locks and movement restriction features mean you can open them as wide or as narrow as you like, and leave them open without concern about inquisitive children or persons with criminal intent.

They can save you money on your energy bills: Designed for optimum insulation and weatherproofing, the latest models keep out the bad weather and keep in your heat.

In summer they can reverse the flow by keeping out excess solar radiation (no faded curtains or furnishings) and “bounce off” the suns’ heat to keep your room cooler.

For double hung versions, you can have the top and bottom sections open slightly to create circulation of fresh air when needed.

Appearance: The design and finishes of modern units can readily be used to replace older timber box sash windows.

The build quality and physical appearance of top quality products is so good, that they are now more widely accepted by planning departments than ever.

One other aspect of using spring loaded sash windows is, as we mentioned beforehand, that the frame profiles can be made thinner and give a much different, contemporary slimline appearance.

For a window that is historically quite “bulky” it makes quite a visual impact.

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How much do upvc sash windows cost?

Bearing in mind that there are a lot of variables such as labour, material, finishing’s or extra’s, here is a rough guide to the cost of supply only and fitted upvc sash window prices.

How much do supply only upvc sash windows cost?
Approximate Size (width x height in mm) Windows materialSupply only sash window price
 Bottom sash opens: 600 x 1000 white uPVCfrom £192
Bottom sash opens: 900 x 1000 brown uPVCfrom £260
Bottom sash opens: 1200 x 1000 white uPVCfrom £250
Bottom sash opens: 1500 x 1000 white uPVCfrom £282
How much do fitted upvc sash windows cost?
Approximate Size (width x height in mm) Windows materialfitted sash window price
 Single hung up to: 600 x 1000 white uPVC B ratedfrom £400 to £500
Single hung up to: 1200 x 1000 white uPVC B ratedfrom £550 to £700
Bottom sash opens: 1200 x 1200 coloured / wood-grain uPVCfrom £800 to £900
Colours or wood-grain classed as extras textured or smooth finish uPVCfrom 15% to 20% extra

Bottom line

Sash windows have classic appeal and suit some types of homes better than others. If you have existing sash windows in your property and they need replacing, then where feasible, its best to use the same design.

get online double glazing pricesUPVC sash windows are more than capable, both in terms of appearance and performance to use in place of timber. They look authentic, last a very long time and need a lot less looking after than timber.

They are not the least expensive window design by a long way, but your money spent will be a good investment in terms of maintaining your homes’ character whilst reaping the benefits of a very secure and energy efficient product.

Why not request a quote to see how much it would cost to install uPVC sash windows in your home.

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How Much Do UPVC Sash Windows Cost?
Article Name
How Much Do UPVC Sash Windows Cost?
There are a lot of variables such as labour, material, finishing’s or extra’s, but here is a rough guide to the cost of supply only and fitted upvc sash window prices.
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William Henderson
William Henderson
William is a long time blogger for home improvement articles in the UK.