Calculating the Cost of Timber Sash Windows

Wooden sash windows are a popular choice for period properties, evoking a natural feel that slots in with the appearance of your home perfectly.

Contemporary homeowners also often opt for a timber sash window, with a vast range of textures, colours and finishes to choose between.

Several factors will affect the overall quotation:

The Style of Sash Windows

Sash windows have been a focal point and natural light source in home design for many years, and therefore you might find two properties with a very different cost for replacing tired or worn sash windows.

Timber frames can be single-hung, where there is one moving pane, usually the lower portion of the glass. They can also be double-hung, with panels at the top and bottom of the window frame. Large sash windows can even be triple or quadruple hung, and so the complexity and configuration of your sash windows has a bearing on the total replacement cost.

Arched sash windows and boxed windows require more time to fit and a higher skill level and so tend to be pricier than standard square window installations.

What Type of Timber You Choose

Hardwood, such as oak, is a more expensive option than softwood timber. Softwoods include pine, cedar, yew and fir, and tend to be less durable due to the softer nature of the wood.

However, this can mean that they are more resistant to bugs and potentially damp. Hardwoods include maple, mahogany, birch and beech, which are very tough, durable timbers with excellent thermal resistance.

The timber you choose can substantially impact the cost, with softwood being around 35% cheaper. The UK average cost for a softwood sash window is between £1,200 to £3,000, depending on the size of the window.

That compares to between £1,600 and £4,200 for a hardwood alternative.

The Size of Your Windows, and Number of Panes.

As we’ve seen, timber sash windows cost usually from around £350 to £750 per pane, and so a lot of the pricing depends on the size of your sash window and how many panels of glass are required.

Some properties have a small sash window with three fixed panels of glass, and others might require twelve panes with two single hung panels.

The more panes required, and the more intricate the frame, the higher the cost. However, it’s worth noting that there are usually cost-efficiencies in replacing all panels and framing at once since the labour costs and sundries will likely be similar, even for a slightly more extensive project.

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Other Factors Impacting Your Timber Sash Windows Cost

As well as the type of timber, the number of panes, and the style of sash windows you need, there are also other factors, which will make a difference to your final quotation.

  • Type of glass: do you need double-glazed, triple-glazed or a bespoke type of glass to fit into your sash windows? Many installers can provide customised panels to unusual properties but will need to factor in the additional manufacturing and handling costs into their quotation. Low emissivity glass and sealed units are better for energy-efficiency but again increase the price. If you install triple glazing, you can request the Costs to Move a Radiator to ensure more effective heat distribution.
  • Window finishes: many older homes with sash windows require additional work to ensure the new timber sash replicates the property’s design and aesthetic. Extra tasks such as specialist ironmongery or bespoke paint finishes will add to the cost.
  • Timber finishes: as with the type of wood, you can choose from all sorts of paints, stains and protective treatments. Any unusual colours or finishes that require custom work will be a higher price than a standard stain colour or treated finish.
  • Location: installations in London and the southeast tend to be higher, given the additional costs for businesses in the region. Properties in rural locations or hard to reach places may require a slightly higher budget to account for travel costs.
  • Security requirements: most sash windows have one or two panels that open, and if you need to have upgraded security locks or safety precautions installed, these can add to the price. You can also use our Locksmith Call Out Fees form to request pricing for any lock repairs or replacement keys required on existing sash windows.

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Breaking Down a Timber Sash Window Quotation

Quotes include several services, components, labour and other costs. Sometimes, this is reflected as a total, inclusive charge, but more often is broken down to demonstrate how the total price has been calculated.

Elements you might see on a sash window quotation include:

  • Labour charges – usually calculated per day.
  • Transport costs for the delivery of frames, glazing and materials.
  • Waste disposal costs to remove the old sash windows.
  • Pricing for components, including flashing, screws, and locks.
  • Glazing prices for your chosen glass.
  • Charges for the required size and material for the timber frame.
  • Scaffolding costs if required – although you will often need to book and organise this separately.

There are lots of potential costs, which all depend on the type of windows you choose. For example, lead weights, bullnose window sills, spiral balances and architraves might all be itemised on your quote if they are not included in the unit price.

The Benefits of Choosing Timber Sash Windows

Timber sash windows are one of the most expensive options compared to other frames such as uPVC or aluminium. So, why would you choose timber frames over another, less expensive choice?

There are some compelling reasons you might opt for timber for your sash window replacement:

  • Timber is eco-friendly and often chosen for sustainable homes where the homeowner wishes to avoid heavily manufactured or synthetic materials.
  • Wooden frames can last for decades and have a very long life span. The timbers can also be reused and recycled when the sash window reaches the end of its use.
  • The natural, warm finish is often considered the most charming and attractive option. It has an authentic, timeless finish that won’t jar with the style of period properties. This can also complement other home improvement works, for example if you are also renovating your kitchen, perhaps looking at the cost of kitchen rewiring and researching kitchen wrapping costs.
  • There are multiple finishes, from paints and stains to carving. You can also repaint wooden windows should you change your property’s appearance, from neutral tones and natural varnishes to bright colours and shades.
  • Wood carries natural insulation properties, adding to the energy-efficiency provided by your glazing. It can help keep a stable temperature throughout the year.
  • The structural integrity of timber makes it more secure and less easy to tamper with by criminals. The strength and weight of timber frames make them challenging to break, shift or move.
  • Timbers require little maintenance, with protective coatings defending against peeling, rot, damp and blistering.

With so many options from different types of wood, alternative colours and finishes, a hardwood or software sash window can bring your property to life and be durable enough to last for many years to come.

Suppose you’re thinking of replacing your timber sash windows due to heat loss or draughts. In that case, it could also be worth considering a Boiler Repair Call Out to carry out any servicing or maintenance works required to ensure your home is adequately heated.

The timber you choose can substantially impact the cost, with softwood being around 35% cheaper. The UK average cost for a softwood sash window is between £1,200 to £3,000, depending on the size of the window.

Frequently Asked Questions - Timber Sash Windows Cost

Here we’ll answer some of the most popular queries about the costs of fitting a new timber sash window.

Can I Get Replacement Timber Sash Windows to Match the Existing Style?

You can indeed; sash windows for period properties are available through experienced craftspeople that can match most styles and period features. Timber is usually the best sash window frame to use since aluminium or uPVC often clash with the rest of the property appearance.

If you want to match the style as closely as possible, it’s usually best to work out what type of wood your current frames are to ensure your quote is as accurate as possible.

Should you be unsure what sort of wood your current sash windows are made from, an installer may be able to visit your property and provide an on-site assessment.

Historically accurate windows can be produced, although any specialist joinery and finishes may cost more if they are bespoke or need to be customised to your property.

If you live in a Listed property, having accurately reproduced frames may be a requirement for the local authority to grant planning permission.

Is it Possible to Replace Plastic Sash Windows With Timber?

It is indeed, and this is a common reason homeowners decide to opt for a replacement sash window. Many newer properties are built with plastic window frames as standard. These are cheaper, easier to install, and don’t require any maintenance.

However, over time plastic can become susceptible to mould and damp, and the lighter weight frame is less robust when it comes to home security.

Most plastic window frames last for around 20 years and cause a waste issue since you cannot reuse the plastic. Timber windows last significantly longer, so although the initial cost is higher, they will provide a better finish and improved value for money.

Many people also feel that timber provides a more attractive finish and decide to upgrade an old uPVC plastic sash window for a timber replacement when the time comes to replace the frame.

Quality timber sash window frames can improve your property’s saleable value, partly due to the improved appearance but also given that a buyer would not need to replace the frames for many years to come.

Can I Upgrade Single Glazed Sash Windows for Double Glazing?

Single glazing is not used as the standard in any building works any longer, and many properties with this thin type of glass benefit from double-glazing or triple glazing.

Using two or three panes of glass per window panel dramatically reduces draughts, cuts down on condensation, and improves your property’s energy-efficiency.

If you live in a Listed property or a conservation area, you will need planning permission and listed building permission to make these sorts of changes.

Permissions are managed by the local authority and provided the windows retain the same outward appearance; this is usually granted.

In some cases, a secondary glazing service is a good solution since this won’t impact the property’s character but will improve energy efficiency.

Other options include draught sealing and repair services, which you can use to improve the performance of existing timber sash windows that don’t require a complete replacement.

How Long Do Timber Sash Windows Last?

The lifespan of your timber sash windows will depend on the type of wood you use, whether it is finished with protective coating or varnish, and how well you maintain the wood.

In most cases, that maintenance is minimal but might mean repainting the varnish to ensure the timber underneath remains protected from the elements.

Most sash window installers will offer a guarantee, which might vary for different aspects of the work. Typical examples might be:

  • A 20 or 30-year guarantee against insect infections.
  • 10-year guarantees on sealed units, craftsmanship and fittings supplied.
  • Guarantees of around eight years on paintwork and approximately five years on stain finishes.

If your quotation doesn’t include warranty or guarantee periods details, it’s worth clarifying this point.

Having a 20 or 30-year guarantee will mean that you can call back the installer should any problems emerge and act as a selling point if you decide to put your property on the market.

How Can I Check my Timber Sash Windows are Sustainable?

Sustainable wood, including hardwoods and softwoods, will come with certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council, reflecting that the wood has been responsibly sourced.

Rich Crossley
Having spent 30 years working all over the world for top-tier investment banks, I’ve owned and developed houses all over the world – Europe, the US and Asia. I’m now based back in the UK and involved in the property industry – oh, and I’m a keen DIY enthusiast!
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