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By Julian Burgess

Quality sash window refurbishment requires attention to detail and care for the little things. A sash window unit is made up of two panels that may have only one pane each or several panes (of equal number) separated by wood muntins. Cables and counterweights make it possible to raise the lower panel to nearly the same height as the upper panel. Proper refurbishment may involve replacement of the cables, weights, and muntins.

As the technology for such windows has been around since at least the seventeenth century, many historic properties have this particular type of unit. Most commonly used during the nineteenth century, these sets were commonly used in Georgian and Victorian homes. Sometimes they are said to cast Yorkshire light, as the very first were found in seventeenth century British homes.

Among the benefits that lead owners of historic properties to seek refurbishment rather than total renovation of elements such as these windows is the charm and allure that such treatments afford. Often constructed of six panes per panel of sash, these pairings are tall and broad to allow a great deal of light into houses that may have been constructed without many electrical lighting options.

Additionally, sash windows are excellent choices for people who live in temperate climates to maintain for cool breeze living. Those units that can be manipulated so that the upper panel is slightly open even as the lower panel is as well provide cool-air circulation as rising heat pushes out through the upper panel and cool air is pulled in through the lower panel.

Weights, cables, wood muntins, and fixtures such as metal lock mechanisms may require replacing, too. As panes are discovered broken or break during refurbishment, pane replacement will become necessary as well.

Although cloth and lead cables were widely used, they may be replaceable by steel cables. Lead is not ideal for a number of reasons, including the health risk it presents as it becomes worn and releases particles which may be aspirated into the air. Cloth is prone to breakage and rot.

Old window units may be used to make replacements for worn wood muntins. Whenever unusable windows are not available for scrap pieces, wood workers may be employed to fashion muntins by hand. Commissioned, these can be made identical to the original pieces.

Metal fittings and lock mechanisms may require repair or replacement as well. Many styles for complete replacement are available, from modern selections to those in keeping with the styles of particular days. Visit hardware stores, restoration sites online, or catalog sites to find the perfect choice for a specific home.

Glass panes are often era specific. Among the styles that are commonly found in homes with sash windows are bubbly glass, oily glass, or wavy glass. Choosing glass that matches the other panes' style will help to maintain the window units integrity.

Repairs and refurbishments such as these can make a big difference for a historical property. Choosing to maintain historical property integrity means paying attention to little details and working to choose the best pieces for replacement.

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