What Is A Window Sash And Are They Still Used?

There are dozens of different types of windows in circulation today. With so many different types, it can be easy to get them mixed up or confused. One of these types of windows is known as a sash window. 

What Is A Window SashImage from cascadejoinery

A sash window has a window sash, which is another term that is really difficult to remember. It is a window part that is important to the function of a modern-day window. Learning about it can be quite helpful. 

What Is A Window Sash?

When you hear the term window sash you probably imagine some type of window covering or curtain that you use to cover your window. But a window sash isn’t a window covering at all, it’s actually part of the window.

Window sashes are traditionally part of sash windows. Sash windows are windows that open and close with sashes that are attached to frames that stationary parts of the window are also attached to.

History Of The Sash WindowImage from Chesney’s

The oldest sash windows that are still hanging were installed in England in the 1670s. Because of this, it is believed sash windows were invented around this time. The exact country that first introduced them is unknown. 

These windows usually had six panels and one sash. They were a few feet high and made of wood. Because they were made of wood, not many of them still stand today due to the rot that inevitably got to them. 

Other Parts Of The WindowImage from Patterson Custom Homes

The window sash isn’t the only part of the window. But if you are interested in learning about the window sash then you are probably interested in a little thing called window anatomy.

Window anatomy is similar to human anatomy. It’s all about learning the different parts of the window, both inside and out. Here are some more window parts to learn.

Frame

The window frame has multiple parts. There are three main parts of a window frame and they are the most important part of the window as they are the first piece of the window that holds everything else together. 

  • Head – this is the horizontal part of the frame that goes on the top of the frame and is similar to a header for a wall frame or door frame. 
  • Jamb – this is the primary vertical part of the window frame that goes on either side of the frame and supports it vertically. 
  • Sill – the window sill is actually part of the window frame though it is often referred to separately and also often called the stool. 

Pane

This framed sheet of material, usually glass, is what protects us from the elements. It is held in place by other parts of the window and is the “window” to the other side of the wall. This is a clear material more often than not. 

Jambliner

This is a rubbery strip that is placed on either side of the window to help it fit snugly and weatherproof the window. There is often a spring loaded into the jambliner to help everything fit securely without cracking. 

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Sash

We’ve talked about sashes but now we’re going to go over the main parts of the window sash in a sash window. These are seen more oftne in double-hung windows that need the extra support for the sash. 

  • Rails – rails are bars that are the horizontal supports for the sash. The top of each rail will meet when the window is opened and they will be parallel when the window is closed. 
  • Balance – this mechanism is usually spring-loaded and used in sash windows to compenmsate for the weight of the sash when it is opened and closed. This helps keep the sash from falling freely. 
  • Lift – simply put, this is the handle for raising the sash. Not all windows have a lift that looks like a handle. Sometimes, it’s just a small lip that you can hold onto while you open the window.
  • Sash Lock – this is the lock for the window. It is used primarily for security reasons. If the sash doesn’t lock in place, it may be able to be opened from the outside. Especially if the mesh bug net is cut. 

Weep Hole

The weep hole isn’t usually located on the window, exactly, but it is located on the exterior wall of the window and used as a drainage system. It is very near the window and often is connected directly to it. 

Mullion

Mullions aren’t found on every window and are more often seen, or at least noticeable, in windows that are not sash windows. This is a bar, usually vertical, that seperates two seperate panes or doors. 

GrillesImage from sarahbarnard

Grilles aren’t usually operating nor do they serve a purpose other than making the window look nice. They divide window panels by adding a grid to the window. This is a personal preference and can be found in any window type. 

Screen

The window screen is a mesh piece that can be inserted and taken out at any time, in case of an emergency. This can tear but be replaced easily. It protects one from some elements and insects when the window is open. 

Casing

This casing is similar to facing used on doors and other windows. It covers the area where the window meets the wall and gives a decorative or smooth accent. This is both a practical and decorative piece. 

Weatherstrip

This is a strip of material, often manually added by uses to protect the window from leaks and air. It is placed where the sash lands in the window and is often a material with a good seal on it like rubber or foam.

Apron

The apron of the window can be seen under the window. It is a piece of material that runs horizontally and looks like an apron below the window. It can be used to cover gaps but is primarily decorative. 

Hinge

Hinges are seen in windows that open like doors. There are many different types of hinges you can use for your windows that are similar to door hinges. These help the window open safely and help it close securely. 

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Window Sash Projects

Did you know that you can actually use window sashes to create amazing projects around the house? You will need an old window, preferably a wooden one, and you can create one of these cool projects.

Mini Greenhouse

A mini greenhouse is one of the more complicated yet more forgiving projects you can make with window sashes. If you have a lot of window sashes to use, you can make a large greenhouse, but a small one is good for beginners. 

Window Kitchen Island

You can make a window kitchen island by taking a standard kitchen island and adding window sashes to one side. This creates a bar-like display case for your kitchen island. Get creative with this idea! 

Chalkboard Window

This may be the easiest project we have for you today. All you need is chalk paint and you can create this. Alternatively, you can remove the panes and add the wooden parts of the window sash to a chalboard. 

Reminder Board

A reminder board can be a family’s best friend. You can completely customize it to suit your needs. Add a calender, a marker board, or something completely different. This can be a fun project with kids. 

Fireplace Screen

You can make a fireplace screen with just a window sash. It is best to build a stand for it but after that you can make it any way you like. With a iron grate, glass, or something more personalized. Another adorable project. 

Farmhouse Mirror

This is a quite easy project you can do and all you need is a mirror and a window sash. Just replace the glass with the mirrors and you are ready to go! It is so easy and you can decorate the wood any way you like. 

Display Case

This can work in two different ways. You can create a case that has six sides or you can sink it into the wall like a safe. Both work well but it is recommended to create a freestanding one if you don’t have much experience. 

Choosing A Window Style

If you came here hoping for help choosing a type of window, then don’t worry. As long as the window is safe, then you can use it. There are very few types of windows that aren’t safe to use, so it really is up to your personal style.

Windows aren’t a one size fits all thing. You want to get the size of window and the look of window that you want for your home. If you want more light, get large ones and maybe add clerestory windows too.

But if you want dark rooms, then consider smaller windows, ensuring that you have all of the windows up to code for emergencies. Other than that, choose the windows that you just love the way they look. 

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