What Is A Window Sash And Why Do They Matter?

Windows need to have a sash because that is the section filled with glass. Therefore, more than one sash can be placed in a window unit. The sash and window opening is the area in which the framework sits. Many years ago, a 'mechanical sash joint' was what held the window's corners together with glue or screws. The mechanical joint was for additional durability and security, as well as thermal insulation.

Window Components

Windows have five main components for a modern window sash and consist of the frame, glass, grille, gaskets, and gas. The glass may be either single or double-panes. The frame/rails may be vinyl, metal, wood, or fiberglass consisting of vertical and horizontal pieces.

The panes may be separated by wood, but newer ones may have a 'mullion look' or grille between the glasses. The gaskets are made of rubber or thermoplastic vulcanizes. Gas may be injected between the panes for insulation purposes.

Lower Window Sashes

The lower sash is located the farthest distance from the 'face' of the house.  It is also the movable part of the window unit.  A parting stop/strip holds the lower sash in place on the exterior of the house. This stop will prevent drafts from entering the home, and are found in many of the older homes.

The strip is 1/2" stock 3/4 inch wide and is the trim that will extend the length of the window unit. From the interior side, the sash is held in place with this strip and is not visible. In other words, the stop creates the inside edge of the window.

 The window sash channel holds the window's upper sash and slides down in the channel when the window is opened. In older homes, this was a permanent upper sash. Depending on the thickness of the sash, the channel is approximately 1-3/8 inches.

A Bit of History

During the 18th and 19th century, gaining popularity by the Victorian era, sash windows were a huge part of the home's elegance. Over time, the feature began to lose its 'awe' effect. However, many builders are restoring this décor for its contribution to a more economical/functional home.

Sash was derived from the French form 'chassis' meaning frame. The popular phase quickly spread from Victorian, Georgian, and Edwardian homes as time passed.

As a homeowner, you have the choice of how to remodel your home. It will depend on which décor you choose to make the decision of the type of sash is used. Contact a business, such as Affordable Home Remodeling, for more information.