You’re At School But Want To Work On Sash Windows…

You’re At School But Want To Work On Sash Windows…

Well, what’s stopping you?! Probably yourself. The truth is, no one is stopping you from doing anything, even while you are at school. We wished we wasted less time growing up while still at school. This is the time that you can get ahead while everyone is trying to do the bare minimum. This does not mean to become a ‘boffin’, ‘anorak’ or not have fun while at school but clearly, a lot of time is wasted at this age.

If you truly want to work with sash windows, carpentry or joinery, you could start your own projects now. This will put you firmly ahead of everyone your age. We remember starting our sash windows company when we were 22. People thought we were impressive but in hindsight, starting at the age of 14 of 15 is impressive. By 22, you’ve been an adult for almost half a decade. It should be the norm doing thing’s like that at age 22.

Now we have our own sash windows company in Brighton that we love and get to work on every day.

Anyway, rather than just tell you to ‘do it’ we thought we would give you a bit of a guide you could follow if you’re still in school but know you want to work with sash windows or some other sort of carpentry or joinery type role. Feel free to get in touch if you want any pointers or if you can get involved in any of our projects.


School could be quite boring for you if you are the type to work with your hands instead of liking English, maths etc.. If you are anything like us you are probably counting down the hours until the next technology class.

You can have your own project, manage it, take care of it and everything. In the other classes everything seems to be so regimented. In technology, or resistant materials, or wood working (or whatever they call it at your school), you have a chance to actually enjoy a class. One of our first projects was a metal work class. We made a cool guitar silhouette key holder. You can nail it into the side of a book shelf or something and hang your keys on it. Our last project was a lovely oak poker chip holder, completed with a green felt on the bottom.

Obviously, you are going to pick the class that is most oriented towards wood work, carpentry or resistant materials. This will give you a couple of years where you have more technology classes than normal (as you have picked it for your GCSE’s) and can begin to hone your skills. Again, like we said at the top, if you really are hungry to start on your sash window or wood working venture, just begin at home. You can order tools and materials online and follow DIY guides online too. There are endless resources of which to craft all sorts of things from.

A little cheat you can do is, when you are picking your GCSE’s, you might be able to persuade your teacher to drop one of the subjects you know you won’t need or care for in order to have more technology time. I remember we were an arts school so we had to take art. However, we had to do some sort of humanities too. If only RE and geography could have been dropped!

Other students were more on the ball and they managed to persuade the head of year to allow them to take more technology classes and less geography… genius! If you can do the same (if you really dislike one of these other subjects and know you won’t need it) go for it! Just ask your teacher, form tutor and head of year and see what comes of it. If they can see that this is your passion and what you want to do, they just might allow it. But hang in there at school. It will end eventually and you will be free…


College is the next step you should probably get through. If you were forward thinking enough to learn all about sash windows and carpentry throughout your schooling, you could be a prodigy. However, if you just did a bit or nothing in addition to your classes, you should go to college.

College is good because now you really can drop religious education, geography and whatever else you don’t like. You get to focus on the practical things only! So if you do want the sash window route, pick something that is carpentry, joinery or wood-based.

This will give you the most transferrable skills when it comes to working with sash windows in the future. It’s also worth going after a course that has some sort of placement on it. Usually this means a couple of days at college doing theory and some practical work, then a couple of days working for a firm. This could be your first taste working with a sash windows company!

Get through college then the world is your oyster. You can start your own firm, you can work for another firm and pick up experience, or you can… Go to university!

Although university is not required to thrive in this industry (or many, for that matter), it might be worth going if you want the life experience.

We did it so we can’t say too much against it. One thing we would recommend is that you try and have money while you do your studies as it is not fun being at university thinking you are going for an experience when really you can’t experience anything because… you have no money! So you can kill two birds with one stage at this juncture and get a part time job with a window tradesman, or a carpenter.

This will give you experience and money. Also, if you didn’t know whether you want to get into this industry or not during college, this gives you more time and experience in which to mull it all over. As for the subject? We don’t suppose it really matters…

Here’s a little bonus. We found this website that do mini courses for a couple of days for things like repairing and maintaining traditional windows. Raise the money, work for it, beg your parents for it. Whatever it is. We only did a quick search and expect there to be more than just this one. This was an event earlier in the year. You’ll have to look through and see if you can find anything worth going to. We would say that any sort of sash course will help you, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. On the other hand, going at it alone and using Youtube will teach you as much as you need to know anyway. Thanks for reading!





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Old Is Gold. But is it? New Plastic Vs Classic Timber Windows

Old Is Gold. But is it? New Plastic Vs Classic Timber Windows

So is old really gold? Is it just one of those phrases people throw out there for the sake of it?

The quick answer to this within the sash window world is: absolutely!

We will explain more as you read on. There is a lot more to windows being valuable simply because of age. Let’s get into it.

Remember, if you need any sash windows in Brighton repairing, renovating or replacing – we are the team to call!


As sash specialists, we are always delighted to work on windows that are extremely old.

We do not mean decades here, we mean centuries. This happens reasonably often for us each month.

The oldest recorded sash window was found at Palace House in a place called Newmarket and is thought to have been created at around 1671. This window was found in 1996 and was still in working order! That is a crazy amount of time for a window to have survived. You can bet your house that a plastic window would never, ever last that long. It simply would not be possible.

The plastic does not evade wear and tear effectively enough. Sure, the window needed some sprucing up when first discovered but the glass installed in 1671 was still in the window. As mentioned, plastic would never be able to retain glass like this. This goes to show the quality of good, honest timber windows and their ability to last for long periods of time.

As you might know, wood is not how it used to be. As we as a race are always farming wood at a scarily fast rate – the wood is less durable. But why is this? Let’s have a deeper look…

Strong, classic wood

Before mankind had its way with the world using technology, most of the wood used for sash windows was totally natural. The timber grew in vast virgin forests that were untouched by humans. Scots pine is an obvious example of this. This type of pine can survive for up to 700 years. Sure, this quality of a tree was hard to find back then too, but it would not be strange to find trees that were surviving for 300 hundred years old back then.

All sorts of carpenters and woodworkers back then had the luxury of working with wood that could create absolutely fabulous timber furniture. I suppose we can boast better tools, equipment and access with the internet these days but that wood would have been exquisite to work with.

Now with mass production at an all time high, trees are planted and harvested ‘artificially’ for the sake of profit. As a result, the quality of timber is only decreasing with time.

But why was this old timber so superior to what we have today? Hopefully this sheds some light on the value of the actual timber in your windows if they are particularly old.

What you have is something that cannot be replaced and therefore higher in value. Remember to take something like that into consideration when valuing your home… Anyway, here are three more crucial reasons why old timber windows are more valuable than newer, less authentic UPVC sash windows or UPVC plastic windows.

1. Sturdier

Old timber was simply far stronger back then. The wood was allowed to grow for longer and therefore would become much thicker and denser with every passing year. The simple reason is because the wood was allowed to mature. The longer a tree is allowed to grow, absorbing nutrients around it, light, water and so on – the thicker the trunk gets. It just continues to become more and more dense with time, basically.

The opposite is happening these days. More and more wood needs to be created faster and faster making for the ever-increasing demand. This means that wood is grown and chopped down as fast as possible. Therefore our wood is far less dense. Despite our far more advanced society, the wood is certainly less solid than it used to be.

This makes the wood stronger and less susceptible to structural damage.

So, these days, wood is weaker than it ever has been. We have traded quality for availability so make of that what you will.

Obviously, if you have a window that has been maintained and protected across hundreds of years it is likely that the wood is of this hardened mould. You have something that is rare and that other people cannot get a hold of.

2. Harder to warp

This old wood used to warp far less easily. Most materials are affected by warmth and cold. Both cold and warmth are prevalent against your windows because of our cold Winter climate and reasonably warm Summer climate.

Warmth makes wood contract and cold makes wood expand. The change in temperature and constant expansion and contraction leads to joint and paint damage for your windows.

This would have been far less prevalent for old timber. If you cut into old timber you will see how dense the rings are compared to modern day wood. It is quite shocking. The wood was denser and therefore less susceptible to expansion and contraction from the elements.

The wood these days is far less dense so it is far more likely to warp with changes in temperature. So, this brings down the worth and strength of modern windows, but we can still combat this using modern techniques. If your window simply split, shrunk or drastically expanded during a weather change, we would be out of business quickly.

3. Harder to rot

As the wood was denser, the wood was less susceptible to absorb moisture. This made it hard for fungi and rot to settle in to your sash or the frame. Thankfully our modern materials mean that we can cover our softer modern day wood but it certainly means that once exposed, the softwood will develop rot far easier than old timber.

So if you have newer windows, the way to combat this is first to clean your frame, sash the part of the window that slides up) and glazing. The reason being that dirt can stick to parts of the paint and rip it off with it. If you are regularly cleaning your windows, your paint should be fine. We would say anytime your windows are drastically dirty as well as a maintenance clean once a month.

The second thing you can do is be vigilant about your windows. If paint is being stripped and you think the wood is exposed, call us in. What might only be a couple of hours work is far better than paying for us to remove chunks of your sash, frame or sill because it has rotten. We would then have to splice in new parts of wood to get rid of the rotten parts, obviously taking more time, materials and energy than simply repainting and re-adding epoxy primer to protect your windows again.

Wrapping up…

Hopefully this piece of writing has given you an insight into why we love working with classic, aged sash windows. Many people don’t know how to pick between plastic vs wooden sash windows so hopefully this gave you some points as to why people scream and shout about these old, but gold, timber windows. Modern technology allows us to excellently revive these old wooden windows and maintain as much of the timber as possible. We have resins, coatings and paints to try and protect this historical wood even further into the future. Hopefully old wooden windows will continue to be discovered and live on. We know that we will be doing our part to keep them going!

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