Forgive the pun in the title of this one. But it’s true, the number of installation companies installing sliding sash windows is on the rise, and it seems in a big way.

Pursuit of high value

I think it’s fair to say that in previous years the business of vertical sliders was a bit steady. Not really booing, not really declining. The recession years made sure of that. But as we have recovered as an industry, we have learned that installers need to diversify to keep finding new revenue streams. Make hay while the sun shines and all that.

The industry’s installers have started to turn to sash windows to add another string to their bow. And it’s a good move. Sash windows have always held a special place in the hearts of the UK’s homeowners. In fact out of all the fenestration products available, I reckon vertical sliders has to be one of the most recognised and most revered. So the idea for more and more installers to start selling them is a very logical one.

As the featured image above indicated, there has been a significant jump from 2013 to 2014 in the number of installers choosing to start selling sash windows. The report doesn’t show the split between timber, PVCu and aluminium, so I would guess that these numbers combine all three. The purists will say that the only sash windows being sold and installed should be timber, but in reality that will never be the case.

PVCu vs Timber vs Aluminium

Beneath the stats lies a debate that fans of each material type love to get their teeth stuck into, which material is better for sash windows?

As I said above, the purists will always say that timber sash windows were the best, are the best and will always remain the best. Even as a PVCu man, even I have to admit that timber is probably the best for vertical sliders. But real world realities such as cost and maintenance do get in the way of ideals. Which is where a good quality PVCu alternative becomes a good option.

I know the guys at Roseview Windows will agree with me on this one. They have been installing PVCu sash windows since 1977, so they must know what they’re doing and the product must be liked by the general public! They won the G Award for product of the year in 2013 for their efforts, demonstrating that PVCu sash windows can be done to a high standard. There are of course exceptions to that, and there are some terrible examples of PVCu sash windows that simply shouldn’t be out there. Then again, I’m sure that there are some pretty shoddy timber and aluminium ones out there too.

Then there is the aluminium option. Slim, sleek, as energy efficient as their PVCu and timber counterparts, they complete a trio of materials in the sash window category. But when you think about sash windows, the product really is popular because of it’s looks and operation. Surely as long as the look is nailed, it operates smoothly and it’s well made, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s timber, PVCu or aluminium. Does it?

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