✔ uPVC sash windows are a cheaper, low maintenance alternative
✔ You can buy a uPVC double glazed sash window for as little as £300
✔ Get free quotes from reputable professionals by completing the above form
Dreaming of a home, washed in golden sunlight from the morning sunrise? Well, investing in sash windows will fill your home with refreshing light all year round. What’s more, you can get these traditional windows in an array of materials (the cheapest being uPVC). But the benefits don’t stop there – read on to find out why uPVC sash windows for be the perfect fit for your home.
If you’re up to date on your sash window scoop, you can compare different quotes from local suppliers by simply filling in this form.
In this guide to uPVC sash windows:
Head straight to a specific section by clicking on the links below
What are uPVC sash windows?
uPVC double glazed sash windows are made of a type of rigid plastic frame – often white – around 2 panes of glass. One (or both) of the panes slides up and down to open and close the window.
A sash window where only one pane of glass (usually the lower one) slides up and down is referred to as single hung; a double hung sash window is one where both panes of glass slide up and down.
Sash windows were very popular on homes during the 1700s to early 1900s. Because of this, they’re best suited to traditional houses, but uPVC sash windows can also look good on more modern homes built in the style of period properties.
This guide gives you the lowdown on modern uPVC double glazed sash windows, from their benefits and how much they cost, to how long they take to install and what companies supply them.
uPVC sash windows cost
uPVC’s biggest selling point is it’s affordability. Typically, double glazed sash windows cost between £300 and £950 for one window. The bigger your modern sash window, the more expensive it is likely to be. Choosing woodgrain effect uPVC will also drive up the price of your sash window; a standard white uPVC sash window will cost less.
The table below provides you with a comparison between prices for sash windows in different materials. If you want to get free quotes from trusted companies, fill in this form – or read on to learn more.
Window material (sash)
Average cost per window including materials,
installation and VAT
£700 – £1,100
£1,100 – £1,900
100cm x 50cm
£1,200 – £1,500
*Prices sourced from getawindow.co.uk
If you’re concerned about the price of uPVC double glazed sash windows, most companies will offer you the option of buying them on finance. This involves spreading the cost over several months and paying interest on top.
Buying your uPVC sash windows on finance can mean you’ll end up paying hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds more than your windows are actually worth, and there’s always the risk that you’ll fall behind on payments and face harsh penalties.
It’s far better to save up enough money and pay for your modern sash windows upfront and this’ll give you better bargaining power.
Remember: while uPVC sash windows can seem expensive, they often cost up to half the price of wooden sash windows. uPVC sash windows are therefore a great option if you want to save a few pennies.
Cost savings with uPVC double glazed sash windows
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you can save up to £115 a year on your energy bills by upgrading from single glazed windows to new double glazed windows.
The table below estimates how much you can expect to save every year by installing new double glazed uPVC sash windows if you live in England, Scotland or Wales:
Prices sourced from windowsguide.co.uk
Good to know: the size of your house, energy rating and size of your uPVC sash windows, along with how you heat your home, will affect how much you can save on your energy bills each year.
How do you know how energy efficient your uPVC sash windows are?
Two measures are used to rate a window’s energy efficiency: the Window Energy Rating, and the U-value.
The Window Energy Rating measures a window’s overall energy efficiency: how much heat the glass allows in, how much heat it lets out, and how much warm air escapes through gaps in the frames.
Window Energy Ratings range from A++ (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient), although new double glazed windows in England, Scotland and Wales must have a rating of at least C. A window’s energy rating is advertised using a rainbow label, a bit like the ones you find on fridges and washing machines.
The U-value measures how well heat can pass through a window’s glass and frame. The lower a window’s U-value, the better it will be at keeping heat inside your home (important, given how cold British winters can be).
A new double glazed uPVC sash window will have a U-value of about 1.2; much better than the U-value of a single glazed uPVC sash window, at around 5.1.
Pros and cons of uPVC sash windows
- Great insulation
- Low maintenance
- Low cost
- Not everyone likes their appearance
- Planning permission
- House value
Advantages of uPVC Sash Windows
• Great insulation: uPVC is an excellent insulator, so it will help to reduce heat loss from your home, saving you money on your heating bills. It’s also good at keeping out unwanted noise from outside.
• Low maintenance: uPVC windows need little more than a wipe with a wet cloth and some mild detergent now and again to keep them looking spick and span.
• Eco-friendly: uPVC is recyclable – and since it’s a good insulator, it will help you to reduce your carbon footprint as you’ll use less energy to heat your home.
• Durable: uPVC is resistant to adverse weather conditions, fire and chemicals. It also won’t get discoloured from sunlight. Because of this, uPVC sash windows last for around 20 to 30 years.
• Versatile: uPVC can be made in many different colours and finishes, from cream or green to woodgrain effect, meaning you can make your sash windows completely unique.
• Low cost: compared to other types of sash window (like timber or aluminium), uPVC sash windows are a lot cheaper to buy.
Disadvantages of uPVC Sash Windows
• Appearance: not everyone likes the look of modern sash windows. Plastic uPVC can appear out of place on period properties where wooden sash windows look more elegant and in-keeping.
• Planning permission: certain properties will not be allowed to install uPVC sash windows (more on this below).
• House value: new uPVC sash windows don’t add as much value to your property as wooden sash windows do – these windows are more desirable to prospective buyers.
Double glazed sash windows or triple glazed sash windows?
uPVC double glazed sash windows are the most popular and widely available in the UK. This means that they’re made from two panes of glass, with a layer of air or inert gas (such as argon, krypton or xenon) trapped between them. This helps to keep heat in, keep noise out, and increases security (as two panes of glass are harder to break than one).
*Based on a survey we conducted in May 2018 of 42 UK homeowners who’ve had double glazed uPVC sash windows installed in the last 2 years.
You can also get uPVC triple glazed sash windows. As the name suggests, triple glazing is made up of three panes of glass instead of two. Triple glazing will enhance all the benefits of double glazing, but it may not enhance them enough to make them worth the extra cost.
Read our guide on triple glazed windows to find out if they’re right for your home.
To get a bespoke quote for uPVC modern sash windows, simply click the orange button below and fill in a short form with some basic details about you and your home.
uPVC sash window installation
It costs around £300 to £500 to install a new uPVC sash window, although the installation cost per window often goes down the more windows you have installed.
During the installation, there may also turn out to be unexpected work involved in removing your old windows and fitting your new ones, especially if the windows are very old.
Exactly how long it takes to install your modern sash windows will depend on what type of property you live in, how many windows you’re having installed, and how much work is involved to fit them. But as an estimate, it can take anywhere from two hours to over eight hours.
Do you need planning permission?
If you live in a conservation area or a listed building, you may need planning permission to install new uPVC double glazed sash windows.
Every borough has its own regulations but most conservation areas have rules which are designed to preserve the character of traditional properties. While you’re not likely to need planning permission if you’re replacing like-for-like windows, if you’re thinking about replacing old wooden sash windows with new uPVC sash windows (for example), you may find that getting planning permission is more difficult.
However, by choosing woodgrain effect uPVC sash windows that replicate traditional wooden sash windows, you’ll probably find that you’re more likely to be granted planning permission.
If you live in a listed building, you’ll always need planning permission to install new windows. In some cases, you’ll find that you won’t even be allowed to have double glazing, let alone uPVC window frames! To find out about planning permission for modern uPVC sash windows, give your local council a ring.
If you can’t get planning permission for uPVC double glazed sash windows, there are some alternative options you can explore that will help to keep your home feeling warmer, quieter and more secure:
• Install new wooden sash windows, or have your existing windows repaired and refurbished by a specialist.
• Draught-proof your existing windows by creating an airtight seal around the frames.
• Secondary glaze your existing windows, by adding an extra pane of glass or plastic on the window’s glass.
• Install thick curtains – or add an additional blind or shutter – in front of your existing windows.
Best uPVC Sash Windows: compare the top companies
The four best-known national installers are Anglian, Everest, Safestyle and Zenith, and all offer uPVC double glazed sash windows. Many homeowners choose these companies to supply and install their new windows because they know they’ll receive a high quality product and service.
Let’s have a look at their range of uPVC double glazed sash windows:
Quote Valid For
A++ to A
£ £ £
£ £ £
£ £ £
£ £ £
And let’s have a look at what their customers think:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
To find out more about the top national window companies in the UK, visit our guide on the best double glazed windows.
What about local companies?
Shopping local and choosing a company from your neighbourhood is also an option. The advantage of this is that you can see examples of their double glazed sash windows within your area to make sure you’re satisfied with the quality of the product and installation.
Local companies are also likely to offer excellent customer service (since they rely more on word-of-mouth to get business), and their prices might be lower in order to undercut the big brands.
So, national or local?
It really doesn’t matter, as long as the company you choose is accredited by one of the Government’s Competent Persons Schemes (CPS), FENSA or CERTASS. These schemes ensure that installers are properly qualified and regularly assessed to make sure their work complies with Government building regulations.
You’ll also be protected should something go wrong, and there’ll be a proper complaints procedure, an ombudsman and the possibility of compensation. The national companies we’ve featured are all accredited by the CPS. To find out if a local company is accredited, you can check the FENSA register or the CERTASS register.
Feeling more sussed on sash? Once you’ve settled on window measurements and other finicky decisions, it’s time to compare companies to get the best offer – and this is where we come in. To get bespoke quotes from reputable professionals, fill in this form.