Old windows better than new double-glazed?

We hear it all the time. People are convinced they need to rip out their old timber windows. Don’t do it! It can turn into a horror show.

Recently we had the following feedback from a customer who had their windows “Sealasashed”

Whilst the cost to refurbish the windows was not insignificant, the alternative of pulling out the brickwork to replace them and then patch & paint, would’ve dwarfed the refurbishment cost. I’m so glad I held onto the originals, as they’re now as good as new. In fact, better than the brand new double glazed double-hungs, that we had made to match the existing, to add to a few rooms.

Often we hear that people been convinced by self-talk, builders, specifiers, friends and neighbours that their old windows need to have double glazing put in; or that they need to be thrown away and replaced with new windows made from plastic, aluminium or fast-growth plantation wood.

At Sealasash we know that a lot of the advice given about what to do with old wooden windows is not accurate.

Decisions are often made by writing-off windows because of minor issues like flaking paint, loose/cracked joints or some wood rot.

Also there is plenty of opinion out there that old things are not as good as new things.

New window suppliers exploit this prejudice to peddle their products, leading some customers to make decisions that they regret.

We have seen some people in tears because they have been convinced that double glazing is what they need to be more comfortable. So they have thrown away their century-old wooden windows to replace them for new ones with double glazing. The trouble is sometimes their new windows rattle, let noise and dust in, have draughts and are not as easy-to-use as the original windows.

Other horror stories include owners having double glazing retrofitted to old windows while leaving them draughty and inoperable.

So how do you make the right decision? The most important question is “what is it that you are trying to achieve with your windows?”

Do you only want to beautify them with new paint, or do you want them to work properly and also offer more comfort and energy efficiency to your building/home without changing windows?

For those wanting better comfort and energy efficiency we find that people don’t know that old wooden windows can be sympathetically upgraded to give them improved comfort, ease of use and more energy efficiency for older buildings.

The simple and logical steps are:

  1. Fix and overhaul the windows so that they open and close properly
  2. Install the correct types of draught/acoustic seals
  3. Select the type of glass that can be retrofitted to suit your needs (i.e. thermal, acoustic and or security improvement)
  4. Select the window dressings to suit your taste as well as offer thermal and acoustic benefits
  5. Consider the painting and decorating

All these steps are connected. But the foundation steps 1 & 2 should not be ignored because they determine how the window will deliver comfort. Jumping into step 3 and assuming double glazing or new windows with new glazing will fix the problem can lead to a waste of money, waste of resources, disappointment and in some cases even devalue the building.

If you address the basics first, old can be better than new and you will not have a horror show.

Enjoy sustainable comfort and peace of mind with your old wooden windows! Talk to one of our experts to see what’s possible with old windows.

If you would like to talk to a timber window expert who understands all your options, and who will listen to your priorities, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Looking for double glazing for your sash windows or wooden windows?

Sealasash can double glaze your old timber, wooden and sash windows with new high-performance glass.  We also upgrade windows to include draught and acoustic seals that further improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your windows. 

Learn more about Sealasash:


Vacuum Insulated Double Glazing

Our ultra-high performance double glazing fits perfectly within your existing timber work, eliminating any bulky or expensive modifications.


Fix Those Annoying Rattles

With our draught and acoustic seals you’ll achieve amazing new comfort levels by reducing infiltration of outside air, noise and dust without the annoying rattles.

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Using traditional craftsmanship and modern materials, we’ll restore your windows and make them better than new.  This includes high-performance double glazing and draught seals that will dramatically improve the comfort and energy efficiency of old timber, wooden and sash windows.