When old windows are better than new windows

With concerns about the quality of modern building materials, we find that old wooden sash windows are better than new window frames. We can even double glaze them without damaging the timber sash or frame.

Lack of compliance for newly built strata buildings has been in the headlines recently, with the evacuation of the Opal and Mascot buildings in NSW and fires in multi-storey buildings in Melbourne attributed to structural and build defects.

Deakin & Griffith University research on Australia’s east coast has also revealed multiple building defects with cladding, fire protection and water proofing the most common.

What will emerge next?

With new houses having been built at a rate of knots as well, why would compliance, and for that matter the materials, be any better for houses than strata?

Will newer houses be full of problems and defective materials?

Will similar issues occur with detached housing?

This leads to the question of “why don’t we hear about, or seem to have these problems, with older building stock?”

Evidence that these problems don’t exist, at least to the same extent, with older building stock is supported by recent comments from Philip Gall, Chair of Owners Corporation Network in NSW, who is quoted as saying

“…. (do) not be tempted to buy a new apartment over three levels. Think about older, simpler, three-level walk-up options”.

There are multiple messages in this, one being that older buildings were built better, compliance checked and the materials have a longer work life.

Older building with sash windows were built better

When it comes to the quality of materials used in older buildings, wooden sash windows have stood the test of time -, 60, 80 even 100+ years.

They may have a patina, a few bashes and bruises, they may have thin glass, rattle and be draughty, however, fundamentally they are in very sound condition because the wood is old growth, dense fibre material with residual oils that resists rot.

In addition, they were assembled by craftsmen to last and be repaired over time.

Thinks twice about replacing old timber window frames with new ones

So if you are an owner of an older home or strata unit and you are thinking about ways to improve your comfort and energy efficiency from your old wooden windows think twice (at least) about full window replacement. Even if you replace your wooden windows with new wooden ones with upgraded glazing, that wood will definitely not be the same quality and nor will it last anywhere as long as the original windows.

The wood in old wooden windows is actually irreplaceable. Never to be harvested again by humans because it’s so old and rare to find now.

It would make no sense to trash a rare piece of wooden furniture and throw it into a landfill.

The same is true of wooden windows, especially given that they are an important architectural feature of the building which you have paid a lot of money for.

But guess what? Lots of wooden windows are being thrown away, filling up our landfills, in favour of plastic, aluminium and second grade new wooden windows that will never last as long.

We can repair sash windows and double glaze them

At Sealasash we have solutions to retain the original timber, wooden and sash windows, upgrade thermal and acoustic performance, making them work better than new.

We can actually double glaze your old wooden windows with brand new, high performance double glazing (and without damaging the sash or window frame).

Best of all, you can live in comfort and protect the heritage quality of your property, while gaining the energy efficiency benefits of modern materials.

We’ve even found that realestate agents are boasting that “the windows of this property have been Sealasashed” adding another layer of value to your home.

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.