Sash and case windows have been a common feature of buildings in the Edinburgh area for centuries. These windows are made up of many parts and can seem a lot more complex other types of window! They are made up of many different parts, but their main identifying features are the two sashes. Sash and case windows have a top and bottom sash, which slide vertically up or down in order to open.

One of the great advantages of sash and case windows is the amount of natural light they let in. However, with the advent of more modern windows their popularity has waned. They are often less energy-efficient than casement windows due to their age. Their age is also a contributing factor to the poor condition of some sash and case windows, which then require maintenance to restore.

Homeowners today, though, have the option to upgrade their sash and case windows. Bringing them up to speed with double glazing, draught-proofing and fresh timber means these windows can function just as well as modern windows. However, making sure you are aware of the various parts of a sash and case window is essential for giving it the maintenance it requires.

Parts of a Sash and Case Window

It’s important to know your way around a sash and case window if you’re going to go about renovating one properly. If you know this then you should be able to avoid some of the common problems that occur with sash and case windows. There’s lots to remember, so read up and educate yourself about these fantastic, traditional windows!

Top and Bottom Sash

These are the sliding parts of the window. They can be made up of just a single pane of glass each or multiple panes divided by astragals (what are they? Don’t worry, we’ll come to that).


I told you we’d come to astragals! These are the wooden (or plastic) strips that run vertically and horizontally along each sash. The more panes of glass in each sash, the more astragals there will be.

Parting Beads

These run down each side of the window and should have draught-proofing strips attached to keep out the wind.


Parts of the window involve ironmongery work.

Attached to the top sash there will be a sash eye to help slide it up and down. Similarly, on the bottom sash there will be sash lifts attached for the same purpose.

Sat at the top of the bottom sash there is a brighton. This allows you to lock the top and bottom sash in place, securing it from opening or rattling.

Simplex hinges are attached to the sides of the sashes, allowing you to swing the window in. These are needed for cleaning the window or removing it should it require renovation or repair. They are also useful for security, as when they are turned inwards they prevent the sash from sliding.

Another important part for cleaning the window is the thumb-turn, or button. This can be loosened which allows the parting bead to be removed, which in turn allows the sash to be swung inwards.


Ropes run down the side of the window and are part of the sliding mechanism, with a clutch to hold the window in place. They will have weights attached to them which counterbalances the weight of the sash, allowing the sliding mechanism to work smoothly. Often problems can occur if the ropes are old or the weights are different to that of the sash.


As you can see, there’s a lot involved with a sash and case window! It can take years to perfect the art of renovating these old-fashioned features of your home. That’s why you should always go to an experienced and trusted company to make sure they are properly looked after and the restoration work is as good as possible! Our sash and case renovation services will breathe new life into your window, without replacing them with plastic. Whether for improved insulation, noise reduction or draught-proofing our renovation services will vastly improve the function of your windows. Sash and case windows have been around since the 17th century, and we see no reason why they can’t be around for another few hundred years!