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A history of Oxford Sash Windows

Oxford Sash Windows has now been in business for just under 25 years. It was established in 1988 with a business plan based on the following premises:

  • To help potential customers save energy by draught-proofing and renovating existing single-glazed sash windows and to prevent the needless disposal of serviceable windows. This was seen as both, beneficial to customers and to the environment. The founders of Oxford Sash Windows were early members of FoE in the early 70s
  • To prevent the ruining of properties by installing inappropriate windows, by either saving the existing sash windows or by supplying single-glazed/double-glazed sash windows which match the fine features of the original Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian sash windows and therefore increasing the value of the property
  • To specialise in the renovation of sash windows in Listed Properties
  • The majority of site carpenters are not keen on working on sash windows, so the aim of the business was also to supply qualified craftsmen who are able, trained and skilled at working on these windows
  • Due to the success of both the renovating and the custom-making of traditional sash windows, Oxford Sash Windows quickly expanded to offer the same service for all period windows and doors

At the time of establishing the business there were no other ‘sash window’ companies, and Oxford Sash Windows set the trend and researched and developed the technique of draught-proofing sliding sash windows. Initially we did this by installing draught-proofing strips into the sliding sashes and we then developed the better system of installing the draught-proofing insets directly into the staff and parting beads and in this way only having to physically alter the existing sashes by installing draught-proofing strips across the meeting rail. Oxford Sash Windows do not use plastic staff or parting beads, these are not traditional and they cannot be painted, they are also environmentally unfriendly and, in the context of Listed Buildings, inappropriate. We only use timber beads and this and other timber we use has Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification. We recommend, and prefer, to use grey draught-proofing brush, unless white is specifically requested, as this does not quickly discolour or show the dirt and grey draught-proofing brush installed 25 years ago looks the same today as the day it was installed.

Within a year of setting up the business, and besides the immediate success with private houses, Oxford Sash Windows was awarded a contract with Worcester College, where a forward looking bursar saw the benefit of our draught-proofing work, and over the following four years of vacations Oxford Sash Windows draught-proofed and renovated the sashes throughout the whole college, some 540 windows. Our client list now speaks for itself (see list) regarding our success and the quality of work we carry out – from Worcester we have gone on to work in a number of Oxford Colleges: All Souls / Brasenose / Christ Church / Hertford / Lady Margaret Hall / New College / Queens / St Anne’s / St Edmund Hall / St Hugh’s / Trinity / Wadham and we have also worked with the Oxford University Estates Department. Due to this work, as well as to the work on properties in the St John’s Street and the Walton Street areas, we are well known by the Listed Building Section of Oxford City Council, besides the Listed Homes staff of West Oxfordshire, Cherwell Valley and South Oxford.