HERI TAGE & VERT ICAL S L IDER S
The time is right for a genuine
alternative to timber
Roseview Windows’ Mike Bygrave argues that, despite uncertain times, the
window market is booming, especially when it comes to heritage windows.
Not long ago, the glazing industry
was all about simple white plastic
windows; that’s no longer the case.
Heritage windows are both wellestablished
and popular, and nothing typifies this
movement more than PVC-U sash windows.
Sash windows have been a significant part of
British architecture since the th century. Their
popularity peaked in the 8th and th centuries,
before dropping back in the
s. But today’s
aging housing stock, coupled with the postlockdown
boom in home improvement, means
that there are a huge number of older properties
undergoing renovation. At the same time our
national obsession with tradition and heritage
means that authentic replacement windows are
in high demand.
With the demand already there, modern timberalternative
sash windows are well placed to fill
First and foremost, they look exactly like
traditional sash windows. Advances in materials,
finishes and manufacturing techniques mean that
a well-made, well-designed modern sash window
is indistinguishable from a timber original, both
from the kerb and close-up.
But the devil is in the detail. Making a truly
authentic window isn’t just about adding the right
features, important as that may be. It’s about
removing details that are specific to PVC-U – and
that’s much more difficult to achieve.
Slim sightlines (especially across the midrail),
true mechanical butt joints, staff beads,
chamfered putty lines, deep Victorian cills and
the all-important run-through sash horns: these
are features of original sash windows that you
simply can’t imitate. They have to be built into
the design of a window.
Once those are in place, the next step is to
remove aesthetic details that are specific to PVCU.
Seams, caps and the resulting shadow lines
are all features you find on PVC-U, but not on
timber. So, they have to go.
The midrail and sash horn are perhaps the
best example. Standard PVC-U sash windows
have visible caps that wrap around the face of
the profiles. Better versions have flush caps that
are lower profile, but still visible. But for true
authenticity the window needs to be seamless,
with no visible caps or shadow lines at all.
THE NEW SEAMLESS ULTIMATE ROSE
Three years in the making, everything we know
about heritage sash windows has gone into the
design of the new version of our award-winning
Ultimate Rose sash window. Not only does it
feature everything you’d expect to see on an
original timber sash window, it’s the first PVC-U
sash window in the UK to remove the things you
wouldn’t expect to see.
We’ve added a traditional deep cill and
internal removable staff bead options, as well
as a fully seamless mechanical no-horn version.
We’ve even added new astragal bars with a
narrower nosing (just .
mm) – a small detail
that makes a big difference to the overall look.
Finish is an area that’s often overlooked. Most
foiled windows come with a standard woodgrain
It looks good, but when you paint timber you
can’t see the grain, so it’s not authentic. That’s
why we’ve added a new matt textured (but not
woodgrained) finish option to Ultimate Rose that
looks and even feels like painted timber.
But it’s what we’ve taken away that really
makes the difference. Our run-through horn now
has a completely seamless face, making it look
exactly like solid timber.
There’s no interlock cap running under the
midrail – something you’ll see on every other
sash window on the market. As a result, even
if you’re standing next to the window there’s
nothing to indicate that it’s not timber.
THERE'S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME
There are still plenty of end-of-life original
windows out there, but these are outweighed by
the number of poorly designed, inappropriate,
first-generation replacements. That’s where the
real market is – conservation-grade authenticity.
People want to get rid of their 8s mock sash
casements, not because they’re underperforming
(although many of them are), but because they’re
the wrong window for the building. They want
something that offers the full range of modern
benefits, but – crucially – looks right.
With the market for heritage windows
booming, the new version of Ultimate Rose has
arrived at just the right time.
There’ll never been a better time for you to
make the switch and offer quality authentic
timber-alternative sash windows to your
The new Ultimate Rose features new
astragal bars, a seamless face to the
run-through horn and no interlock
cap running under the midrail