At William Richards, our windows are manufactured in Sapele and Accoya.
Sapele is a good quality hardwood which is reminiscent of mahogany and is part of the same family, yet it is harder and heavier, which works as a benefit in manufacturing double glazed sash windows. Sapele is also able to take glue, nails and screws very well which makes it suitable for double glazed sash windows. It is commonly used in boat building which indicates the strength of this wood and assures us that is strong and stable enough to support and hold the weight of the double-glazed panels whilst being able to maintain the slim and stylish design of the classic sash windows which may be lost if other, lower quality timber was used.
Accoya is the benchmark softwood in the timber industry for sustainability and performance. It is a modified wood, created with the durability you need for you home whilst also being environmentally friendly as it is sustainably sourced with FSC certification. Its modification means that this softwood possesses a lot of the qualities of hardwood and is highly resistant to shrinking and swelling whilst also being able to be grown and produced much quicker than hardwoods. It is also a light colour so it can easily take on whichever finish you desire.
The other benefits of using a good quality hardwood are that it lasts longer and is low maintenance, which not only contributes to the cost-effectiveness of these windows but also the sustainability of it. It is the drying that ensures that it can last against rot and insects. The longer it lasts, the less renovation is needed therefore reducing the amount of wood needed.
Hardwood also holds far more benefits than softwood as it is more robust and won’t damage as easily, due to wear and tear, softwood would not be suitable for the manufacturing of sash windows as it is not strong enough to support the lead weights and glass and would be too vulnerable to damages. William Richards Sash Windows choose to use Sapele in particular, not only due to its high quality but also because of the sustainability, as the Entandrophragma cylindricum tree from which it is produced typically grows to a height of 45 metres, although can grow up to 60 metres, with a diameter of 2 metres. Therefore, providing a large number of materials per tree. This assures our customers of the availability and sustainability of the materials we use for our double-glazed sash windows.
In the past sash windows have been manufactured from oak, but due to the length of time it takes to grow and its cost, the popularity of it as a primary material was eventually reduced. Since then, various other materials have been used, in the Victorian era, well-seasoned, close grain pine was used but into the Edwardian period faster-growing pine was used so the quality of these windows went down. We at William Richards work to restore these windows and use better quality materials to ensure our windows last a long time. Sapele itself is a very low maintenance wood. Its drying ensures that it can last against rot and insects.