problems with upvc sash windows

UPVC sash windows are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability and low maintenance. However, like any mechanical system, they can encounter problems, especially with their opening mechanisms. This article delves into the common issues faced with UPVC sash windows and provides insights into potential solutions.

Understanding the Mechanism of UPVC Sash Windows

  1. Non-Standard Opening Systems: One of the challenges with UPVC sash windows is when they are fitted with non-standard opening mechanisms. Unlike the typical spring or spiral balances, some UPVC sash windows use what is known as constant force or coil spring mechanisms. These less common systems can pose a challenge for repair engineers who are unfamiliar with them.
  2. Failure of Opening Mechanisms: A frequent issue with these windows is the failure of the opening mechanism. This can result in the top section of the window falling down and the bottom section not staying open. The complexity of the mechanism often makes it difficult for standard window repair engineers to fix.

Seeking Solutions for Repair

  1. Finding Specialized Repair Services: One solution is to seek out repair engineers who specialize in or are familiar with constant force or coil spring mechanisms. This might require extensive research or inquiries in specialized forums or trade circles, particularly in the North West London area where these windows seem to be more prevalent.
  2. Exploring DIY Resources: For those considering a DIY approach, online resources, including PDF guides, could be valuable. These guides often provide step-by-step instructions on how to replace or repair the specific mechanism in question.
  3. Professional Assessment: In some cases, professional assessment by a supplier or manufacturer, if they can be identified, might be necessary. This is particularly important when the original contractor is no longer available or if the window lacks identification marks that could lead to the supplier.

Addressing Challenges in Finding Repair Services

  1. Local Service Limitations: A significant hurdle can be the lack of local service providers familiar with these specific types of UPVC sash windows. It may involve contacting multiple repair services to find one with the requisite experience.
  2. Supplier and Manufacturer Inquiries: If the windows were installed by a FENSA registered company, reaching out to FENSA for information or assistance might be helpful. For windows signed off by building control, checking with local building authorities might provide leads.
  3. Community Assistance: Engaging with online communities or local forums may provide insights or recommendations for skilled repair engineers in the area.

Preventive Measures and Regular Maintenance

  1. Routine Checks: Regular checks and maintenance can prolong the life of the mechanisms and prevent abrupt failures.
  2. Understanding the System: Gaining a basic understanding of the window mechanism can be beneficial, especially when explaining the problem to potential repair services.


Problems with UPVC sash windows, particularly those with non-standard mechanisms like constant force or coil springs, require a specialized approach to repair. Seeking out experienced repair engineers, utilizing online DIY resources, and reaching out to professional networks can offer solutions. Regular maintenance and a clear understanding of the window’s mechanism are essential in preventing future issues and ensuring the longevity of the windows. With the right approach and resources, most issues with UPVC sash windows can be effectively resolved.

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