Ask the experts

The sash-window expert

Ask the experts

I want to replace a uPVC double-glazed rear window with a single sash, but I’ve been told that it’s not worth the time and cost. What are the pros and cons of doing this?
AD, by email

Replacement windows are sometimes fitted to an existing box frame, so look for clues that the frame is still in situ, such as original architraves or linings. If this is the case, sliding sashes can be reinstalled. Repairs may be required, but as box frames are built in sections, any element can be repaired or replaced.

Depending on the thickness of the original window, new sashes can be made with double-glazed units or traditional single glazing — these options are cheaper and less disruptive than complete replacements. If no original features are left, a new box frame can be manufactured, although you should be aware that full replacement joinery can be expensive when all the making good is taken into consideration.

The basic advice when any original window is present is: if you’ve got it, keep it. They can nearly always be repaired and upgraded with simple draught seals, or even new sashes fitted to the existing frames.

Dean Marie is a contract manager at The Sash Window Man;

The rural expert

We often see small amounts of amenity woodland for sale between £10,000 and £20,000. Are there any pitfalls with woodland ownership?
AW, by email

There are lots of good reasons to own woodland, including nature conservation, income from the sale of timber and potential inheritance-tax benefits. But there are also liabilities, in particular regarding dangerous trees. Any trees near a highway or public right of way should bechecked regularly by an arboriculturist to ensure that none is dead or dying.

There are restrictions on felling trees: any works to a tree covered by a preservation order or in a conservation area must be authorised by your localauthority. In addition, if you intend to fell more than five cubic metres of timber in each quarter, or sell more than two cubic metres, you will need a felling licence from the Forestry Commission. Visit for advice.

Philip Eddell is director of Savills’s country-house consultancy;

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The sash-window expert I want to replace a uPVC double-glazed rear window with a single sash, but I’ve been told that it’s not worth the …