If your sash windows are starting to look old from wear and tear, getting them professionally replaced or restored can be very expensive. If you feel up to it, sash window repair can be quite an interesting, and money-saving, do-it-yourself project.
Things you’ll need:
• Box cutter knife
• Blunt chisel
• Spirit level
• Medium-grade sandpaper
• Wooden shims
• Glazing putty
• Spray lubricant
• 16-gauge ½-inch nails
• 1-inch carpet tacks
1. Remove and trim the inner stops. Use a box-cutter knife to cut through any caulk and paint along the edge of the trim. Pry the trim away from the frame by using a blunt chisel and a mallet.
2. Remove the pins used to attach the cords to the sash then tie a knot in the cord. You can now remove the bottom sash by lifting it away.
3. Remove the parting beads, the two strips running down vertically on either side of the frame. These are used to keep the cords separate. Just repeat what you did in removing the trim, cut through caulk and paint then gently pry away the parting strip.
4. You can now remove the top sash by using the same steps in removing the bottom sash.
5. Gently pry away the weight pockets so you can reach the weights and remove them. Simply untie them from the cords and take them away.
6. Take a good look at the frame and check it for damage. Use a scraper to get rid of any debris such as caulk, paint, or any soft or rotted areas. Make sure that the frame is still square by using a spirit level. If the frame is no longer square, use shims, small strips of wood, along the length of the frame to keep it level again.
7. Make sure that the cords can move up and down quietly and easily by spraying lubricant on the pulleys.
8. Inspect the glass panels on the top and bottom sashes. Make sure to replace any missing putty. If the glass is damaged, you may need to get them replaced.
9. Apply primer and undercoating on both sashes and the frame. Let the paint dry completely before refitting the window.
10. Tie the weights securely back onto the cords. Pull on each cord until the weights reach the top of the pulley. Place the top sash back in its original place. Use the carpet tack to pin the cord back in place. Make sure everything is in proper working order then use the nails to reattach the parting strips.
11. Use the same technique to reposition the bottom sash.
12. Use the nails to replace the interior stops using the same technique in reattaching the parting strips.
13. Remount the trim.
Don’t forget to plan and prepare properly before attempting your own sash window repair project. Unless you have some skill or experience in do-it-yourself projects, better call in a professional.