Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Sash Windows Repair and Replacement

Older sash windows suffer from a range of issues including draughts rattles and poor insulation. A little care can often restore them to their original performance.

First, remove the seal on the paint of the window stop with an utility knife. Remove the staff bead, pull out the upper sash, and take off any chains or cords. Store the hardware in a bag that has an identification label.


Sash windows can look stunning in older buildings, but they do need maintenance and are susceptible to issues such as wet rot, cracked putty, and drafts. It is possible to minimize energy loss and improve the efficiency of windows with sash window repair by replacing them the windows, repairing or sealing them.

The gaps between sash and frame are the primary cause of draughts. They can also cause noise and rattling, which can reduce soundproofing. Sealing beads, specialty products, and secondary glazing may be used to limit the air leakage in a shutter.

A common issue is a gap between the top of the sash and the jamb frame, or the bottom of the sill and the sash. This could cause moisture to leak into the wood, rotting it and growth of mold. Seal the gap with silicone, polyurethane or foam sealant.

Installing a new sash runner, or spring bronze could be necessary if a gap prevents windows from closing and opening smoothly. These are bronze strips that are stapled or nailed into the edges of the lower sash to stop sideways rattle. They are available from DIY stores. Tubular weather-stripping made of vinyl is a different option however it is prone to rip, and it can detract from the appearance of a window.

It is crucial to measure the entire window opening prior to installing a an alternative sash runner. It is recommended to measure from the top of sash up to the horizontal centerline on the rail of the meeting and from the bottom of sash down to the sill. These measurements can be transferred to new runners which will ensure the best fit and function of the window.

In older structures the gap between the sash and frame is usually larger around the leading edge. It is possible to draught proof by using a self-adhesive V-strips, but it is crucial to take this into consideration when measuring and cutting the material.

A strip must be cut to the length of the sash, and with an extra inch each side to allow to allow for movement. It should be cut square and positioned in a way that the ends are matched to the angle of the window sill. It is also crucial to use stainless steel screws because brass is prone to rust, and high-quality polyurethane or silicone adhesive.


The windows with sash are a stunning, historic feature of many homes. These windows are gorgeous however they are susceptible to issues. The most frequent issues are rattling, stuck or draughty windows. And rotting frames and meeting rails, broken glass bars or faulty weights can create a mess. When these issues arise, it’s time for an sash repair or replacement.

Refurbishment can be a more costly option than simply replacing the sash itself, but it will restore the look and function of your sash window to as good if not better than its original state. It involves re-lining the meeting rail and sash box with traditional putty and fixing any rot-related damage. Re-painting of the timber frame is also included, as well as the re-glazing process using traditional glass. A full refurbishment can also include adding draught proofing, re-attaching the sash furniture/ironmongery and replacing the parting bead (the dividing strip between the two panes of glass). It is also recommended to install brush pile weather strip to prevent the noise of rattling.

If a replacement sash required, it can be made with the same design to match the frame you have. This will preserve the traditional style of your property. This is particularly important for listed properties where any changes to windows will require planning permission.

Compare the metal tabs on the new window with those of the old sash before installing it (see below). If they’re different shapes, the new sash won’t fit in the window frame slots.

If a window has been damaged, it is essential to decide between repair or replacement because each type of work will require a different level of expertise and price. For instance when a sash window has a large piece of glass that is missing, then replacing it is the best choice. If the glass is only damaged in a small area or a sill is beginning to rot or rotting, then a repair could be more appropriate.


Although many homeowners want to keep their old windows in good condition, deterioration could eventually result in problems like rattles, draughts or even broken glass. This is why replacing them is often the only solution to these problems. There are other ways to improve the performance of sash windows than simply replacing them. This includes the installation of secondary glazing and draught-proofing.

Think about the scope of the problem. It might not be necessary or even appropriate to replace a window. For example, a foggy glass issue is usually a problem within the sash and is typically a solution without tearing out the entire frame. A poor seal can also often be corrected by making a few minor adjustments instead of a costly full frame tear-out and replacement.

Sash windows are surprisingly complex in design and feature a lot of moving parts. It can be challenging to fix common issues like broken panes or snapped sash cables. Resolving these issues often requires removal of the window frame which isn’t something most homeowners want to tackle themselves. This is why many homeowners choose to work with a specialist.

A professional can help restore windows with sash to their original splendor or even bring them up to modern energy standards. This could include reconditioning the frames and installing secondary glazing to stop heat escaping through the window. It is also possible to add a brush-pile strip to reduce drafts and prevent the window from rattling.

To begin a repair, remove the window stops. (The moldings are in front of the lower glass). Then loosen the staff and pull out the lower window sash. Remove the cords and chains from both sides. Finally take the sashweights out of the bottom of the cavity for weight. Store the hardware in a safe location. Soften any old, hardened putty or filler with a heat gun and scrape it off with a putty knife. Reassemble the window, reconnect the hardware and then lubricate the pulley axles with silicone or Teflon spray. Install the parting beads and put back the upper sash.


The decision to repair or replace windows with sash is a major one for homeowners. Modern replacements have many benefits, but the original features in an older house can add the character and Sash Windows Repair value. They are also less expensive to repair rather than replace. Maintaining them in good shape can help reduce the cost of energy. Sash windows are susceptible to drafts, rattles, and condensation. These problems can result in increased energy bills and damage to the frame and sash.

Sash windows can be a challenge to open or close. The mechanism that slides can become sloppy or even draughty. Repairing a sash window involves extensive removal of the frame of the window, so it’s best left to a professional. However, with the right tools and knowledge it’s possible to fix old windows using sash. Adam shows Jess the basics:

The process of bringing the window apart starts by removing any security fittings on the front of the lower sash. Next, remove the staff bead, Sash Windows Repair then pull out the bottom sash. Remove the chains and cords from both sides, and knot them in such a way that they won’t be pulled back by the weights attached. It’s now time to remove the upper sash. Remove the sash stops which is a thin vertical strip of wood that holds the sash. Also, take off any paint-encrusted hardware. Reverse the sash to reveal the weight. It is a massive iron or lead cylinder, which is tucked away in a cavity, and supported by a cord. To prevent the sash falling into the void pierce it using a nail, and then let the weight go.

Once the sashes are free clean the jamb and meet rails, remove the glazing cords and sash bars, and remove any paint from the sash stops using a utility knife. Once the sashes are back in place, reattach the stops using nails that are not too large to risk puncturing the weight that is balancing.

Reassemble the sash by inserting the upper sash first into its track, then the lower sash. Make sure the sash stoppers are aligned properly with the frame, and then reattach the parting beads if needed. Reattach the sash chains or cords and attach the sash pulleys.

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