A Few Hints About How Sash Windows Work

Many look at the old double-hung windows of ‘period’ houses as intrinsic to their looks and value. They should be saved, if possible, in every circumstance and not replaced except as a last resort. It makes sense. These windows have been around for a long time doing their job and they’re probably getting tired! Here’s a bit about how sash windows work.

Some guy who makes his living restoring older homes was once overheard saying that people who lived in older homes often have never seen some of their windows (or all of them) work as was intended when they were first installed. The good news is this isn’t that difficult or expensive to remedy. Some repairs you might do yourself.

Sometimes the only thing a window needs to start working again is the removal of some old paint. Decades or centuries of painting can gum up the works and cause difficulty in the window’s operation. This is a DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of thing if you’re handy enough.

One common problem with old sash windows is the internal system of weights and chains (or ropes) getting old and tired. If only one side breaks it might still work a little (just not easily), but if both sides are broken you’ll most likely get no movement. The weights are used as a counter-balance to the weight and movement of the sashes. Access to the chains or ropes and weights is made through a cover plate on the frame.

The chains or ropes that suspend the weights are going to need replacement sometime. These things get old after decades of going up and down every day. Fixing the problem is fairly easy and straightforward and if you’re handy you might even be able to handle it yourself.

Here’s the best advice on old double-hung sash windows. Repair rather than replace. The windows have already lasted a good long time and they can last that long again if given proper restorative maintenance. Do you think modern replacement windows could stand that test of time? It’s doubtful. And new windows just don’t look right on an old house!

Here’s a little more advice. If you want to find someone to fix your windows, look for someone who makes that kind of work his specialty. He’ll know how sash windows work and how to fix them when they don’t. Use a specialist. They’re out there.

Find out everything you need to know about easy ways to maintain your windows at a sash window workshop now! Discover easy ways you can easily increase the value of your home when you have sash window repairs done as soon as they are needed.


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