Repair questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jessimeredith, May 26, 2006.

  1. jessimeredith

    jessimeredith That's relativity. Supporter

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    Move this if it needs to be moved but this is the only place I could think of to post, lol.

    HELP!! We start work on the new house this weekend and gotta fix our old wood double hung sash windows. Some nutjob just CUT the cords on them. DH wants to replace them but I insist they can be saved. Can someone point me to a site that shows, in detail, how to remove the sashes without tearing them all to heck and replace the cording/weights (I know where to buy all of it, btw) then reinstall it all?

    Any help/suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated!
     

  2. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think "This Old House" had a show this spring on repairing windows...
     
  3. jessimeredith

    jessimeredith That's relativity. Supporter

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    Hotdog Wilderness! Thanks a bunch....I did a search there but it didn't turn up that particular page. Must've put in the wrong thing, lol.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

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    I fixed a lot of wood sash windows in old homes, doing weatherization for the City of St. Louis.

    They probably cut the cords because they were hanging up on nails that were driven too deep into the counterweight gap. Or they were trying to prevent air infiltration through the pulley holes, there's a cheap plastic cap that allows free rope movement, you can buy for that now.

    There are a few things that hgtv page left out:

    You don't need a window saw, (I never heard of them, and it looks awkward and hard to get leverage and pressure into the groove to cut through the paint) that page is sponsored by the company that sells them:
    Use a razor, some blade screwdrivers, and a short, flat prybar. Protect wood from pry marks with a large flat drywall knife or two.

    1. use a razor to cut the paint between the retaining channel trim and the actual frame, it never comes off clean like it shows in figure B. Layers of latex will tear like paper, and old lead paint layers will chip off when you remove the trim (which is hard to fill and float with caulk when you replace it.) Ease it loose a little at the bottom, then the center, then the top, then start at the bottom again, that old wood trim is brittle, doesn't bend, and it's impossible to match with today's trim pieces, if you do break it, you might have to replace it all the way up one side and across the top, and back down the other side to make it presentable. If you have to replace some, it's cheap, and you can get styrofoam trim at most hardware stores, easy to cut and install if you don't put hammer marks in it when installing it. Put a thin bead of caulk on the join side when you replace it, and you won't have to caulk THAT piece when you prep for final paint. A lot of dust indicates an air leak between wood trim and window frame.

    2. The biggest problem I had was replacing the trim in exactly the same place on the window edge, so the channel was the right size. Line it up carefully with the old paint line so the channel isn't too narrow (or too large and loose) for the sash, or slide the bottom sash up to put in the first brad at the top, then slide the window down to nail the bottom of the trim, leaving enough gap to slide without hanging it up, but no front-to-back movement.

    3. I always used copper v-channel weatherstrip along the sides (and along the bottom, if the sash fits correctly after breaking the top sash loose and lining up the horizontal sash rails that meet in the middle of the window...) the v-channel always goes in with the open edge to the inside of the house.

    4. When you install the v-channel in the side channels:
    It must be only one piece top to bottom on each side, which means you have to pre-cut the correct length, then feed it up into the channel while someone holds up and wiggles the bottom sash. Once you have it in the channel, lightly caulk what is accessible, then staple it once near the middle, then working down from the first staple, attach it. Then lower the sash, and caulk then staple it starting with close to the first staple, and working your way up.
    Use short brads, or nails, or staples, so they don't interfere with the counterweight's free movement in the frame behind them. If you buy new or replacement counterweights, get torpedo-shaped ones so they slide freely.

    5. Many times (NO - Most of the time!) the top sash had slipped down and was painted closed LOWER than it was designed to be, so those horizontal rails with the sash locks don't line up. Break that top sash free, and clean above it, before doing any modifications to those horizontal alignments! A lot of the top sashes I fixed had slipped down, then were held up and a nail was driven into the channel below it to keep it up, most of those were not fully up when they nailed them closed, and that's where the problems started, subsequent paint jobs filled the gaps at the top of the top sash, (mostly outside) and all of that old paint must be removed from above the top sash before trying to install new locks with shims to even up the two sash lock parts.

    6. Most of the time, I did not have to "remove more trim from the front of the window frame" as stated in #5 Figure E, The windows ALL had an access gap to the counterweight from the channel (under the old weatherstrip,) feed new counterweight rope with a nail for weight, through the pulley.

    7. Marking the frame won't do you any good, the ropes are cut! #3 states "With the window in place, mark next to that knot on the window jamb (figure D)." You want to mark the jamb where the knot will be when the window is in the full up position! Otherwise the rope will be too long, and it won't stay all the way up because the weight will hit the bottom before the window is fully up.

    Let me know if you have any questions...
     
  5. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    Nature_Lover, Your descriptions and directions are remarkably thorough and understandable.
     
  6. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    Jessi, We lived in an old two story for the first 18 yrs of our marriage and we got rid of all the counterweight windows for several reasons. First off the "pocket" is not insulated and an easy place for air infiltration. 2. We installed storm windows. 3. after filling the voids we just used color coordinated "sticks" to hold the windows up. Later we started installing swivel "chocks" to hold the windows at half mast or fully up. If I were to re install the weights I would use PVC tubes for the noisy things to hang seperately in and insulate around them. I have many of them and use them for canoe anchors.
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    There is marketed a device that lets you eliminate the weights and cords and also improved the seal of the windows. I bought a whole house set of these about 8 years ago. You simply remove both sets of windows from the openings. This modification is a set of spring loaded slides that mount vertically on each side of the window and requires very little work. The window shashes and the slides are positioned together and slide into place as a unit. The benefits are windows that can be opened to any position and windows that have a decent seal against air leaks. I paid about $12 per window for the slides.
     
  8. jessimeredith

    jessimeredith That's relativity. Supporter

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    The issue isn't leaks as much as looks, lol. There are new storm windows on as well, so it's more of a trying to restore the sashes to the original condition. We've had a friend of ours who does windows take a look and he thinks we'll be fine in the insulation department. He gave us a few pointers on redoing the sashes and pointed me in the direction of replacement parts. I just needed a reminder on how to do it, lol. And a place to buy replacement glass....which I found already.
     
  9. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.This is the kind of post that keeps me coming back.Straigh-up,accurate information-RIGHT ON!!
     
  10. jessimeredith

    jessimeredith That's relativity. Supporter

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    btw, nature lover....I've printed out your post to use right along side the other. Clears up some confusion...thanks a ton!