How to Remove a Sash Window

Wooden sash windows bring a classic appeal to your home. With regular cleaning and painting or staining, they can stay looking great for decades. But, inevitably, time and weather will take their toll, and you’ll need to look at repairing or replacing your sash windows.

If you’re considering home window replacement, but want to keep your wooden window aesthetic, there are a number of wood window sash replacement kits available that will help maintain your home’s design. They make a cost-effective solution to replacing your windows, without needing to go to more modern choices like vinyl or aluminum windows.

With after-market options for classic windows from manufacturers like Sealrite and Caradco, all you need is a few details about your window to find a replacement kit that is right for you. If you’re not sure what kind of windows you have, you can simply measure the size of your frame and sashes and order replacements.

The good news is that wooden window sash replacement is actually a pretty straightforward process and something that can be easily managed by a handy DIY-er on a weekend. With a little patience and organization, you can have the old sashes taken out and the new ones put in before you have to go back to work on Monday.

Let’s walk through the basics of removing the sashes from your windows.

Step 1. Remove the Stops 

The stop is a thin piece of wood that usually looks like it’s part of the molding. It runs vertically on both sides and along the top, and it holds the sash in place within the frame. Sashes are often nailed or screwed in, or else they are set in place with adhesive or caulk. If you can’t see the sash seam, it has probably been painted over; often, it’s been painted more than once over the frame’s lifetime.

To remove the stop, pry out any nails or unscrew the screws. You’ll need to cut through the painted seam with a small utility knife. Be careful not to tear or crack the stop as you remove it since you’ll need to reinstall it when you’re done as it will be a perfect match for the rest of the trim.

If the stops are very tight, use a small pry-bar or flat head screwdriver to pull them away from the trim. You can brace either of these against a small shim to protect the wood and limit the number of repairs you might need after installation.

Clean off any accumulated caulk from the jamb and stops once they’re removed. If you’re replacing more than one window, either do them one at a time or number or label your stops and frames, so you know what goes where during the replacement.

Step 2. Remove the Bottom Sash

With the stops out, you should be able to easily remove the bottom sash. If your window has been painted shut, you may need to use the utility knife to scrape the seam loose. Some windows may also have been screwed shut, so check for screws along the bottom of the sash.

Pull the sash free by lifting the top and tilting it toward you, then bring the whole sash out of the frame. Lift the bottom portion of the sash above the stool, also called the windowsill. If the sash is hung with ropes, remove it and leave the ropes in place for now.

If you are repairing the sash rather than replacing it, make sure you have a clean, level surface ready to store it safely, and label it clearly so you know which frame it will fit into after the repair. 

Step 3. Remove the Parting Bead and Top Sash

While technically two steps, these are usually done at the same time. The parting bead is a thin strip of wood, similar to the stops, but it runs along the middle interior of the frame and is pressed against the top sash. Parting beads are often painted into the frame, so it may take some work to pry them loose.

Removing the top sash follows essentially the same process as the bottom. Score the seams if the window has been painted shut, and look for any screws that might have been used to hold it in place. It make take a few passes with a utility knife to get the sash free. Pull it below the pulley in the frame, remove the ropes and bring the sash free by tilting it toward you.

Once the sash is clear, clean the frame of any built-up caulk or paint.

Step 4. Repair and Replace as Needed

Before you actually remove your sashes, you should have a repair kit on hand to repair the frame, sashes, pulleys or any other sash window parts that need repairing. If you need to replace, consider Fenster’s complete line of replacement sashes. They have 24 sash models designed to fit a number of classic windows and casements.

For more information, visit the Fenster website.

Hail Damaged Windows

Hail damaged windows can be repaired without full window replacement!  Until recently victims of hail damage had only one option to restore their windows to pre-storm condition.  That included the very costly and invasive project of window replacement.

Full Replacement Pit-falls

Consider for a moment the impact a project of that scope can have on your home and your family.

  • An aluminum clad window is secured in the wall by a nailing flange on the exterior side of the house wall.  If your home is brick, stone, or stucco, it is impossible to remove the window frame without damaging the surrounding material.  Picture the resulting appearance of your home after that brick, stone, or stucco has been patched back in around the new window.
  • In many cases, a contractor may elect to not cut away the exterior material to remove the window.  But wait, I just said that was the only way to do it right?  Yes, but that’s not how its always done.   Some contractors will remove the nailing flange and screw the new frame into the opening through the sides.  Yes, it holds the frame in place.  Now let’s talk about sealing, flashing, and water leaks.  There is no way to wrap around the new frame and seal it to the wall using this technique.  Good luck with that!
  • What happens on the interior with a full window replacement?  Drywall damage, painting, colors not matching, blinds not fitting, dust, mess…for days and days, and days.  Your ultimate satisfaction comes down to the quality of contractors working in your home, their attention to detail, and respect for you and your home.  Still keep in mind, the hail damage wasn’t inside your house, but now you have a major mess on your hands!
  • I’ll save poor contractor service, quality, communication, integrity, and follow-up for another post.

A Better Idea

Fenster has a better way to repair hail damaged windows.  Removing the entire window is no longer necessary.  In most cases, hail damage only occurs on the face of the sash panel.  The sash is the glass and frame surrounding the glass that you open and close.  On most aluminum clad windows, there is very little surface of the frame exposed and is often protected by the surrounding exterior finishes requiring only the sash panel by replaced.  Not the whole window!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Quiksash for hail damaged windows is an after-market sash replacement system engineered to retro fit directly into the existing window frame without modification and without affecting the fit, form or function of the window.   Fenster guarantees same like, kind, and quality on every Quiksash model to closely resemble the original sash and not significantly change the appearance of the window in any way.  When Quiksash is used on a home 10 years or older, the quality and efficiency of glass technology will exceed the original window actually upgrading the window from its original performance.

This is the first of a multi-part series on our Quiksash for hail damaged windows products and their advantages over full replacement.  Stay tuned for more.  In the meantime, please visit our website, www.fensterusa.com for more information about Quiksash and our other window repair products.

Sealrite Windows, clad sash replacement

After-market Sealrite Windows clad sash now available!  Fenster is pleased to announce the latest addition to our Quiksash line of after-market clad wood replacement sashes.

sealrite qsr first orderSealrite windows were made in a way that makes replacing the glass impossible.  How convenient!  For them, not for you.  Not since they are out of business!

Fenster now has an after-market, direct fit clad wood replacement sash to fit a sealrite window frame.  Our Quiksash line features solid pine wood with stainable/paintable interiors, lowE standard, or high performance lowE glass, and metal clad exteriors in three standard colors, or custom color match on minimum order quantities.

Do you have Sealrite Windows?

sealrite clad samplesealrite clad corner profile

 

 

 

 

Many clad wood windows look similar from the exterior.  Exactly why the Fenster Quiksash blends perfectly with many brands.  Sealrite Windows have a couple unique features to help identify them.  The vertical edge, or stile of the sash has a prominent rounded interior edge as seen in the photo above.  Also, the top and bottom of the sash, called the rail, has a pronounced rib that sticks out from the edge, also seen in the photo.

Fenster Quiksash is a simple and cost effective way to solve glass seal failure and hail damaged sealrite windows when compared to a full replacement window.  You now have options to repair only damaged windows with a direct fit after-market product avoiding a high priced full replacement or the disappointing switch to vinyl.

Looking for another brand?  We can help.  We currently have 12 Quiksash models available including Caradco, Rockwell, Pozzi, Norco, SNE, Windsor, and others.

We can still help, even if we currently don’t have your brand!  We can engineer a Quiksash model for practically any brand of clad casement sash with roll form clad exterior and guarantee the same fit, form and function of the original sash.  In most cases, our new Quiksash is better constructed with higher energy efficiency than your original window!

Hail Damage?  Seal Failure?  Wood Rot?  Look no further than Fenster Components for your sealrite windows, or many other brands of clad wood replacement sash.  Inquire today at www.fensterusa.com or sales@fensterusa.com

Window repair-Why it works

Window Repair works for obvious reasons.  A new window salesman won’t tell you why.  For as many years as I’ve been in business, I’ve had folks ask, “How do I know this works?”  Well, somehow we’ve been making window parts for over fifteen years now, what do you think?

rockwell 2007

rockwell 2007 after

 

The obvious isn’t so obvious if you don’t have a “repair” mind-set.  If you’re a consumer conditioned to the modern disposable, instant gratification society, well then it makes perfect sense to tear out windows and start over.  From my perspective, it makes much more sense to repair, or what we like to call “replacement innovation” than to replacement the old with “new” with the expectation that the “new” is better.  Maybe?  The thought of window parts and pieces can be confusing.  We’re going to fix that later.  For now, let’s walk through a brief list of thought provokers and you decide.

  1. It’s cheaper!  I refuse to argue with the $189.00 vinyl window guys.  That is a sales pitch to get in the door.  No salesman will sell you a $189 window.  Obviously markets vary across the country, but a reputable, professional window company is going to run in the $700 per opening range for new vinyl windows.  A far cry from the billboard price.
  2. Window repair is specific.  You only address the windows that are problematic, not the whole the house.  In my experience, most homes have 3-4 windows at any one time with damage.  Window for window, a replacement sash approaches the cost of the vinyl.  Now consider the cost of just replacing the three or four, not the whole house.
  3. Like kind and quality.  Did your neighbor with the brown house that put one bright white vinyl window in the side of it think about what their house was going to look like?  The idea of window repair or “replacement innovation” is to return the original window to original condition.  This also means keeping all of your windows matching.
  4. Less invasive.  Window replacement is a major remodeling project.  Disregard the “vinyl insert” type of product.  That is a whole other animal and soap box issue for me.  I’m talking a direct replacement of a full frame window. Window repair doesn’t cause drywall damage, woodwork damage, require new window treatments, or disrupt sealing or building envelope surfaces.
  5. Convenience.  Window repair is faster.  Our typical six week lead time is a fraction of the time you will wait for a new batch of windows from the factory.  Installation time is also a fraction of new window replacement with less mess and interference to your life and schedule.
  6. DIY is possible.  Save even more by doing it yourself.  Repairing rotten wood frames is experienced carpenter work, not sashes and hardware.  If you can turn a screwdriver, then doing this work yourself is possible.

Our new goal for 2016 is to bring window repair to DIY’er status.  Through more instructional blog posts and a new video series, I will be walking you through the basic installation steps of many of our popular window repair products in an effort to bring our concept of “replacement innovation” to the forefront of the window industry to create a new option category for the window consumer.

For more information, visit our blog and website at www.fensterusa.com

Window repair, not an emergency

Window repair is not an emergency folks!  It took 20 years for your windows to rot.  A couple more weeks won’t hurt anything.

The first thing about the window industry is; it’s not in a hurry.  So from a supply stand point, we wait sometimes 5-6 weeks just to get raw materials in.  Now we do a better job than most managing this, but special orders take extra time.  Also, during high volume times of the year, suppliers are busy too.  We all struggle to keep up.  What I will ask is, “Can anyone do it faster?”  Most major window companies take 8-12 weeks to get you a stock item.  We’re making this stuff from scratch and still getting it out usually in 6 weeks or less!

Time is certainly of the essence, but that depends on the time of year.  We understand, summer is over, the weather is turning, and so is your attention to your home to prepare it for winter.  What we need customers to understand is EVERYONE ELSE has the same idea!

What’s wrong with the rest of the year?  The summer is a great time of year for window repair.  Its dry, warm.  In the spring, flowers are blooming, its new, its fresh, why not make your windows feel the same?  It doesn’t snow everywhere in the winter.  Where’s our southern friends in January and February?

Why isn’t anyone in a hurry in the winter we wonder?  I think its more about top of mind.  Not many homeowners take time to inspect their windows regularly.  Usually its a painter pointing out window repair needs during a paint job.  We get it.  You’re suddenly made aware of this issue, you got the painter there, its one more problem to deal with between soccer and choir practice…whatever.  Its a hassle you need to have go away, right away.

The thing to consider is not the lead time, but the finished product.  When you open that box to begin your window repair, are you expecting something that looks like it got done in a hurry?  Of course not.  You still expect a quality product.  Fenster only does things one way; The Right Way.  The Right Way way takes time.  The Right Way way takes more time August through October because so many customers wait until this time to get it The Right Way.

We certainly appreciate all of the window repair business, anytime of year we can get it!  We thank you!  We ask for a little more patience this time of year to get your order done, what?  The Right Way.  Lead times in the fall can run 6-8 weeks.  There are 9 more months of the year folks!  If you want something in a week, call us January!

Learn more about the Fenster way of doing things at www.fensterUSA.com.  View our products and submit your order request today!

Malta Window Cladding

malta cladding stockMalta window cladding now available!  We are excited to announce we have received our first shipment of matching Malta window cladding for two popular vinyl clad Malta window models.  We now can offer after-market replacement cladded sash for Malta vinyl clad double hung windows and Malta vinyl clad casements shown below.

 

 

 

malta 200 clad casement 2malta 200 clad casementmalta 200 clad casement interior The vinyl clad casement shown here has a mitered corner, foam filled perimeter weatherstrip and an interior glass stop.  Fenster part number MT200-C.

 

 

 

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malta dh wet end view

 

The vinyl clad double hung shown here is a boot glazed window with a sharply mitered corner on the lower sash.  Most models had a torx screw as the lower tilt pin and a helicopter pin screwed in through the cladding on the upper.  This window was produced for many years from the mid 80’s through the mid 2000’s.  All looked the same, but with differences of note.  Earlier models were boot glazed with two different glass thicknesses.  The newer is a wet glazed sash with an interior glass stop.  The Fenster after-market unit will match the newer model with the interior glass stop, but WILL fit the older models since the sash profiles otherwise were not altered.  The Fenster part number for a complete cladded sash is MTDH250-C (upper or lower).

We are currently stocking WHITE Malta window cladding for both models.  Beige/sand can be special ordered with a minimum quantity of 10 sash.  Place and order request today at www.fensterUSA.com or email sales@fensterUSA.com

 

 

 

 

MW clad window

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit two models of MW clad window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the MW clad window, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash can also be a cost effective solution for seal failure.

MW vinyl clad exterior corner  The Fenster Quiksash replaces this older model of vinyl clad MW.  Notice the thin plastic glazing bead against the glass as an obvious identifier.  It is also important to note, this is a VINYL clad window, not aluminum.

 

 

MW vinyl clad newer model The Fenster Quiksash also replaces a newer MW vinyl clad window that has welded corners and a distinct stepped profile to the face of the sash.  Click the photo to enlarge.  This newer model has a wood interior glass stop which the Fenster model closely resembles.

 

 

fenster quiksash MW vinyl clad ext cornerfenster quiksash MW vinyl clad int corner  The Fenster Quiksash takes elements from both WM clad window models and blends them.  The exterior side is a flat 2″ wide face with an interior wood stop.  The thickness remains 1.5″ matching both original models.  It is also important to note, the Quiksash is aluminum clad, not vinyl.  Although the exterior profile and material has be re-engineered, the shape and size of the frame has not, allowing the Quiksash model to easily retro-fit into the existing WM clad window frame.

Fenster Quiksash models come in 4 industry standard colors with custom colors available with an order of 10 or more.

Order your Fenster Quiksash WM clad window replica today at www.fensterUSA.com

Biltbest clad window

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit a Biltbest clad window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the Biltbest clad sash, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash is also a cost-effective solution for hail damage.

fenster quiksash biltbest outside cornerfenster quiksash biltbest inside corner  Click the photo to enlarge.  Our cladding nearly snapped onto the original profile with little alteration the lay-person would ever notice.  The Quiksash model should install effortlessly into the original Biltbest clad window frame.

 

 

Fenster Quiksash models come in 4 industry standard colors, with custom colors available for orders of 10 or more.

Order your Fenster Quiksash Biltbest clad window replica today at www.fensterUSA.com

Rockwell clad window

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit a Rockwell clad window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the Rockwell clad window, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash is also a cost effective solution for hail damage.

fenster quikash rockwell ext corner  As you can see, from the exterior the Quiksash model is virtually identical to the original Rockwell clad window.

 

 

 

fenster quiksash rockwell int corner  The noticeable difference from the interior is a perimeter glass stop.  Quiksash uses a wet glazing system eliminating the rubber glazing boot for better performance and lifespan.

 

 

 

Order your Fenster Quiksash Rockwell clad window replica today at www.fensterUSA.com

 

 

Caradco clad sash

We now have a clad sash option in our Quiksash line of products to fit the Caradco Heritage series window.  The Fenster Quiksash is a re-engineered version of the original brand’s sash altered to receive our proprietary aluminum cladding profiles.  All Quiksash models  including the Caradco clad sash, are similar in design and appearance from the exterior, bringing consistency to the product.  However, all Quiksash models maintain design elements from the original profile guaranteeing a perfect fit and function in the existing window frame.  Utilizing current glass technology, your window’s energy efficiency can be significantly upgraded and still keep the original look without replacing the whole window.  A Fenster Quiksash is also a cost effective solution for hail damage.

fenster quiksash caradco int corner               fenster quiksash caradco ext corner

As you can see, from the exterior, the Quiksash looks virtually the same as the original Caradco clad sash.  The only noticeable difference is the wood glass stop on the interior side.  This is due to the conversion to a wet glazed system to eliminate the rubber glazing boot.

The Fenster Quiksash-Caradco clad sash is available in 4 industry standard colors and custom colors available for orders of 10 sash or more.

Order your Caradco clad sash replica today at www.fensterusa.com