Window Replacement Parts–A Buying Guide

Finding the right window replacement parts can be challenging, even for the professional.  For the average homeowner lacking the knowledge and terminology, it can be impossible.  Here’s a couple things to keep in mind when identifying your window parts:

1.  The windows in your house are one brand out of hundreds of thousands of windows produced by any one major manufacturer over a period of years or even decades.  Most brands have multiple product levels all with different trim levels available.  Many of these trim levels have been changed, updated, launched and discontinued over the life of the brand.  For an aftermarket hardware supplier like Fenster Components with an online catalog of tens of thousands of parts, the combinations can be infinite.  The brand of window and year it was installed simply is not enough information — even for window pros like us.  We would go so far as to say the original manufacturer would struggle to determine what you need.

2.  It is a huge misconception that the hardware on your window is made by the brand of the window.  Nearly 90% of the windows produced in the US in the last 30-40 years use TRUTH hardware or some version of it.  When the window was new, TRUTH may have made stamped the brand name on the hardware, but their generic part is exactly the same.  So there is no need to search for brand specific hardware when TRUTH supplied it originally and probably still makes it.  This goes for all hardware like locks, operators, and even screens.

Locating and ordering your parts.

Measurements and visual identification are your best bet to finding the right part.  Spending some time looking through the catalog is a necessary inconvenience to ending your search.  We recommend removing the old part FIRST so you can easily take measurements and identify subtle details.

  1. The first step is finding the part you need by the picture in the catalog.  Most drawings are in 3D and very detailed with measurements.
  2. Next check your handing.  Many parts are made to be left or right and are not inter-changeable.
  3. All casement ‘cranks’ or operators have different length arms.  You MUST have the correct length for your window to operate correctly.
  4. Many parts look the same except for subtle differences like mounting hole and tab placement, shape of housing, size of housing, mounting positions, off-sets, and bracket shapes just to name a few.
  5. Finally select the right color.  Most part numbers are listed separately by size and color.  Luckily, most brands reserved their hardware choices to TRUTH standard colors which are typically white or bronze for newer windows and gold or coppertone for older windows.
  6. Complete an order form on our website with as much pertinent information as possible.  Under the hardware section, please include the full part number, a brief description, and the quantity you need.  We’ll respond within one business day with availability, price, shipping, and delivery information.

Installation 101

You don’t need a wealth of window knowledge to replace window hardware.  If you can turn a screw driver and have a little mechanical sense, you can save on the handyman call and get it done yourself.  The simplest advice we can give is this: put the new part back on the way you took the old one off.  Assuming you have the right part, the mounting holes should all line up.  Our most common orders are for casement operators, so we’ll walk you through that installation.

  1. First open the window about half way.
  2. For both single and dual arm operators, there is a track on the bottom of the sash frame with a cut-out roughly in the middle.  Some even have an arrow stamped on the track showing where the cut-out is.  Align the end of the long operator arm with this cut-out and push down on the tip to release it from the track.
  3. For dual arm operators, the lower, inside corner of the sash will have a second bracket with a shorter control arm attached.  These typically have a silver retainer clip holding the arm to a post on the bracket.  Slide the retainer click back to release the arm.
  4. For operators with a plastic cover (Truth entry guard) remove the handle by loosening the set screw at the base of the handle and pull off the cover by gently squeezing.  For single arm operators with a metal housing, skip this step.
  5. The wood stool cap will either be screwed down or nailed.  The screw heads will be located in the channel where the screen fits.  The screw heads may be puttied or caulked over.  You will have to clean out the screw heads to remove them.  If you can’t find any screws, it is probably blind nailed from the bottom meaning there will not be any nail heads.  Work a small pry bar or putty knife under the cap and gently work it up from side to side until it is free from the nails.  In most cases, the nails will stay in place, allowing you to reseat the cap back over the nails later.
  6. The operator assembly should now be exposed.  Remove the 4-6 screws mounting it to the sill.  Assuming you have the correct replacement, the new operator should go right back in its place using the same screws and holes.
  7. Reverse the previous steps in order and your done.  This should take about 15 minutes.

We hope you found this helpful and informative.  Remember, we’re not at your house looking at your windows.  We’re guessing at decades of possible choices.  If all else fails, send us pictures and we’ll do our best to identify what you need.

12 Comments

  • Teri
    Posted November 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    When I worked with a DoE weatherization program many years ago we used to regularly install a vinyl gadget on old double hung wood frame windows. It allowed the window to stay open without propping it and stopped air infiltration. As I recall they replace the wooden slat that runs the vertical interior and had a spring or compression structure along their length that was depressed when the window was raised. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about and/or where I can purchase them?

    • Posted November 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Teri, I think so. My guess is you are talking about a vinyl jamb liner conversion kit for old wood windows that had cord/weight balances. This can be a challenging install for the layperson. It sounds like you have some past experience with this, but without being on the job site, it would be difficult for us to walk you through it. We have access to some conversion kits through our hardware distributor. You are welcome to check out our online catalog and see if you can find what you are looking for. You can find that link on our homepage at http://www.fensterusa.com. You can get a quote by filling out a quote request form and a member of our team will get back to you promptly with pricing. Thank you.

  • Fred Buess
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I ma looking for replacement parts to repair cradco awning windows I am looking for the cranks left and right. I have been trying for 2 weeks to get some one to give me an answer to if they are avaliable and how I can get the parts.
    Thank you
    Fred Buess

    • Posted November 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Fred, please check your email. We’ve emailed you multiple times with pricing and availability. Thank you.

  • Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    we have marvin windows and some on the plastic slides are breaking up are they replaceable? if so do you have a catalog for to order ABoone

    • Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Marvin uses a lot of hardware manufactured specifically for them and most of it is proprietary. We don’t access to their replacement parts through our normal vendors. We recommend going to Marvin directly or a local dealer in your area.

  • Maria
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I am looking for replacement parts for ACAN vinyl windows. ACAN Systems was a company out of Ontario Canada that is no longer in business. The mechanism in the side sashes that allows the window to be raised and lowered is broken.

    • Posted April 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Maria, Unfortunately we haven’t heard of that brand of window. Locating parts would be difficult for us. Sorry we couldn’t help.

  • Tim
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    To whom it may concern, I have double hung wood windows on the al spacer between the glass it is stamped with MW Dual 93. The house was built in 1993. There are white vinyl jamb liners and the sashes can be tilted in for cleaning. The problem is the vinyl liners are very hard to push in to tilt the sash in. I broke off part of the wood on a lower sash trying to tilt in the window. I would like to replace the wood that is broken and all the vinyl liners for the windows. Can you help me with this project? Sincerely Tim

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Tim, We do have one MW double hung profile available. You would have to compare your window to the pictures and specifications on our profile catalog on our website to confirm we have what you need. In the event you determine a match, you can submit that information to get a quote on a quote request form, also on the website. Thank you.

  • R Povinelli
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your informative website. Where can I find color examples for Pozzi hardware replacement parts?

    • Posted May 22, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Pozzi used Truth hardware on their windows. You can find a color chart on their website. I believe it is amesbury-truth.com. However please be aware Truth does not sell direct, and our distributor may not offer all available colors from the manufacturer. I suggest using our distributor’s catalog (link on our site) to identify the part you need and the colors available. OR, send us photos to sales@fensterusa.com and we will do our best to identify it for you. Thank you.

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