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.
- 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.
- Next check your handing. Many parts are made to be left or right and are not inter-changeable.
- All casement ‘cranks’ or operators have different length arms. You MUST have the correct length for your window to operate correctly.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- First open the window about half way.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.