Restoring and Refitting Sash Windows

Windows and doors are parts of the home where deterioration can set in very quickly. It is important to give these regular attention, to avoid the considerable expense of replacement and the damage which neglect can cause to the fabric of the home. Painting regularly is always the first line of defence against wear and weather.

Properly maintained, windows and doors, both wood and metal, are unlikely to cause much trouble. Lack of or poor maintenance is the usual cause of deterioration. Frames may jam and not open properly; warping may occur, and glass crack or become loose; tenons may rot and break or glue joints come apart. Metal windows may rust and warp. In either case, the expensive solution may be new frames.

Paint fulfils a vital protective function. If it is not kept up to standard, it will deteriorate, flake away and allow timber to become saturated, causing it to swell up in wet weather. Wet rot may irreparably damage the fibre of timber.

Because damp is an all-pervading problem, repairs should ideally be tackled during dry weather. Apart from the inconvenience of removing doors and windows during cold and wet weather, timber remains swollen and problems are not easy to rectify.

If you have a number of doors and windows to repair, take out only one at a time. It is a good idea to tack a piece of 500-gauge polythene in place over the opening, fixing this to battening, so that it stays securely in place.

Windows and doors

There are two basic types of window – the casement and the double-hung sash. However, the moveable part of any window is called a sash. There are various types of door-solid, panelled, ledged and braced, glazed, part-glazed, and doors with fixed or opening lights.

The principle of repairs is much the same for both doors and windows. However, it is the latter that tend to demand.

The lead mouse is used to weight the new sash cord and is later removed Before taking out the lower sash mark the place where the ends of the sash cords come on the cord and on the frame the greater attention, so reference is largely to repairs of windows.

A casement window that will not close properly is a problem. Sash windows may stick and be difficult to slide. Look, at this stage, at the sash cords, for these may have frayed and need to be replaced.

Order of repair

The main operations involved in repair and maintenance are: removal of windows; taking out glass; dismantling the frames; cleaning up joints; glueing and repegging joints; checking for squareness and alignment; removing old paint; repriming and repainting; reglazing; and, finally, re-hanging. Broken or rotted tenons may also have to be replaced.

When removing an upstairs window without help, use a strong line to support the window before you loosen the hinges. This should prevent hazards such as a window falling out and being wrecked and, perhaps, injuring someone below.

If you are working alone, place an improvised pallette of straw, sacks or other soft material below the window and lower it out on to this. Where possible, get help, for windows may prove heavier than they look.

First, remove the screws fixing the windows to the window frame. It is easier to remove screws on the actual frame once it is taken out of the surrounds.

Before attempting to take out screws, remove all paint from the screw slots, so that the screwdriver gets a good purchase and does not break out the screw head. Clearing a paint-clogged screw head is best done with a spiked tool such as a sharpened nail.

If screws prove stubborn, first try to tighten them slightly since this will help to loosen the threads. You can also give the end of the screwdriver a few sharp but careful taps with the hammer as this often frees a stubborn screw.

Penetrating oil can be left to soak in on rusted screws. If all else fails, you may have to drill out the screws.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Restoring and Refitting Sash Windows

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