How to Remove and Install a Window Sash

Learn how to remove and install a window sash with ease and confidence. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step. Click here for our full guide!

How to Remove and Install a Window Sash

If you’re looking to restore an old window or replace a broken sash, removing and installing a window sash is a crucial skill to learn. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of removing and installing a window sash.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools. 

You’ll need:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pry Bar / Crowbar 
  • Utility Knife
  • Measuring Tape
  • Caulking gun

It’s important to have all the tools on-hand before you start, as it will make the process smoother and more efficient and save you having to pause the window replacement half way while you fly out to source the right tools!

Step 2: Prepare the Window

The first step in removing a window sash is to prepare the window. Begin by scoring the paint line on the interior stops with a sharp blade. This will prevent the paint from stripping off the rest of the trim when you pull off the stops. Once you have scored the paint line, use a good firm v and one putty knife or a trim pry bar to pry off the stops. 

Be extra careful with the stops, as they can break off and require replacement!

Step 3: Remove the Bottom Sash

Next, it’s time to remove the bottom sash. If your window is old or painted shut, this can be a difficult process. Use a 5 and 1 tool to shoot down between the brake and the meeting rail, and then pivot the top sash out. Work the sash up above the stool and remove the ropes. To remove the ropes, either unscrew them or remove the nails holding them in place.

Step 4: Remove the Top Sash

Removing the top sash can be more difficult than removing the bottom sash. Begin by removing the parting bead, which may be nailed or press-fit in place. Use duckbill vice grips or another tool to get a good grip on the parting bead and remove it. Work the sash around the meeting rail, using a 5 and 1 tool to pry it free. Keep working until the sash is free and can be removed.

Step 5: Remove the Weights

Once the sashes are removed, you can remove the weights. Remove the screw on the access door and label the weight before setting it aside. Untie the knot on the remaining rope or cut it off to remove the weight. Make sure to keep the same weight with the same sash, as different sashes can weigh different amounts.

Step 6: Measure and Replace the Rope

Measure the length of the hole opening and cut four pieces of rope. Tie a simple knot at one end of each piece of rope and thread the other end through the hole in the sash. Attach the weight to the end of the rope and pull it up through the pulley. Repeat for each sash.

Step 7: Reinstall the Sashes

To reinstall the sashes, thread the ropes through the access door and tie them off. Carefully reinstall the sashes, making sure they fit snugly in place. Replace the parting bead and reinstall the stops. Finally, paint the interior and exterior of the window sash to match the rest of the trim.

Step 8: Test the Window Sash

Once the new window sash is installed, test it to ensure that it operates smoothly and seals tightly. Open and close the window several times to make sure that it moves freely and doesn’t stick. Then, check the seal around the perimeter of the sash to ensure that it is tight and secure.

With a little patience and the right tools, you can restore old windows and keep your home looking beautiful! If you’re looking for a sash window repair service, or a new set of professionally made, bespoke sash windows, be sure to browse our service pages and contact us for a competitive quote.