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How to repair double-hung sash windows

How to repair double-hung sash windows

So, you have a double-hung window that won’t stay up and need to know how to repair double-hung sash windows? Well, having a window that keeps falling is not only frustrating but is also a safety hazard. Try to replace the troublesome double-hung window or repair it to protect your loved ones.
The average cost to repair a double-hung window is around £150 to £600, including the labour. At the same time, a new double-hung window will cost you like £800 to £1000, depending on the type of frame and the size of the window. But if you have a flathead screwdriver, it only takes a few minutes to fix a double-hung window.

You don’t have to replace the entire window and don’t even have to hire someone to look at it. In most double-hung windows, the culprit is the balance shoe that goes out of alignment. So, you can quickly fix the balance shoe in just a few minutes.

Here’s a step-by-step guide about how to repair double-hung sash windows that won’t stay up:

How to fix a double-hung window that keeps falling?

Repairing a double-hung window is a straightforward process that requires only a few tools. You’ll need:

– A flathead screwdriver
– Phillips-head screwdriver or Phillips’s head to equip power drill

Now read on to discover:

How to repair double-hung sash windows in 5 easy steps

1. Removing top & bottom sash of the window

A double-hung window comprises two sashes: a top sash and a bottom sash. Each section of a double-hung window slides up and down on
pulleys in opposite directions. To remove the lower sash, tilt the sash into the home using the tilt latches located on the top of the sash frame, with the sash lying parallel to the floor. Tip one side up to free the sash pivot from the balancing spring assembly. Now proceed the same way to remove the top sash.

scaffold towers to work safely repairing double-hung sash windows

2. Remove the balance spring

If the balance spring is still intact, you need to release the tension of the bound balance spring. Use a flathead screwdriver, place the head into the brake assembly, put downward pressure on the screwdriver, and release the brake by turning the screwdriver 90 degrees. Slowly raise the spring upward until you feel the pressure is released. Now unscrew the balance spring from the frame by removing the screw at the top of the frame. The balance spring is now loose in the jamb cavity. Lower the balance spring in the bottom of the cavity and turn it 90 degrees to take it out of the window frame.

For removing the bottom sash balance spring, you have to remove the cover. Just grab the exterior edge of the cover and gently pull it out of the window frame. Run your fingers under the cover along the backside to the top of the window. Once the cover is removed, follow the same procedure to remove the spring balance for the bottom sash.

3. Reinstall the balance spring cover

To reinstall the balance spring cover, insert the curved edge of the cover into the interior side of the window frame. Be sure to insert it between the balance spring and the interior edge of the frame finish by snapping the cover into place by pressing the exterior edge of the cover.
Reinstall the balance spring

Take the new spring and insert it into the jamb cavity. Twist it 90 degrees to hold it inside the cavity. Now slide the top of the spring assembly into the cavity to insert the spring balance. Place the screw into the screw port at the top of the spring balance. Rise the balance spring to the top of the jamb cavity and fasten the screw into the frame using the existing hole at the top. Be careful not to over-tighten the screw to damage the window frame material.

4. Reinstall the top and bottom sash

To install the sashes back, you need to make sure to keep the balance spring at the same level on both sides. For that, insert the flathead screwdriver into the brake assembly and pull it down to keep both ends at the same level. Twist the screwdriver 90 degrees to engage the brakes.
Now first place the upper sash back into the spring assembly. With the sash parallel to the floor, insert the end of the sash pivot into the brake assembly. Raise the other side of the sash over the top of the brake assembly to the opposite side. Raise the top of the sash into the window frame until tilt latches snap into the jamb. Follow the same process to install the lower sash.

scaffold tower to work safely repairing double-hung sash windows

5. Repairing a balance spring assembly

In some cases, homeowners accidentally move down the balance spring assembly at the bottom while forcing them to shut the lower sash to lock them at night. In such cases, the lower sash won’t stay up. To fix that, you need to remove both the sashes, as explained above.
Afterwards, it would help if you used the flathead screwdriver to unlock the brake assembly and move it to a position approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the lower sash. Once you’re done, turn the flathead screwdriver to 90 degrees to relock the pin or brakes. But be sure to keep the spring assembly at the same level for the left and right sides of the spring assembly. Once the spring assembly is reset, you can reinstall the sashes one by one to fully hook them into the frame. Now test your window up-down, and you’re done.

Safety comes first

Repairing a double-hung window yourself is a great way to pocket savings and enjoy learning a new set of skills. But as you’re reaching windows high on the wall, you must take care of the safety protocols. Experts recommend hiring a scaffold tower to do the work. The scaffold tower is easy and quick to install, and it provides you with a safe and stable platform to work on. Scaffold towers are safer than ladders as they have a wider surface area and are supported on four legs to prevent tipping over or collapse. We recommend reading the government’s scaffold tower safety guide.