A Step-by-Step Guide for Removing a Window

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Removing a Window

3 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Investing in new windows is a great way to boost energy efficiency and thus lower your home's heating and cooling bills. Yet many people struggle when it comes to removing their old windows. If you have plans to upgrade any windows inside of your home, read on. This article will walk you through the process of removing your existing windows.

Prying the Stop Free

An average window assembly consists of the following components: two glass-paneled sashes that are raised up and down inside of a frame, often referred to as the jamb. Most windows also include vertical stops. These thin pieces of trim serve both to improve the aesthetics of the window and to insulate against drafts coming in around the frame. In order to remove a window, you will first need to pry off the stops.

Be aware that, especially if you live in an older home, your stops have likely been caked into place by successive layers of paint. Thus you should always begin by using a razor blade to score the paint along the inner edge of the stop. Then use a thin pry bar to loosen the stop, working gradually up and down to prevent unwanted cracking.

It is important to be gentle when removing your stop, since you may choose to reinstall it at the end of your replacement process. This is a great way to add "vintage" appeal to new windows. Strictly speaking, you only need to remove the stop along one side of the window in order to complete the removal. Yet people often opt to remove both to protect against damage and so that things can be more easily cleaned up and restored.

Removing the Sash

The most difficult part of the window-removal process comes next: getting the bottom sash out of place. Just as with the stops, it is common to find older windows where the bottom sash has been painted right into place against the window stool. If so, be sure to thoroughly cut the sash free using your razor.

Once you've got the bottom of the sash freed, pull it toward you on the side where you've removed the stop. By doing this, you should be able to gain access to the sash rope that runs along the inside of the window frame. At the end of the sash rope is a knot; this knot slides into a groove on the outer edge of the sash, thus locking it into place.

Carefully pull the sash rope down until there is enough slack to slide the knot out of its channel. Be careful not to release the rope, as the momentum of the falling weight could be enough to pull the knotted end right through the pulley system into the wall. Instead, release it gently until the knot is resting against the pulley. Then repeat this rope-removal process on the far side of the window. Once you've got both sash ropes free, all you'll need to do is tilt the top of the window out toward you and lift it free. 

Talk to a company such as Affordable Home Remodeling for more information.