How To Remove An Old Window

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Many people enjoy older wood windows for the charm and uniqueness they add to a home. Unfortunately, such windows are often energy inefficient and difficult to open. If it is finally time to start replacing some of the windows in your home, read on. This article teach you how to accomplish the first phase of this project: removing the old window.

Removing The Stop

In order to successfully remove both window sashes, the first step is to remove the stop that runs vertically along the sides of the jamb. The stop is, in essence, a piece of trim, commonly used to increase the aesthetic appeal of the window. Because it has probably been painted over many times, you will need to begin by scoring the paint along the edge of the stop using a razor knife.

Once you've broken the seal formed by the successive layers of paint, use a trim pry bar to pry the stop away from the jamb. Do this gently, as you'll likely want to reinstall the stop once your new window is in place. Be aware that it is only necessary to remove one of the stops in order to lift the sash out of place. That said, many people choose to remove both stops so that they can get them cleaned up evenly. 

Taking Out The Bottom Sash

The bottom sash--that is, the inside sash--is the first part of the window you will remove. If the bottom sash has been painted shut, begin by breaking the seal using your razor knife. It may be necessary to do this both along the sash and the window stool, and along the sash and the second stop, if you chose to leave it in place.

Now pivot the bottom sash toward you on the side with the removed stop. You should be able to maneuver it inward just enough to expose the sash rope. This rope sits inside of a shallow groove. It is held in place by means of a knot, which is seated inside a special cavity known as the rope mortise.

Remove the knot from the mortise, being careful not to let go of the rope. If you do, the weight at the other end of the rope will fall down inside of the jamb, pulling the rope along with it. Retrieving the rope once more requires a long and intensive process--one to be avoided at all costs. Instead, let the knot rest against the pulley on the inside wall of the window.

Now repeat the process on the other side of the window. Once both ropes have been detached in this fashion, tilt the window toward you and lift it out of its place. Congratulations, you've just removed the bottom sash!

For more information, contact Gulf Coast Builders Inc or a similar company.