Marvin Double Hung Windows Hard to Open


Old 01-29-10, 04:26 AM
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Marvin Double Hung Windows Hard to Open

Hello, We recently remodeled our home and we put Marvin Wood Double hung windows in the front of the house. The windows look great but they are pretty hard to open and close. Not impossible but considering the cost of the windows I expected it to be a one hand job. I asked out contractor about it and he said that they take a while to "break in" I feel like that is a poor answer. Is this possible or did they over shim the windows or are they out of alignment and not plumb? Need help before the contractor moves on to another job.
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Old 01-29-10, 05:18 AM
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Welcome to the forums! If these are vinyl windows my first guess is that they used expanding foam in the side cracks and it has compressed too much on the sashes. "Break in", my..........sorry, I get a little upset when "contractors" try to weasel out of their responsibility. If you have a framing square, set in the corners to see if the frame is racked any. This could cause poor opening.
Old 01-29-10, 04:40 PM
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Take a tape measure and measure the width of the jamb across the bottom or top of the window frame. (Should be equal to the width of the sash plus maybe 3/32 or so.) Then tip both windows down and let them hang. Measure across the middle. It should be the same as the other measurement- if it isn't your sides are bowed. Marvin usually has spacers installed, which aren't removed until the window is installed... makes it pretty hard to bow the sides in when installing them.

But you would want to check that measurement through the middle of the window on the inside AND on the outside of the frame, since a window can be pinched or spread in the center and then nailed to the house that way. To compensate for that, some guys will shim the inside OVER much. Depending on how tall your window is, you could check the sides with a 4' level, and see if they are plumb and straight. The 4' level is a nice straightedge, so if it's bowed you should be able to tell easily.

If you have a wood window, it could also be that someone painted the sides of the sash and they are sticking to the jamb liners as you try to slide the window up and down. You should NEVER paint the sides of a wood window sash... only the faces.

An easy way to check a window for squareness is to open the sash just a crack and see if the light showing through under/over the sash is straight or not. If the crack of light is wider on one side than it is on the other, it's likely the window frame is out of square. But that doesn't always make a window hard to operate... just increases the likelihood of it being drafty, since it isn't sealing correctly on top/bottom.

Or it could be that everything is installed correctly and you just THINK they are hard to slide. I just installed 10 Marvin's myself, and they don't slide effortlessly. So if that is what you imagine they should be like, they aren't effortless. Tilt windows have to be tight or the wind will blow right through them. So if your windows all operate the same, don't open easy then get tighter as they go up, it could be that you just aren't used to how these windows operate.
Old 01-29-10, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rhode Island
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I have Marvin Wood Infinity windows. They are a little snug but not impossible to open. One window sash was not all the way snapped in and it got stuck on the soft weather strip and damaged it slightly and that window is harder to operate now. Check to make sure every thing is in place.

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