How to Replace a Double Hung Window Part 1 How to Replace a Double Hung Window Part 1

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape

If the need arises, it is not difficult to replace a double hung window. The first steps in the process of replacing a double hung window is to measure and order the replacement window and then remove the existing window. (This is Part 1 of a 2 part series. To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)

Double Hung Window Design

Double hung windows consist of two separate sashes, an upper sash and a lower sash. By design, the dual sashes allow the window to open from the top or open from the bottom. A double hung window has grooves in the side jambs that allow each of the sashes to slide over each other. A jamb is part of the window structure, found inside the window frame that hold the tracks or slides that allow the window parts to move. With the separate grooves in the jambs, the sashes can slide independently from one another.

Most double hung windows will come with manufactures installation instructions so be sure to read those as well to verify what is required for your specific window type.

Step 1 - Measuring for Replacement Window

When replacing a double hung window, measurement is the first important step. Taking proper measurements for the replacement window is vital to ensure the window will fit and function properly. The new window needs to fit into the existing jambs and window frame, so it needs to be the proper size.

First, you need to measure the length and width of the window frame. The most accurate way to measure the length and width is to take a measurement at three different places in the frame. You should measure along both outside points of the frame and once in the middle. This will give you three measurement points of the frame length and width.

You will want to use the smallest length and width measurement when ordering. If the measurements are more than ½ inch in difference, you should measure again to ensure accuracy. If they still vary by more than ½ inch, you should consider replacing the entire window frame. Be sure to tell the window manufacture or store how and where you took your measurements to ensure proper window sizing. Some manufactures will automatically deduct or add up to ¼ inch to allow for a proper fit.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Window

After measuring and ordering the replacement window, the next step is to remove the old window.

First, you will need to remove the center stop. The stop is the facing between the sash and the window frame. Usually screws secure the stop in place, which after removal of the screws the stop will be ready to remove. If you have any difficulty removing the stop due to caked on paint or sealant use a pair of pliers to loosen the hold.

Next, remove the top sash first. You should remove only one sash at a time, and work on one side of the sash at a time. You can remove the top sash by tilting it forward and pulling the ropes out of the window frame along with the sash. After removing the top sash, you can remove any weights or pulleys in the frame. You may be able to reach the weights by reaching inside the frame, or you may need to remove an access place from the frame to remove the weights and pulleys.

After removal of the top sash and parts, you can repeat the previous steps to remove the bottom sash from the window. After removal of the old window, you can begin the preparation and installation of the new window.

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