How to Remove Sash Windows

Lead Image
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 10-20
What You'll Need
Putty knife
Tin snips

Sash windows were once very popular but they have fallen out of fashion for quite a few years now. Ripping these sash windows out and replacing them with something more modern is actually very easy.

Step 1 - Get to Know Your Window

The first thing you need to do is get to know your sash window. Most sash windows in America have pretty much the same specifications. There are two sashes to most windows that are fitted with glass and have stops to prevent the glass from sliding out. There are two different stops, which you will have to bear in mind.

Step 2 - Consider Safety First

Your safety is very important and when dealing with glass you must wear safety goggles and gloves. This will protect your hands and eyes from the danger of flying glass. Although you don't intend to break the glass this could accidentally happen.

Step 3 - Remove the Stops

You will need to remove the internal stops from the window. Be careful when removing these stops because you will need to use them another time when replacing the glass in the window. If the old stops do get damaged then you will be able to visit your local hardware store to get new ones made.

If you can't find the stops then they might have been painted over. You will need to use a screwdriver or knife to remove the paint. Use a stiff knife to pry away at the frame. If there are lots of nails in the frame then this will make it much more difficult to remove them. Some stops only use three nails, others have many more nails. There are normally a number of different stops which determines how far the window can be opened.

Step 4 - Remove the Lower Sash

When the stops have been removed from the window on the inside you should then be able to remove the lower sash. If the sash has been painted and cannot open then you will need to concentrate on prying the window open by using a knife. Once the sash is removed from the window frame it will still be connected to the sash cord. This is the rope that is used to open and close the window.

Cut the sash cords by using tin snips. Once the sash cord is cut it is then recoiled back due to the weights inside the sash window.

Step 5 - Remove Parting Beads

You now need to remove the parting bead but it doesn't really matter if you damage this because it will not be used again. This is found at the top and along the sides of each window. This will not be found on the bottom. Remove this by using a screwdriver to pry the bead off. This bead is nailed on to the window but removing it shouldn't be that difficult. After you have finished this the upper sash should then be removed.

The upper sash cords should then be held tight and cut using tin snips. Allow the sash cord to recoil back into the sash window.

Step 6 - Check the Frame

Check that the runners are free from all obstructions and that a new sash window will be able to run without any problems. Any nails or rough areas of the frame could be a major obstruction.