Saturday, November 29, 2014


I wrote a few weeks ago about buying and installing new, wood framed storm windows in two of my upstairs windows.  In order to keep that post relatively focused and short, I skipped over a bit of a challenge I ran into in getting the storms in.

The windows are up high, so I wanted to install the storms from the inside. I had previously restored the double hung window on one side.  That window slid up easily and I was able to maneuver the new storm out the window opening and then pull it into place on the exterior and screw it in place.

The other window was another story.  I tried sliding the bottom window sash up and it got stuck on on the many layers of old paint. So, I tried sliding the top sash down and that also got stuck. Then I couldn't move either sash up or down. Both were stuck in the middle. I pushed and pulled for a while, took a break, bargained with God, applied some paste wax in the channel, and swore. None of it helped.

I finally came to the realization that, like it or not, I was going to have to pull out the double hung window sashes before I could get the wood frame storm window into place. ...And if I had the double hung sashes out, it only made sense to restore them before replacing them in the window. Crap.

So, out they came.

I now have the double hung sashes stripped, treated with borate and primed. I have the old glass out and cleaned. Next I need to paint the interior side of the sashes and then replace the glass, putty, paint the frame exterior, replace the rope and put it all back in the window opening.

In the meantime it is cold here in Minnesota, so I have the wood frame storm window in and that 3M weatherproofing plastic on the interior. It's surprisingly wind tight.

I tried to take a lot of photos while I was pulling out the double hungs.  So, here is the photo dump. I'm not sure they are very helpful though.

It's honestly very easy but can seem a little complicated. First you pull off the interior trim (the photos below are after I pulled off the crappy trim).  Then you tilt in the bottom window sash and hold on to the rope. The end of the rope has a knot and is nestled in a little groove in the side of the window sash. You pull the window sash loose and set it aside.

You don't need to, but I then tie the rope to a paint stir stick. There is a weight on the other end of this rope in the side of the window opening. The paint stick keeps the weight from dropping down inside the wall cavity. If you know how deep the wall cavity is, it is just as easy to cut the rope and let the weight fall.

One thing I have learned though, is that you want to keep all pieces of the old rope to give you an idea of how long you need to cut the new replacement rope (or chain).

Once you have the bottom window sashes out, there is a little piece of wood that now holds the top window sash in place (and separates the two double hung sashes). It's called the "parting bead."  In order to get out the top sash, you need to pull out the parting bead. These are usually nailed in with a few brads. I use a pliers to pull it out far enough to then use a small pry bar to coax it out. They sell these pieces of wood in almost every big box store, so don't lose your mind if you end up breaking it as you pull it out.

Once the parting bead is out, you remove the top of the double hung in the same was as the bottom.

Once the sashes are out, I remove the old putty and pull out the glass and then strip the frames. I did a series of posts a while back on the details, so I'll spare you the retelling in this post.

This was easily the window in the worst overall condition in my house (more on this in my next post). That said, once it is fully restored it should look virtually new.

interior trim has been removed.

So, the top window frame should be able to slide down and the bottom frame slide up. Here the top one came down about 4 inches and then got stuck.

The end of the rope nestled in the little groove.

The painters painted in the top double hung frame channel. Ugh.

You can see a little panel cut. Once you pry off that little door, the weight is behind there.

Here is the parting bead coming out.

The parting bead is now gone and you can see the empty groove where it once was.

Here is my new storm window in, with the double hung out.


Where the old hardware was.


I don't paint the sides of the window frame. I paint the inside and outside faces and the top and bottom, but not sides.


Unknown said...

Looks great. You do fine work.

StuccoHouse said...

Thanks Reuben.

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