How to Repair Double-Hung Windows

Wood double-hung windows have been used in homes for years due to their design conformity and functionality. At some point in time, a double-hung window can give out. A window repair is a do-it-yourself project you can tackle if you have time and the appropriate tools. Read on to learn how to repair double-hung windows.

  1. Pry interior stops and parting strip away with a flat pry bar. Use a utility knife to help remove the stops if paint has sealed them into place.

  2. Push the bottom sash outward and remove the sash from the window jam. Remove any old sash cord. Cut cords with a utility knife to free the window sash from the jamb. Repeat the steps to remove the top sash.

  3. Open the access panel in the window jamb with a screwdriver to get to the weights. Lower the weights carefully and lift them out of the wall cavity. Check the pulleys at the top of the window jamb for old cord. Remove all of the old cord from pulleys, weights and wall cavity. Spray the pulley wheels with WD-40 to lubricate.

  4. Replace old cord with 1/4-inch thick nylon cord or rope to avoid deterioration. Place new cord over the top of each pulley. Feed the cord down through the wall cavity and out of the access panel. Tie the ends of the cord to the to the weights and place them back into the wall cavity. The weights should sit at the bottom of the wall cavity.

  5. Pull the cord taut. Cut the cord off 4 inches from the top pulleys. Tie knots in the cord and push the knots into the slots on each side of the sash. Make sure to place the knots so the inner window sash can move the entire length of the window jamb without impediment.

  6. Put the window sashes back into place by replacing the top sash first. Nail the parting strip into the slot. Finish by replacing the bottom sash. Check the sliding action of the double hung window repair. Replace the access panel.

  7. Replace the interior stops and trim. Nail the stops into place. Make sure the stops don't rub against the sash, but are tight enough to hold the sashes in place.


  • Avoid paint on cords and pulleys that can interfere with window movement.

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