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How to Fix a House Window That Will Not Open

House windows stick for a number of reasons. Most often, heat and humidity cause the surrounding wood to swell, hindering the window from opening. In these cases, it's best to just wait out the weather. Another common cause is paint that has accumulated between the sash and sill over the years. With the proper tools and a little elbow grease, you can get your window in working order again.

Windows that won't open need a little elbow grease and TLC.
  1. Cut through the window sash's painted edges with a utility knife.
  2. Place a wide putty knife between the sash and the window frame. Tap the knife with a mallet to gently insert it. The wider the putty knife, the less damage there will be to the surrounding wood.
  3. Go outside, and wedge a pry bar between the sill and sash on the exterior side of the window. Work at each corner until the the sash goes up evenly.
  4. Sand the edges of the sash and sill to remove paint buildup, bumps and other irregularities on the wood until they are smooth.
  5. Apply a bit of paraffin wax to the surfaces to prevent future sticking.

Things You Will Need

  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty knife
  • Mallet
  • Pry bar
  • Paraffin wax

Tip

  • You may need to prime and paint around the window once you're finished to replace any paint that chipped off during the repair.

About the Author

A professional writer and editor, Kristi Roddey began freelancing in 1999. She has worked on books, magazines, websites and computer-based training modules, including South Carolina Educational Television's NatureScene Interactive, "Planted Aquaria," "Xtreme RC Cars" and online courses for Education To Go, Inc. Roddey holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Carolina.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Retrofile/Getty Images