Single Pane Windows

In older houses, most homeowners may want to retain the character and integrity of their dwellings when making repairs. So if a window sash is in disrepair, many people will opt to replace the worn wood with a similar type of board.

Before you undertake the project, measure the damaged piece and then take those dimensions to a lumberyard. You need to have the new piece milled to the same profile as the old piece. The wood doesn?t need to be the same type, but it?s important to choose a durable wood that will last generations.

When replacing the wood the whole sash must be removed from the window frame. After that point, the damaged wood can be extracted and replaced. Then, the rebuilt sash can be reinstalled. It?s a multi-stepped process that requires some hard labor and a little time.

    * Sawhorse
    * Hammer
    * Prybar
    * Snips
    * Utility knife
    * Putty knife
    * Bar clamp
    * Drill
    * Power saw

    * Sandpaper
    * Replacement board
    * Dowels
    * Glaze
    * Glazier points
    * Glue
    * Boiled linseed oil

To start the project you first take out the window sash.During this process remember that the wood and glass in windows may be brittle. It?s a good idea to buy replacements ahead of time in case something breaks. If you don?t break anything you can return the materials for a refund.  Now, this undertaking has it own series of steps beginning with removing one of the stops that holds the window in place.

    * Cut the paint around the stop with a utility knife.
    * Using a putty knife and hammer, loosen the stop.
    * Once the stop is loosened, take a prybar and leverage the wood all the way out.
    * Remove the stop.
    * Raise the window enough to clear the stool.
    * Tilt the window toward the side without the stop.
    * With snips remove the two nails that anchor the weight chain to the wood.
    * Once the chain is loose, tie it in a knot so it won?t slide inside the frame.
    * Remove the weight from the other side of the window.
    * Once the window is removed you can begin the repair job. This is also a process with a lot of small steps and at least one big step.

    * Lay the sash on the sawhorses.
    * Cut and scrape away the glaze with a utility knife and a putty knife.
    * Pull out the pushpins.
    * Carefully remove the glass.

If you don?t want to save the windowpane, if it?s not unique or historical there is an alternative method to the first steps. Simply break the glass and remove the glaze and pushpins. This is a less tedious process and the pane will set you back only $15. In either case, once the glass is removed you still follow same upcoming steps.

   1. Using a power saw, cut the damaged wood in half.
   2. Wiggle the wood back and forth to dislodge.
   3. Take the new wood and put in place to check for a fit.
   4. If it?s a fit, take the wood out and glue each side before replacing.
   5. Using a bar clamp secure each side of the frame to hold the new piece in place.
   6. Drill two holes on each side of the new wood.
   7. Glue and insert a dowel in each hole.
   8. Once the glue dries, smooth the wood around the window with sandpaper.
   9. Take boiled linseed oil and brush around the frame to condition the wood.
  10. Replace the glass.
  11. Insert three glazier points on each side of the sash (except for bottom) to hold the pane in place.
  12. Apply new glaze with a putty knife and then edge the excess glaze away from the frame. (During this process, some people may want to paint the new wood or strip and repaint the whole sash before placing it back in the frame).
  13. Once the window sash is repaired reverse the steps taken to remove the window to finish the project.

    * Reattach the weights
    * Slide the window into place
    * Replace the stop.
But before committing to the last steps, make sure that the meeting rails of the lower and upper sash are flush with one another. If they aren?t, closing and locking the window will be difficult.  To raise the upper sash cut around it with a utility knife and push the window all the way up in the frame.

Replacing a damaged board is a weekend project. You may want to spread out the work over a couple of days or do it all at one time. However you choose to do it, the project should take about four or five hours and cost less than $50. If you were to hire someone to do the project it would cost over $200.

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