How to remove a window sash from the frame

A: The procedure for pulling out a grand piano varies by manufacturer. Hence, you may need to try a few different procedures. If nothing works, get a glass replacement company to do it.

Tim Connelly, a Swisco (856-317-6263; customer service rep who sells a variety of replacement hardware for windows, looked at the pictures you sent and suggested you might have duplicate Malta. hanging windows that tilt for cleaning. You have a needle that goes into the side posts so you can’t just pull the sash out towards you. Instead, remove the window pane, if there is one, and lift the front sash about two inches so you can pull the top toward you and rotate the sash horizontally. Then raise one side and lower the other which should free the pins so you can remove the wing.

Or, if the window doesn’t tilt, Connelly suggested gently peeling back the vinyl with a spatula just enough to reveal the sash. But be careful because you don’t want to ruin the vinyl. As a last resort, he said, you might have to carefully pry off the wood molding that is holding the vinyl in place.

Sam Zmanga, a Metro Windows and Glass Repair Dispatcher at Falls Church (703-586-5537; also looked at your pictures and made a different impression. He believes loosening a wing could be as simple as pushing it sideways enough to compress the liner on one side and free the other side of the wing. “You need a certain strength,” he said.

John Weaver, a customer service rep for Circle Glass and Mirror in Fairfax (703-273-2700; also suggested pushing the wing aside or pushing directly against the vinyl to compress it.

Or you have windows that have a spring mechanism tucked into the liner at the top of the window. For these, start by lowering both wings, which will reveal screws in the vinyl posts on one side and a line where the top and bottom of the liner meet. Remove the screws, lift both wings and remove the screws from the bottom of the liner. You should now be able to pull out the lower part of the liner. Then you can lower the front wing and pull it out. A YouTube video from This Old House ( shows the procedure under Andersen windows.

Regardless of the method used, the freed wing can still be connected to a balancing mechanism via a cable. While holding onto the wing, you need to pull out the end cap on the cable, possibly with a pair of pliers. Don’t just pull it out and let go, however, or it’ll hit the counterbalance mechanism. To make sure you could hold it tight and gently retract it, Connelly suggested securing the vise handles around the string first, after first wrapping a cloth around the string to protect it.

Since there is always a risk of breaking the glass or breaking the window that has already been broken, wear safety glasses and gloves when working.

They don’t say why you want to remove the wing yourself. If you want to save money, call first to make sure that you really achieve this goal by doing this step yourself. According to Zmanga, Metro Windows and Glass Repair charges $ 195 to $ 250 per sash, regardless of whether a sash is in the window or outside. The company’s standard procedure is to pay a visit to provide a free estimate and take measurements. If the customer wants to continue, the company orders the jar, which usually takes a few days. The company then returns to install the glass. Both trips are chargeable.

With Circle Glass, however, it would save money to take out the wings and ship them to the store for measurement. You can then take them home, reinstall them while the glass units are being made (usually about two weeks, Weaver said), and come back when the glass is done. The cost of the glass, typically around $ 100, is the same regardless of who is doing the job, Weaver said. However, the labor cost when a customer brings in a window is only $ 25, while the minimum for a home visit is $ 235, with an additional $ 50 charge for each window in excess of one.

Perhaps your reason for wanting to remove the sash yourself is to avoid the risk of exposure during the coronavirus pandemic. There is no way for a glass company to remove the sash from outside your home. It would be a security risk if windows fell apart like this. However, you can minimize the risk by leaving a card on the front door showing which windows are having problems and asking the window person to wear a mask and gloves. That way, you can keep yourself out of the way while he or she is working – but not so far away that you can’t thank them when they leave.

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