How to Remove a Double Hung Window Sash


How to Remove a Double Hung Window Sash

A double-hung window sash is the historical style of the window – combining two vertically sliding sections that are controlled by a handle. This type of window was widely used until about 1940 when it began to be replaced with casement and awning windows. The reason for this replacement had more to do with the preferences of manufacturers than consumers, as casements and awnings were cheaper to make than double-hung due to their lack of moving parts.

Consumers preferred the precise functionality and aesthetic appeal of traditional double-hung windows; however, many were destroyed or altered during World War II, making them much rarer today. Double-hung windows could come in almost any size imaginable, ranging from small fan lights on top of a door to enormous casement windows spanning an entire wall. Today I will discuss how to remove a double hung window sash for the renovation of your house. So let use get to the core discussion.

Functions of a Double Hung Window Sash

The double-hung sash was very functional: it provided a maximum amount of fresh air for the house, prevented rain and snow from entering, and allowed easy cleaning with minimal hassle. While some people may find them more difficult or expensive to repair than other types of windows, they are relatively easy to repair if you have the right tools and know what to do.

Types of Windows

There are two types of double-hung windows, the wood sash, and the vinyl. The wood variety is more likely to become damaged than a vinyl one. However, there are fewer problems with surface cracks in the wood ones than in the vinyl ones. Regardless of the type you have, if you suspect that your window is not working properly, it is best to get professional help as soon as possible.

Window repair companies can help determine whether or not your problem lies with the windows themselves or another thing entirely, which could save you a lot of time and headaches.

Issues With Double Hung Window Sash

The double hung window sash is a common design for windows today. This type of window can make it easy to open and close your windows, especially if you want to clean the inside or outside of your windows. Unfortunately, they are often difficult to operate, which forces homeowners to seek out help from professionals to get them working properly again.

It’s not that double hung windows are bad; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Double-hung do exactly what they should: keep air flowing through your home while still keeping intruders from entering without breaking glass. However, anything mechanical may experience problems at some point in its lifetime, whether due to neglect or misuse (or both).

Here are some things you need to know about this type of window and the issues.

Window Movements and Functions

A double hung window is made up of two sashes. The top sash moves vertically while it is opened or closed. The bottom sash remains stationary while the top sash slides into it, creating a space for air to flow through your home during open operation.

Moving Double Hung Window Sash

The upper sash can move both left and right as well as up and down when opened or closed; however, this depends on whether you have an inside crank handle on your sliding windows or not. There are no restrictions to movement in either direction with an inside crank handle because nothing is holding the upper window back from moving freely other than friction (the amount determined by the material the window is made from).

However, if your windows have an outside crank handle, you will find that your sash will not open up fully to the left or right, and there is definitely nothing full motion out to the sides. Again, this is due to a restriction caused by the sash below it being stationary.

For the upper window sash to move freely in all directions when opened or closed, you need to operate both cranks at once. While this isn’t impossible and doesn’t take much effort, it’s still far more of a hassle than having inside handles only (or side opening windows without cranks). Therefore, many homeowners tend to choose their crank handle locations based on convenience (one crank per side).

This isn’t a problem as long as you put the crank handle on the inside of your window. The risk comes when owners choose to have their cranks on the outside without realizing what they’ve done. If this happens, then you won’t be able to open or close your windows if there’s something in your way, like snow buildup, that holds them back from sliding freely.

Step-wise Guide on How to Remove a Double Hung Window Sash

  • Before you start removing the window sash, check to see a screen inside the window frame. If there is one, remove it and keep it safe for later use.
  • Mark all parts of the windowsill where screws go in so that you will know where to install new ones once your window sash is removed and before installing the new sash as well.
  • It’s time now to remove double-hung windows screens! There are several types of screws used in different places on most double-hung window screens: screw-in type, bolt-on type, or rivets (holes with crescent ends). First, remove both upper and lower rails using either a Phillips head screwdriver or an adjustable wrench, depending on the kind of screw used.
  • Place the screen from below to hang by its weight on one side of the windowsill, using a pencil or any other heavy object to hold it in place. At this time, remove all screws at that end and then pull out the rail on that side while holding the screen with your hands from outside. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all sides of the window frame until you have removed all rails or screens inside the frame!
  • Now remove both sashes (the upper and lower) held together by several screws located near each corner of both sashes roughly 1 inch away from their edges. Keep track of where these screws go because they will be needed later during installation once you have removed the sash. Once you’ve removed all screws at one end of the window, gently lift out the lower sash from below and remove it carefully so that no damage is caused to the wall frame or other parts of the window, which can be damaged if not handled carefully.
  • Remove existing glass panes by first removing their frames using an adjustable wrench or any tool having a grip like jaws, hand pliers, etc., and then pry them out with your hands once they are loose enough. To do so! Remember: take precautions when removing glass panes because some of these panes can be really heavy! Clampdown support for the bottom pane from underneath and a top pane in case something goes wrong while taking out either pane!
  • To remove the open sash, you have to start at the bottom of the upper sash and gently pull it out a little bit while holding onto its edge, as otherwise, some wall damage would occur if pulled too hard or fast from its topside! In the same way, when removing the lower sash, support it from underneath with large clamps through which you can then pry out the old frame without any problem. 
  • On locating new window sashes (that should be purchased based on measurements taken in the measurement step mentioned above), unscrew their frames carefully and install them just like before during installation. Still, this time reverse sequence: first place inside bottom sash followed by upper one on the outside, then tighten screws that hold both sides of the sashes together. Remember to put in screws at the corners of both new windows’ frames as well!
  • Install new glass panes by first inserting them into their respective window frames using a hammer or any other tool having a grip like jaws, hand pliers, etc., and then secure them tightly from outside with nails on all 4 sides (top, bottom and 2 sides). Frame corners should also be fixed properly to the wall frame! 
  • Finally, use an adjustable wrench or screwdriver to tighten all screws that were removed during the removing process for double-hung windows screens so that your installation is complete and you can enjoy viewing through your newly installed window glass pane and have no more problems with it in the future!
Removing Double Hung Window Sash

Precautions While Performing How to Remove a Double Hung Window Sash:

  • 1The first thing you should do is turn off the power to your house if it’s a double-hung window that opens out, and consult with your local hardware store to see if they have another product that will be better for removing the sash without damaging the woodwork.
  • Use garden gloves when handling the glass of any windows during installation or removal.
  • Decide whether you want to remove both sashes as one piece or just one at a time if there are other things inside like screen or storm windows (for single hung).
  • If you are doing this alone, take a few pictures before starting so if something happens, you can remember how it went together. It always helps to have a diagram when going through problems.
  • It’s better to work through the window opening from the inside, but if you are alone, it may be safer to do this the rom outside so that you will not be severely injured in the event of a fall. While trying to remove the sashes try using something small like a putty knife or flat head screwdriver as leverage under the bottom of each sash (noting that they usually stick together fairly well).

How to Repair Sash Windows

Sometimes there requires repairing sash windows. There are some easy steps included in this process. These steps are discussed below.

Get the Sash Out:

Remove all the sash windows and store them somewhere safe. Make sure that no one is standing or near the windows when removing the sash window. When you remove a solid wood material double-hung window, put some screws around the glass area. This will prevent any sudden fall down of glass pieces over someone if not handled properly.

Free the Glass:

Now, if the sash window has any blocked-up stuff in between it to provide stability, then remove that from the glass. For this, you will need a utility knife. Please read all the instructions included on the package of your utility knife first before using it. When you are done with that, put some water over the closed window and spread it out evenly to find out whether any other material is blocking between them or not.

When you aren’t satisfied with removing those parts, try harder by putting more power into your blade while applying much pressure. Try holding down the sash with one hand while doing this process so that no one trips over your legs as you have to balance yourself during this process which requires both hands for work. Keep repeating until satisfied with the results.

Clean Out the Joints:

Once you are satisfied with the results and no blockage is visible in between the glass, then clean out the joints of both window sashes. Next, use a dry rag to clean up off all the sawdust which may have fallen onto those areas from removing your sash window. When done, start assembling them back together again.

Cleaning Double Hung Window Glass

But don’t forget to keep a screwdriver or any handy tool for that matter nearby just in case if something gets stuck while assembling it back together. This can be easily fixed by taking out whatever got stuck and replacing it inside after putting it in properly this time.

Apply the Epoxy:

To prevent any further damage from happening at the stuck area of joints previously mentioned, apply some epoxy on those areas and clean it up with a dry rag after that. Ensure to do this before applying force onto your sash window to avoid any future accidents due to broken joints.

Now put them back in place once again but make sure not to forget the screw you have placed inside earlier unless you want a sudden glass fall onto someone else. This will also hold everything together while working on the assembly process for one more time if something gets stuck or anything goes wrong during the final assembly process.

Finally, always apply silicone around the joint to keep it water-resistant as well as increasing its lifespan.

Prime the Sash:

Finally, it would help if you primed your sash window with some wetness-resistant primer, and that’s it. This will provide moisture resistance along with other useful properties for your windows. Make sure to do this step last, or else the glass may get stuck onto joints due to its weight and getting ready for the assembly process in which epoxy should be applied onto them anyhow.

Rehang the Sash:

After doing all those steps, you can assemble both of the window sashes back together again without worrying about getting everything right as you have already checked out all of its parts previously. You can even use a drill if necessary but make sure not to overdo it.

Now just put everything back into place while applying force until firm fit is achieved on their own, and you’re good to go with a whole new looking window while your house looks much better from the outside as well.


I hope you have obtained a clear idea of how to remove a double hung window sash. Of course, you have to be very careful while performing the process. Thank you and have a nice day!

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