Repairing Old Windows: For the handy homeowner…..


1 Unscrew the window stop from each side jamb.
2 Remove the bottom sash.
3 Pry the parting bead free of the window frame.
4 Pull out the top sash.
5 Cut sash cord on both sides of window frame; knot cords to prevent them from falling into wall.
6 Unscrew the access panel from the side jambs to reveal void inside wall.
7 Lift out any sash weights that broke free from cords.
8 Attach a length of string to any remaining sash cords.
9 Pull through the access hole the sash weight and old cord, and the attached string and new sash cord.
10 Cut free the sash weight and tie it to new sash cord.
11 Pull new cord and set weight back inside of wall.
12 When there's no existing cord, tie a weight (screw or hex-nut works well) to string and feed it over the pulley and inside of wall.
13 Use string to pull new sash cord into the wall; attach sash weight.
14 Hold top sash in window frame and cut new cords to length.
15 Tie new cord to each side of sash.
16 Install top sash, then replace parting bead.
17 Repeat above procedure for attaching sash weights to bottom sash.
18 Set bottom sash in window frame; reinstall the window stops.

Additional Resources on Repair Sash Windows:

· View video at  - find in Section on Repairs

· Read Working Windows: A Guide to the Repair and Restoration of Wood Windows , by Jamie Shaw

· Repairing Old and Historic Windows: A Manual for Architects and Homeowners , The NY Landmark Conservancy

· Caring for Your Old House: A Guide for Owners and Residents , by Judith Kitchen

The Brits Know Old Windows:

· Save our Sashes Info– from the UK

· Imperial College, London– Why you should open your windows for ventilation

· History of sash windows





SAVE your Original Wood Windows!

Caulk your Windows—a few dollars and save the window!                    Simply run a bead around the inside perimeter of the window pane and frame, trowel smooth with your finger and let set. 90% of the time it will solve a "leaky" window issue.

Keep your Storm Windows  Storm windows work to insulate your house. Don’t have the original storm windows– try salvage yards or get something custom made.

Studies show– Its worth keeping your old windows!


Vermont study:

Canadian study:


What the Window Industry says:

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing inefficient single pane windows with ENERGY STAR qualified windows could save up to 15 percent on your energy bills. This does not account for the addition of storm windows. Meanwhile, window manufactures and contractors claim that old windows can account for up to 40% of our energy loss.


Repairing Old Windows is not for everyone. New Custom windows can look just like the original windows, but many of the inexpensive vinyl windows don’t come close!

Salvage Resources


Green Demolition

located in the Catskills.


Historic Albany Foundation has a warehouse of salvaged items for old homes/buildings at reasonable prices:


Hudson Valley Material Exchange

A community warehouse based on the grounds of Stewart Airport, New Windsor.


Red Mountain Used Brick


United House Wrecking: Started by the Lodato family in 1954 take Interstate 95 to Standford, Conn.




Your Guide to Classic Homes and Historic Neighborhoods

Staten Island Real Estate, Neighborhood News and Discussions.


Restoration and Green Alternatives for Your Home


ALL PURPOSE CLEANERS: Is the product biodegradable? Does it contain petroleum distillates, and what is the recyclability of its packaging? For everyday household projects, try making your own cleaner using two teaspoons white vinegar to one quart of warm water. Apply with a  linen towel/cloth.

BEDDING: You spend about a third of your life in bed, it's particularly important that your bedding, mattress and pillow are made of natural, organic materials that won't irritate your skin and will help you breathe easy at night.

Purify your AIR: Add plants, purchase an air purifier– you will see a decrease in runny noses, allergies and odors! Most air filters attract and neutralizer odors.

Reusable and Biodegradable Containers: Forget paper, forget plastic, and forget Styrofoam Instead of having your groceries bagged at the store, BYO canvas bag. Don't eat your lunch out of wasteful to-go boxes, BYO reusable lunch container. Carry a thermos for your favorite coffee. Use biodegradable cellophane wrapping/food storage bags.

Lighting: Low-energy light bulbs are a guaranteed way to save money and help the environment. Fluorescent bulbs reduce your monthly energy bills and their long-life prevents multiple trips to the light bulb store. Replacing one light bulb with a compact fluorescent or LED bulb can save almost $50 over its lifetime.