How To: Restore a Double Hung Villa Window, Part 1 of 67 – Dismemberment

RIMG0015Our front bedroom comes with a notable double hung sash window. However, with still the original 1890s glass, and 16 layers of paint, it’s a little worse for wear.

The side windows have completely seized and probably haven’t opened for a half century. The main sash window is well worn, looser than Paris Hilton, leaks, and is in urgent need of some TLC.

Thus far we have not been able to find any NZ sash villa window repair kits or guidelines, so engaging in restoration is somewhat daunting.

However, it can probably be broken down into the following parts:

  1. Strip window back down to the wood
  2. Replace individual components as required (e.g. glass, wood, weights and sash cords)
  3. Repaint/Varnish
  4. Invent some sort of clever new-age aluminium joinery to re-virginise window and give it a smooth, tight opening and closing slide.

It sounds pretty easy, but I suspect there are some 63 other steps that I have missed.

The first part involves stripping the window back to the wood, and assessing which components need replacing.

The easiest way to do this, is to completely disassemble it. This requires the following tools:

  • Chisel/Screwdriver
  • Paint scraper (if it’s had more than three layers of paint, paint stripper is useless)
  • 100 grit sand paper
  • Orbital sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Pliers

Part 1 – Removing a Double Hung Window

  1. R0010258-1Remove the vertical wooden stops inside the window frame. These are the pieces of timber sitting inside the main window frame, and are what prevent the window falling inwards. These will be nailed in, and are best removed with the help of an old chisel and hammer.
  2. Once removed, it will be possible to access the sash chords and weights.
    1. At the bottom of either side of the frame will be a removable wooden compartment providing access to the sash chord weights.
    2. Remove these with a screwdriver/chisel.
    3. Remove the sash chord from the side of the bottom window.
    4. Tie a knot into the end of the sash chord, before releasing it to prevent it from plumetting into the chute.

  3. Lift out the bottom/inner window.
  4. The two windows are separated by a strip of wood known as a parting bead. Once the first window is lifted out, the parting bead should slide out (it is usually not nailed).
  5. Remove the sash chord for the top window and also lift it out.
  6. Use a paint scraper and 100 grit sandpaper to sand back down to the wood. If repainting, fill all holes with putty/filler and finish with 150 grit sandpaper. If varnishing, good luck.
  7. If any of the parting beads or stops break during removal or need replacing, Bungalow and Villa should be able to supply the necessary components.
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One Response to How To: Restore a Double Hung Villa Window, Part 1 of 67 – Dismemberment

  1. Pingback: How To: Restore a double hung sash villa window, part 23 of 67 - Reassembly » Ramblings from Eden Terrace

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