How a Handyman Can Fix Your Home’s Windows

A handyman works on various tasks including plumbing repairs, electrical repair, and painting. Handyman Naperville IL often works on a contract basis but may also have a permanent position. When choosing a contractor, be sure to ask about their background and experience. A solid reputation can help ensure quality workmanship and peace of mind.handyman

If you want to improve the look of your home’s exterior trim, consider replacing the window frames with new windows. This will make the entire facade of your home look newer, and it can also reduce heating and cooling costs by reducing air leakage around the frame. Window replacement can be difficult, but it’s not impossible to do yourself if you are careful.

Before you buy a new window, measure the frame to determine its size and shape. Note the condition of the existing frame, and be sure to account for any rot or mold damage, which will require more work and cost. If you have a lot of rot or mold, it may be better to replace the entire frame rather than trying to save it.

When you’re ready to install your new window, start by removing the interior stops and parting stop from the old window. You’ll also want to remove the old sash and screen. Pry the stops off with a putty knife, making sure to score the wood ahead of time to prevent paint chipping.

The key to a successful window replacement is to make the frame perfectly square and straight. With the frame leveled, slide wooden shims behind the screw holes on each side of the window until the diagonal measurements from opposite corners are equal. Then, screw the window in place.

After the new window is installed, sand and stain or paint the interior wood of the frame and casing to match the new sash and sill. If you’re installing a double-hung window, use a double-hung sash replacement kit to include the upper and lower sash and installation hardware. These kits are available in wood or aluminum clad, and feature options like energy-efficient low-E glass and simulated divided lites.

Before you disturb the exterior trim on your house, you should always test for lead paint with a do-it-yourself kit purchased from your local home improvement center or hardware store. If the results indicate that you have lead paint, it’s best to hire a professional for removal and safety precautions.

Window Repair

Keeping your windows in tip-top shape can help prevent energy loss and provide added comfort to your home. But as time goes on, they can start to wear out and cause issues that may seem insignificant at first but will become more serious over the course of time. If you notice problems with your windows, a skilled handyman can make some simple repairs to restore their functionality.

Window damage may appear in the form of cracks or holes through a glass pane or water leaks around the frame and casing. Luckily, these types of fixes are often easy for handymen to handle. But if the problem is more significant, a professional will need to handle it in order to avoid future complications.

The sash and balances that allow you to open and close your window can also become worn out over time due to expansion/contraction as the seasons pass. This can lead to drafts, moisture problems and ineffective sealing of your windows. To fix this, you will need to replace the hinge arms that support your window sash. These can be purchased at hardware supply stores. Ensure that the new hinge arms are the same size as the existing ones, and then use the proper screws to secure them in place.

Stiff or broken window hinges can keep you from opening your window and taking advantage of the fresh outdoor air. In most cases, these hinges are simply stiff or broken from overuse, but they can be easily fixed by using a low-viscosity oil (such as WD-40) to loosen them up and reduce friction. Once they are loosened, you can apply a little silicone polish to them to ensure that they won’t cause friction again in the future.

Another common issue with windows is the rotten window sill. This is usually a result of poor maintenance on the part of previous homeowners or natural wood-changing weather conditions. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to replace the sill by cutting out the old piece and using the remaining wood as a patch. To do this, you will need to carefully remove the rotten section of the sill. Afterward, you can create a patch by using the remaining wood and matching it to your window frame.

Sash Replacement

When windows start to sag and won’t close properly, it’s time to replace the sash. Most homeowners choose to hire a window company to do this, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can do it yourself. Generally, the problem is caused by a sash that’s so gummed up with paint and dust that it won’t move up or down. Before attempting to replace the sash, try running your finger along the sash’s edge to make sure that it moves easily. If it doesn’t, you have serious paint buildup and will need to use a power scraper or sandpaper to free the frame.

Once the sash is completely clean, you’ll need to remove the parting bead, which sits in a recessed groove (called a dado) in the side jambs and head jambs. A utility knife with a razor blade can be used to lightly score the paint around the bead and pry it loose. You may need to remove it in sections; this is okay and will make the rest of the project easier. You should also remove the pulleys, which are attached to the sides of the jambs and may be screwed in or nailed into place with slotted screws. If the screws are heavily painted over, a slotted screwdriver can be used to chip away the paint to reveal the screwheads and allow you to remove the screws.

After removing the top and bottom sashes, remove the pivot bars from the balance shoes on both sides of the window. Then, if necessary, remove the access panels from the jambs and re-mount them. Next, bind the new counterbalance cords to the new sash’s mortices using a coil spring block and tackle.

Installing the new sash is easy. First, align the metal tabs on the left and right side of the new sash with their slots in the window frame. Then, push the sash upward until it is flush with the jamb liner and lower it until it is perpendicular to the sill. Finally, reinstall the sash stop, being careful to leave a putty-knife thickness between the stops and the frame for smooth gliding.

Sash Repair

Wood windows are a beautiful aesthetic feature in any home, and with proper care can last for decades. However, being a natural material that’s exposed to the elements, wood is susceptible to chipping and rot over time, especially in older homes. Regular maintenance and inspections can help keep water and pests from causing further damage, but once the damage has been done it may be time to consider sash repair or replacement.

Sash repairs can be tricky, but with a little bit of patience it’s possible to save a window that would otherwise need to be replaced. A broken sash can let in rain, snow and insects, which can cause further damage to the wood frame of your home.

Initially, your sash will likely be painted shut and fixed in place with nails or screws that hold the sash horns in place. Using a sharp utility knife carefully slice along any paint joints formed around the pockets to free them, then gently prise them out – often tapping upwards on the sash horns helps. If there are any security fittings in front of the pocket then unscrew these before pulling out the bottom sash. Once the sash is out, remove the cords or chains, and tie a knot at the end of each that’s currently suspended from the weights to keep them from being pulled back in through the frame (see window sash cords for more info).

Once you have your sash disassembled and cleaned it’s possible to repair any areas of wood that have become damaged with wood putty and re-attach the meeting rails. It’s also a good idea to replace the parting beads (vertical strips of wood that hold the upper sash) and re-attach any hardware, cleaning as you go to strip any old paint and grease from any rusty parts. Finally, lubricate the pulley axles to eliminate any squeaking and help them roll more smoothly.

Once the repairs are complete, you can reassemble your sash, and install any new points that have been inserted to secure the panes of glass in place. Then, once the glass is in place you can use glazing compound to secure it into the sash rabbet and then clean away any excess compound.