Worn out sash cords may be the culprit when a double hung window stops operating smoothly. Time takes a toll and eventually sash cords wear out from use. This is the perfect opportunity to make a home improvement by upgrading to a metal window spring. It will take about one or two hours for each window to install a counter balance that is spring-loaded.
- The slender wood frame covering the window sash is the stop bead. Remove it. Now slice the paint next to the stop bead with an ordinary utility knife. This should keep the paint from chipping. Take out the screws and remove the stop bead.
- Use a utility knife to cut the sash cords on each side jamb. Extract the sash window carefully. An extra pair of hands can be useful at this point. Set the window to the side. On each of the side jamb are cord pulleys and they can be unscrewed and set out-of-the-way.
- Note the weight printed on the faceplate of the counterbalance. The window sash weight should not surpass that number. Just use a simple scale to weigh the sash window and you will know if the retractable counterbalance can handle the job.
- It will be necessary to modify the size of the original pulley holes on the side jambs. This action will change the length of the opening to mate the new counterbalance. A Forstner bit and drilling guide are perfect. This bit makes a precise hole with a flat bottom. Go slow on this step because the side jamb can easily be damaged if you let the drill wander
- Go ahead and position the window spring into the proper location. Mark the sketch out of the faceplate on the side jamb right where the cord pulley was positioned. Use the Forstner again to drill a groove on the side jambs. This will permit the faceplate of the window spring to be situated flush in position.
- Discard the old window sash cords and screw in the solid metal wood screws for the window spring. Take a moment to spread paste wax on the side jambs to achieve a smooth, silky, glide.
- Connect the counterbalance to the hooks on the sash after you remove the retractable springs.
- Put the sash into position and test the full range of motion. Now just reconnect the stop bead, caulk the seams, and apply a touch up paint.
Up to a certain window size, one person can do this job, but a pair of helping hands will certainly help you spring ahead with this enduring home improvement project.