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How To Replace Sash Window Cords

How To Replace Sash Window Cords

Chances are if you live in an old house like me you have sash windows. Yes, they are stunning to look at and lovely to use (when they work). But on the flip side they are drafty, particularly in winter! And at some point the sash cords will break like this one from my kitchen! Now we are lead to believe that sash windows are the devil when it comes to repairing them. Nothing could be further than the truth. Once you understand how they work it’s actually quite a simple task for someone with a little DIY knowledge. So let’s get to it and take a look at how to replace sash window cords shall we, after all I started this blog to share my knowledge with you all.


What You Need to Replace Sash Window Cords



Crow Bar


Stanley Knife



Replacement Sash Cord


How To Replace Sash Window Cords


How To Replace Sash Window Cords


First and foremost put on your goggles, you don;t want any paint chips getting in your eyes! Then we have to remove the outer beading to get to the chambers that hold the sash weights. Using a Stanley knife break the paint along the joint where the beading meets the window frame.


Next, using your crow bar and hammer move along the length of the beading and gently prize it away from the frame. You’ll find that it probably only held in with a couple of nails. Once it’s released rove it from the frame and set it to one side. It’s a good idea to mark on the back which side is which along with an arrow pointing to the top. This will help when it’s time to reattach them to the frame.


Once the beading is removed and safely set aside should be able to remove your bottom sash with ease. These can be very heavy so may be a job for two people. Again carefully set this aside. We don’t want any broken glass!


Now it’s time to gain access to the window weights. Sash Windows basically have a weight that acts like a cantilever. When you raise your sash the weight drops down inside the frame and perfectly balances the window enabling it to stay open. To gain access to your weights there is normally a piece of wood let into the frame on either side. Using your Stanley knife once again score around the joints to break the many years of paint that has no doubt built up over the years. Sometimes you have to remove the divider that perpetrates one sash window from the other to remove the panel but with a little patience I managed to remove the access panels without having to do this.


Once the access panels are removed reach in and retrieve your weights and remove the broken sash cord.  Then pop them to one side whilst you remove the broken cord from the sash you removed.


No marry these two pieces up and it will give an indication of the amount of sash cord you need and then cut the new cord to this length. Repeat with the second side.


Pass one end of each new cord through the hole in the end of each of the weights and then tie a knot in it. Now you can pop them back into their pockets.


Now tie a nail or paperclip to the end of a piece of string slightly longer than the height of the whole window. Pass the paperclip through the roller at the top of the window frame and allow it to drop down until it meets the weight. Fasten the string to the cord and then pull it up and back through the roller. Now tie a know in the very end for that it doesn’t fall back though. Repeat with the other side.


You’re now ready to reassemble the window. Place your sash back into the window frame and tilt the top forwards. Pull a sash cord and place it into the channel on the side of the sash. The knot will fit into a hole at the end of grove. Repeat with the other side.


Now using your hammer add a couple of nails through the sash cord into the sash itself on both sides. And hey presto, you have new sash cords! All you have to do now is check that the window goes up and down correctly and smoothly before replacing the beading.


Give everything a good sand, fill if required especially if any wood is rotten and give it a nice new lick of paint and job’s a good un! So what do you think? Would you have a go yourself now you know how easy it is to replace sash window cords? Let me know your thoughts and pop a cheeky little comment below.


Rachel's Signature


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