How to Restore an Antique Window | Ask This Old House

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In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva teams up with window restoration Alison Hardy to help a homeowner deal with repairing the original window in a Victorian home.

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General contractor Tom Silva takes us on a house call to help a homeowner with a window issue. One of the original double-hung windows has a top sash that refuses to stay put, preventing the homeowner from using it for its intended purpose. With the help of a window restoration expert, Tom and the homeowner worked together to clean up the window opening and sashes, and to replace the sash ropes and weights for a more operational window.

Older homes have a lot of charming features. However, few have their original windows, as homeowners often replace them when they stop functioning properly. To keep a Victorian in its original condition without sacrificing functionality, general contractor Tom Silva and window restoration expert Alison Hardy repair a homeowner’s double-hung window to its original condition.

Difficulty: 2/5
Time: 4 hours
Cost: Under $100

Where to find it?
Tom teams up with a window restoration specialist, Alison Hardy [] to teach a homeowner how to properly repair a double-hung Victorian window.

After dissembling the window, they worked together to weatherstrip and clean the window. Alison shared steps to the X-Roping method that she recommends when repairing multiple windows at a time.

X-Roping Method:
1. Attach chain to the end of the sash cord. This will help with feeding the cord through the
2. Feed the cord through the front L pulley. Catch the chain at the bottom opening and
feed the cord through the front R pulley.
3. Feed the cord through the back L pulley. Catch the chain at the bottom opening and
feed the cord through the back R pulley.
4. Once the sash cord is fed through all four pulleys you start attaching the weights.
5. Tie a knot to the weight with the tail of the cord pointing up. Place the weight back in
the pocket.
6. At the top access point pull the sash cord slightly and make a mark where your fingers
are. Cut the cord where your mark is and tie a knot.
7. Repeat those steps on the next back one and again on the front sides.
8. You should now have four weights attached to four cords.
9. Reassemble window.

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About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How to Restore an Antique Window | Ask This Old House

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