DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Windows and Doors (
-   -   Old Windows - unable to lock - sashes not lining up (

JohnMargaret 11-05-2013 02:31 PM

Old Windows - unable to lock - sashes not lining up
Hello DIY group,

I am new to this site. I have some very old wood windows (originals to my house which was built in the 1920s), many of which do not have locks. The previous owners of my house had purchsed a lot of metal locks but never installed them because they found that the sashes are not lining up and it is impossible to lock the windows by just adding the locks. A window restoration group came by recently and told me I could just add 'metal shims underneath the new locks' and this would raise the lock enough to align it with the other sash. Has anyone done this before and if so - what are these metal shims? Where can I get them? And is there anything you suggest I keep in mind if I plan to do this myself? Would love your thoughts/ideas

Thank you!:thumbsup:

joecaption 11-05-2013 02:37 PM

Washers will work.
Make 100% the top sash is all the way up first. More often then not it's slipped down and is stuck from all the old paint. Break it free by cutting the paint line and see if it will tap back up.

JohnMargaret 11-05-2013 02:42 PM

Hey Joe,

Thanks a bunch. I had not thought of washers. The window restoration guy and I both have tried to push the top sash back up and have not had any success getting it up any further but I will give it one more try. Restoration guy seemed to think all of the windows were like this from the house settling over the years. Our contactor (who is working on other projects) seemed to think the windows had been taken apart and put back in incorrectly at one point. Regardless, just hoping to get some locks on them. Thanks for the tip!

joecaption 11-05-2013 02:46 PM

If the bottom one is sitting to high why not just remove the window and cut some off the bottom?

JohnMargaret 11-05-2013 02:48 PM

The window guy suggested either cutting off the top of the top sash or adding shims. He thought shims was the best way to go since it was less likely to 'compromise the windows'. Any thoughts on that?

joecaption 11-05-2013 03:10 PM

We have no idea how far it is or in what direction.
No way would I be adding shims.

JohnMargaret 11-05-2013 03:13 PM

Just curious, why would you not be in favor of adding shims? By the way, not sure if I mentioned that 12 windows are this way

HomeSealed 11-05-2013 05:29 PM

Do you have any concern with regard to the windows being energy efficient? Or are you just trying to address the locking issue for security?

biggles 11-06-2013 07:38 AM

how about shaving the bottom of the windows :wink: either one or both to marry up the top to bottom so the locks line up when installed.jig saw or chisel little at a off are the middle section when the window is closed?

PoleCat 11-06-2013 08:00 AM

Similar windows here. If you can, decide on whether you will restore your old windows or eventually replace them. Restoration is a pure act of love because it is irrational to do so unless you are driven by something other than logic. That said, there are many people that practice this labor of love so don't feel like an odd ball if you are one of them.

Plan A:
Windows will get replaced. Screw em shut and removable caulk any leaks for now. Screws and caulk can be easily removed to operate windows if need be.
Plan B:
Expect to put about 40 to 80 hours in on each window to put them back in like new condition. Strip paint, re-glaze, replace sash cords, etc. etc.
My top sashes have stops on them to keep them up. You can look at them from the outside and see if they are up all the way if you are not sure. Once all the layers of paint are removed from the frames and stool you may find they line up perfect.

JohnMargaret 11-06-2013 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by HomeSealed (Post 1262826)
Do you have any concern with regard to the windows being energy efficient? Or are you just trying to address the locking issue for security?

At this time I am just trying to address the locking issue with these windows for security. I am replacing a few of the other windows now and will replace at least one other later.

JohnMargaret 11-06-2013 09:49 AM

I can take pictures tonight if this would help.

PoleCat 11-06-2013 01:11 PM

Since you are slowly replacing them there is no need to put a ton of work into any of them. Screw a small block of wood into the channel the bottem sash rides in. Window locked.

biggles 11-06-2013 03:24 PM

drill a hole into both sections that overlap in the closed position and slip a common nail in one on each corner...same with the track drill a hole on the right and left sides just above the lower closed section and slip a nail into there

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:11 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1