Guide to Upgrading Older Units

The author believes that windows should be replaced if they're falling apart, but that most nominally sound windows old enough to have sash weights deserve an upgrade rather than a toss in the dumpster.

Since old windows of this type typically have some lead paint on them, I set up a lead-safe work space around each of the window frames, and take appropriate safety measures while preparing the sash and stops for weatherstripping.

A spring clamp prevents the sash cord from dropping into the pocket; on the window shown, the trim was in bad shape and was removed for replacement, allowing the author to insulate the cavity with XPS and spray foam.

To improve the window’s operation, old paint is removed from all running surfaces; here the author uses an infrared paint-stripping tool.

Paint is also removed from the inside of the window frame and the edge of the stop; raw wood surfaces will be waxed.

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