Is it possible to replace the rope in a window sash?

I recently purchased an older home, and one of the main windows in the living room has a broken rope in the sash, which makes the window impossible to open. To complicate matters, there is a leaded glass window panel on the top (immovable) portion of the window that I’m really afraid of breaking if I let someone try to pull the casement around the window apart to get at the broken rope in the sash.

Is this a fixable problem? If so, where can I find someone who knows how to do this sort of work (i.e. under what category should I look in the yellow pages)? Can anyone who has gone through this give me any ideas on how much it will cost?

TIA :slight_smile:

I have been a glazer for many years,and specialize in older homes. Without haveing seen your window it sounds like an easy fix. Just remove the faceial boards that trim out the casement to the wall. There will be a gap behind the side casement with a pully at the top and a weight that the broken rope should attach to. This should not put any pressure on the fixed upper sash. But a broken rope should not keep the lower moveible sash from raiseing, just from staying up. Your real problem is probably that the lower sash is painted shut. The paint needs to be cut everyware the sash contacts the casements and upper sash inside and out, and the lower sash pried up. Unfrotunately this will put pressure on the upper sash, and should be done with caution.
I would suggest that you call a Glazer in case there is any thing that I haven’t accounted for not haveing seen your window. Look in the yellow pages under glass and windows and ask around to see if they do this kind of work.

I’ll go with Stinky on this one - if you have not been able to open the window, you should probably not attempt surgery on it.

Call a glazier - if you live in an area with many older homes, they should know how to do this (it’s actually easy, but involves application of force in close proximity to glass - let someone with insurance do it)

Thanks, Stinky…that’s extremely helpful. I neglected to mention that the window with the broken rope is the middle section of my living room windows, there is also a tall leaded glass pane on each side of the middle section (which consists of the plain glass main movable section and the smaller leaded glass immovable section). Does this complicate things any further as far as removing moldings in order to gain access to the rope/pulley?

Also, any idea how much a glazier will charge me to do this sort of work? I know it’s impossible to say for sure, not having seen the window…I’m just looking for a ballpark (like $100 vs. $1000).

One other thing -

you WERE planning on re-painting that window, right?

(the old paint will probably chip when cut)

i have seen the cords be replaced w/ some aftermarket spring system on one of the home shows (this old house?).

No paint, at least not on the inside…the woodwork around the windows is varnished chestnut. I’m trying not to think about what it’s going to look like after it’s pulled apart. ::sigh::

you SURE you want to be able to open the window?

if so, ASK specific questions about the probability of damage to the coating and/or wood - if it is real, live varnish: that stuff is brittle - someone who’s experienced with houses such as yours may have developed some tricks, maybe not.

I was once a very bad painter/construction worker, and I knew it. I fixed those stuck windows I just painted by running a five-cent straight-razor around the cracks, then once the window was open, I used the same razor to shave the drip spots flush with the rest of the paint job.

The trick is to try to make the cut all in one continuous movement, without slicing into the wood itself. Try to keep the razor as close to parallel with the window as possible, and if you get stuck, don’t move the razor, just check to make sure it’s flush with the window and apply more pressure. You might want to have some antiseptic and bandages handy, too, but like I said, I was a bad construction worker.

I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with varnish. In fact, it might even work better, as you can excuse the minimal damage as imperfections in the woodwork or even sand it down.

Priceing will vary by area I would have charged a $25.00 trip carge and $20.00 per hour labour minimum of $75.00 total plus any parts you might need i. e. pullies, weights ect.
The side lights will complicate getting to the pullies and wieghts to fix the problem. Cutting the varnish should not be a problem, I always used a long handle box knifeand heated the blade with a torch. Caution this does not work on all finnishes so test on an inconspicuous area. Afterwards the cut lines between peices of wood and nail holes will show. You may need to strip and refinnish all the trim on thease windows. But with an old house this is par for the course. Oh well, everyone needs a hobby!