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How To: Remove the Sashes for Maintenance or Replacement

How To: Remove the Sashes for Maintenance or Replacement

In order to maintain, repair, or replace sash windows to the highest standard, it’s vital to completely remove the sashes from their position in the frame before working on the sashes themselves, or the frames.

The ‘stop’ or ‘staff’ bead is pinned on to the window frame, and then painted over which creates a paint seal.  It’s this stop bead which holds the sashes in position within the frame, whilst still allowing them to slide up and down. Additionally there is a sash cord within the framework of the window, which will also need detaching before you can remove the sashes.

Removing the staff bead

First you need to crack the paint seal between the staff bead and the frame. Don’t use a chisel, you want to preserve the fabric of the stop bead as best you can. The best method to remove the stop bead is a 4 by 2 block of wood and a hammer.

Line one edge of the wood block up against the paint seal, between the staff bead and the window frame. Tap the wood with the hammer a few times gently, which should break the paint seal and reveal the stop bead, slightly separated from the window frame.

Repeat the process up and down the staff bead to ensure the entire bead becomes visibly separated from the frame along the paint line. The stop bead is only pinned in to the frame, so once the paint seal is broken, not too much force is required to prise the bead completely away from the frame – a chisel is the ideal tool.

Do this for the remaining 3 staff beads. Once this is done, the sashes will no longer be fixed in position, so be careful not to let either of the sashes fall to the ground. There will still be the sash cord tethering one sash to the frame, but this will not be sufficient to hold the sashes securely in position.  Ensure no passers-by or other people inside the property can accidentally push the sashes either.

Removing the sash cord

Usually the sash cord is very simply nailed in to the side of the sash.  Carefully holding the sash in question, dislodge the fastening between cord and sash on the side of the sash, holding on to the cord at the same time. You’ll need to do this on each side of the sash.

You should now be able to fully remove both sashes from the window frame, and have the freedom to fully restore, maintain, or replace your sashes.

For helpful videos covering these tasks and other sash window maintenance, take a look at our Knowledge Hub Page.