Window Sash In

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Today turned out to be mostly dry with a bit of breeze from the north so I tried out my cunning plan to lift the small bedroom window sash into place. It turned out to be cunning enough, just.

First gather some bits.

Add lifting strop round window. Sorry, my pictures including the top bit are too underexposed due to the light coming through the window (oops).

Stick 4 metres of aluminium scaffold tower up through the window opening behind the sash with a pulley on the top and a rope from the top of the strop up through the pulley and down to my chain hoist. The hook of the chain hoist is attached in turn to the bottom of the scaffold tower.

The scaffold tower is resting (to stop it falling north) against the edge of the window frame which isn't ideal but there shouldn't be too much force going in that direction. To stop it going south (falling out of the house) it's tied off to a piece of wood across the window opening.

Here the sash has been lifted about 70 cm.

Outside with the sash angled a bit to go through the opening. The sash is upside down at this point and the bottom (i.e., the top as seen here) is wider than the opening even with the aluminium covers removed.

Lifted high enough for the curved wobbly metal bits on the sash to engage on the other metal bits on the frame. Using the plastic bolts on both side of the bottom of the sash was very handy here to get it vertical to get both these in far enough together.

Having got that engaged it was, theoretically, all over but for a bit of tidying up and swinging the sash round so two little buttons (one on each side) click in to lock it firmly. However, in practice the awkward bit was getting the scaffold tower down. Plan A had been to split it and pull the bits out in turn but that's quite stiff to do and I finished up scuffing the frame so I pulled it out whole which meant angling the sash and being careful not to crack the glass with the dangling pulley.

Still, in, though it's difficult to get the exposure right when photographing a window surrounded by reflective membrane.

Square enough to close without binding though that'll need tweaking a bit.

Centre pivot.

It's a top-hung window but I didn't have the strength and reach to push it out far enough for the springs which hold it open in top-hung mode to engage. There's another level of floor to add which'll bring the surface up at least another 145 mm which makes quites a difference dealing with these windows. My steps were too wobbly to do that from so I'll have to put up a little bit of scaffolding.

Other jobs are squaring the frame fully, adding a few more screws to hold it square, putting the membrane bib round the frame onto the roof and refitting the aluminium plates on the outside. I left site quite early today with a definite “quit while you're ahead” feeling, being quite relieved to have sorted out a method for putting these sashes in.

Still, the method only just worked. The two problems were the tight fit between the chain hoist and the angled window sash which might be too tight for the wider windows in the kitchen, living room and study and the awkwardness of getting the scaffold tower down once the sash was attached. I'll give those matters a few day's thought before trying another one.