How To Remove Top Sash Of Single Hung Window? (Guidelines For DIYers)

If you own single-hung windows in your home and you either want to clean or do maintenance properly of these windows, it is essential to know how to remove top sash of single hung window. Inefficient windows can increase energy costs, create undesired drafts, and even compromise your home’s safety. So, what will you do if there is a problem with your window sash?

You can either fix the problematic portion or replace the whole sash. Remove the top sash by pulling down the tilt lever until it clicks. During reinstallation, pivot the pins two or three inches up the clutch assembly.

Nevertheless, this may seem a complicated project to you, but it is quite easy, and you can complete it on your own without any difficulty. In this article, you will get step-by-step guidelines on how to remove window sash most simply.

What Is A Window Sash?

A window sash is the window part that holds and moves the glass panes. The sash controls the closing and opening of the window and fits inside the frame attached to your home’s wall. The sash may be movable or fixed depending on the window type. However, most modern residences have double-hung sash windows nowadays as they are easy to operate and maintain.

Sash Window: Why Is It Important?

The window sash is vital for the window’s strength and durability. However, vinyl window sash should be multi-chambered, fusion-welded, and reinforced to prevent distortion over time. And a distorted sash can cause a window to leak and not lock properly.

It is essential to ensure the safety of the window sash. Missing or worn locks can cause a dangerous safety and security issue, like anyone can enter your home without informing you. Replacing the older sash with a new one can make the window strong against warping, bowing, or sagging.

When do Window Sashes need To Be Removed?

If there is severe damage outside your window or sash, it is a permanent financial loss. You can buy and install a new window in such a case rather than fixing the broken one. If the fasteners that bind the window get punctured or the window’s insulation gets worn or missed, you may need to remove and replace the sash.

Required Tools and Materials for This Project

• Work gloves
• Razor knife or window zipper
• Pry bar or putty knife
• Screwdriver set
• Heavy-duty sash saw
• Hammer
• Hive tool

Pro Tips: Making Minor Adjustments

Do not replace an old sash with minor issues. It may require a little time to determine the issue, but there may be a quick fix that may be even cheaper and faster in most cases. So, we recommend investigating the problem a little further before you start to remove or replace the window or sash.

Removing Top Sash of Single Hung Window (Step-by-Step Guide)

How To Remove Window Sash

Step 1: Removing The Stops


The very first step to repair your single-hung window is to remove the jamb side shutter. It may be either simple or intricate, depending mainly on the amount of build-up caulk and paint. While removing any sash, remove those carefully using a razor knife.


A stop is a small trim nailed along the jamb side. Few stops are screwed, and to remove them, you need to unscrew and pry them off gently. You must remove the stop very carefully because it is hard to find out the exact matching if the stops break. However, if they break, you can get the alternative in home stores or lumberyards.


Window stops were specially designed so that you can remove them to do any servicing of your window. So, do not hesitate to pry these off.


One important note is, remove the window stop from on side if you want to get the sash out. But if you intend to clean them properly, then you can remove both stops.

Step 2: Removing Top Sash


Raise the lower sash until the bottom of it is app. 4 to 5 inches above the windowsill. Then pull the lower window frame top towards you to release the sash frame top from side channels. If the window has a tilt lever in its sash lock, pull it until it extends fully. Then pull the sash frame to release the window top.

Now hold the top side of the bottom window and try to rotate it towards you until you can hold it horizontally. Then raise the whole bottom unit to almost the middle of the lower opening.


Grasp the window sides and raise the right side to make the guides of the lower sash free from the cams of the side channels. Now you can release the window sash from the window frame.


To reinstall the lower sash, you need to place the cam pivots manually to the middle of the lower sash on both sides. These pivot cams are attached to the cord of the sash on each side.


There are shear blocks on both sides to support the upper sash. Find out and release those shear blocks to remove the upper sash. Then lower the upper sash to the middle of the opening of the window. Grasp the sash at the right side on the top and bottom, and apply pressure slightly toward the left side, and swing the window frame toward you to release the top sash from the frame.

Step 3: Removing The Parting Bead


The parting bead is either painted or caulked, and the most straightforward way to remove this is to lower the top sash to the windowsill. It appears like the parting bead should not be removed. But it was designed so that you can remove it to release the top sash. Cut the parting bead at the top sash with a window zipper or razor knife.


Some nails are used to hold some parting beads in place, and some are pressure fit, but regardless of which method is used for installation, you have to pull the parting bead out of the channel and then remove it. Rubber duck vise is the sworn enemy of the parting bead. Use it to grasp and wiggle the parting bead back and forth to loosen it.


For the repairing task, if you feel necessary, cut and then fit new parting beads. You can scrape extra paint from the beads.

Step 4: Repairing And Replacing


Because of inadequate lubrication of the top sash, it is not easy to use the iron over it without using a particular lubricant. Carrying the paintless sash to the sill from the mast is also not easy. When the paint roller is full of paint, work the sash up and down till the expected result is achieved.


Do not disrobe because of bagatelle harm to the window; you should still have a repair kit for the sash and pulley and window if any damage needs to be rectified.


To show the pulleys, the ceiling can be lowered if the top sash does not touch the roof.
For replacement of top sash, support it horizontally. Then face the top sash up and with the rail join it to the exterior of door. If the pulley is disclosed, pull the sash down on another side and look if the parting bead lets it slide off.

Replacement Of Sash Is A Temporary Solution


If you find out that you have to replace your window sash, it is a good remedy for sure but is not a permanent solution. Installing a new sash can be okay for a few years, but you must consider replacing the window after the primary replacement.

The reason behind it is, widows are designed for a specific construction. Replacement of sash can lower efficiency and safety. So, replacing the window within the next few years is a wise decision.


We recommend double-checking the sash replacement work. If you install the sash improperly, you have to go through the same hassle again.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Can double hung windows be repaired?
If your window is double-hung that falls shut, you can prop it open using sturdy books or wooden dowels. But it is not a long-term solution. You can ask for help from a specialist, but try to fix it by yourself before that.

2. How to remove an old window sash frame?
Pry the window sash loose and, using a putty knife break the paint seal. Then insert the putty knife between the rails. Now lift the sash to release it. Then swing the lower sash where you removed the stop to give access to the rope on the side.

Final Words


As you have come up to the end of the article, we hope you have achieved a clear idea on how to remove top sash of single hung window. The window sash contributes to the durability and overall structure of your windows. So if you feel the necessity of sash replacement, do it as soon as possible. If you follow the above guideline, you can replace it and make your window fully functional and stable.

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