Replacing Window Hardware on Historic Home Windows

March 5, 2017

Before you start replacing window hardware on your historic home windows you will need to reinstall the interior stops. The first strip is to install is the parting bead. This is the vertical spacer that is placed between the upper and lower sashes. With the upper sash in the top position, place the parting strip in position. Pay close attention to the bevel, which must be at the bottom, with the longest edge facing outwards. Secure the parting strip in the middle with a small finishing nail.

With the lower sash in place you can reinstall the inside stops. Again, make sure the bevel is located at the bottom mating up with the sill, and the longest edge faces towards the outdoors. Place a small spacer between the sash and the strip to ensure that the sash won’t bind as it travels through up and down. Your favorite credit card is the perfect thickness to maintain the gap. As an added bonus, you won’t be charged any interest for using your credit card for this activity.

Use a small screw and washer to secure the interior strip. Snug the screw but don’t over tighten to the point it could split the wood. Repeat the process for the other inside stop and lower stop. Be sure to test the window before you install the upper and lower screws to make sure the sash moves freely over its entire travel.

Replacing Window Hardware

Many historic windows have a pull handle on the bottom rail of lower sash. Mount the handle itself two thirds up on the bottom rail to leave plenty of room for your hand to grab the handle. Screw the catch in the middle of the lower rail of the upper sash. The mating latch will be screwed to the top of the lower sash. The window hardware assembly should both pull the sashes together and push the upper sash up and the lower sash down for a tight fit to close up any gaps and prevent a draft.

The old window hardware should mount utilizing the existing holes just fine. Just make sure that there is room between the latch components so that the sash can move freely. Also, make sure that as you engage the latch into the catch, the two sashes are pulled together. Meaning the space between the lower rail on the upper sash and the upper rail on the lower sash is eliminated when the window is latched.

Video Help – Replacing Window Hardware

Special thanks to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network & the for their efforts to produce this historic window repair video series.

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Do you have more questions about replacing window hardware? Contact One Source Renovation, LLC at or give us a call at (815)-634-8922.