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Question DetailsAsked on 1/28/2015

Estimated Cost and how to fix large picture window sliding down within the frame in an older home?

I have a brick duplex built in the 1950's. The front Room large double pane picture window upstairs is starting to slide down within the window frame leaving about 1"-1.5" gap at the top. The window itself looks good, no condensation between the panes and no cracks and I really don't want to and can't afford to tare out the entire window and wall to replace it right now. So I wonder if there is a way to repair it by shoring it back up and move the window back up into position and re-caulk and seal it.? or what would be the best and most economic way to fix it.

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3 Answers


sounds like you answered your own question

Answered 5 years ago by the new window man


To move the glass back up into place is likely to require remove the stop strips - the typically about 1/2-3/4 by 1.5-3 inch strips inside the frame itself that hold the glazing unit (glass panes with enclosing aluminum seal) in place. Removing them allows you (replacement glass or window contractor) to remove the glazing unit, put in a spacer strip in the gap below the glazing unit and nail it into the frame (original either forgotten or rotten out), then put window unit back in. That also gives you a view down inside the frame to see how rotten it is - most likely cause of the failure, I would say.

A cheaper and dirtier method would be to raise the unit up to where it belongs (still likely to require stop strip removal), then caulking it in place, but before replacing the stop strips drill small holes where the stop strips will conceal them, an an angle down into the frame gap under the glass and fill it with non-expanding insulating foam to hold the window up. Will have to be careful it does not come out around the frame or trim or through frame cracks, because it makes a mess of paint jobs. Then when hard (typically a few minutes) release the glass suction cups holding the glazing unit up and replace the stop strip, and caulk the interfaces with the frame and glass.

I am guessing you are talking about $250-400 range to do this for a normal sized (say 4x5') picture window ecausze you are talking a 2-3 man crew - a lot depends on whether the glazing unit is actually loose enough to slide up in the frame once the stop strips are removed, and how many stop strips need replacement because they can't be taken out intact. I doubt you will get a fixed-price bid on this. I suspect any contractor willing to tackle it (and make sure they are experienced in glass replacement, not just a handyman because you are talking probably double that cost or more for glazing unit replacement if it breaks) is only going to be willing to tackle it on a time and materials basis - materials plus say 10-15% (pretty small amount unless glass breaks), plus hourly rate.

And of course, there is no guarantee that the glazing unit will not break in the process, or leak between the panes afterwards, especially if somewhat tight in the frame so it has to be pried out. It may be they will have to carve or drill a couple of slots in the frame under the glass to slip in tools to pry up on the bottom of the glazing unit to get it to move, which of course can break it. I would say safest method is having men on both inside and outside with two glass handling suction cup bars (each end has a suction cup) pulling up on it together while a third man observes and clears any jam points. Certainly, removing the glazing unit entirely to start the repair reduces the risk of breakage from prying, so that is the way I would approach it if I was doing it, unless it just slides up with the suction cups.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD



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Answered 5 years ago by Member Services

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