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Question DetailsAsked on 11/22/2015

My home windows were installed upside-down/backwards.. Some have gaps & won't latch & is costing me a fortune..HELP

My windows open side to side.. Where the window are tapered & were installed ass backwards, they can't form a seal, can't latch/lock, & I am literally fearful for my family's safety..

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If actually inside-out - latches on outside, the sloping window sill / apron on the inside, would be real hard to jury-rig a system to correct that - obviously the correct way is removing and reinstalling the windows the right way.

As for the safety side - with most side-opening windows, it should be possible to put in a standard latch on the inside - or nearly as good (though an experienced thief can bypass that) cut pieces of wood that fit snugly in the track to keep the window from opening when you want it secured. Not truly "legal" from a code standpoint but a lot of people do it - be sure to put a stout, well-fastened cord or a handle or something on the wood to make it easy to remove from the inside in the event of fire. Another good method (being careful screws do not penetrate far enough to hit the glass and break it) is a door shot bolt mounted on the window, and with the bolt going well into a hole in the bottom frame/track -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


I agree with LCD. Knowing that you have the windows installed already, there would not be a product cost involved. I'm assuming that an actual window company did not do the install or you could go after them to do the job correctly.

If this is true, I would check to see who the manufacturer was on the locks or hidden on hte sashes or mainframes and find out if there is an authorized dealer of that product in your area. The local company that installs there might not be extatic with removing and reinstalling them, but you might be able to get them to do it for an install per window fee. This truly is your best option. I know it comes with a price but normally doing things the right way does.

Hope this helps.

Exterior Upgrader is owner of

Euro-Tech, Inc.

Servicing much of Illinois and Wisconsin


Answered 4 years ago by ExteriorUpgrader


As ExteriorUpgrader said, taking them out and reinstalling them is the right way to solve it - but likely at or near couple hundred $ a window assuming you are doing a number of them - and this assumes all are about 2x3 feet in dimension or less.

For an interim or extreme low budget fix, which a Handyman might do (no promises on watertightness) but most window companies would not touch and might make the windows unfit to be turned around the right way in the future, would be to install tight-fitting outside contact stop strips and/or vinyl weather stripping on the outside face of the frame which make tight contact with the window sashes when they are closed to block most of the rain and wind, including one on a sash tail end that contacts the other sliding sash vertical stile as it closes - so basically you would be putting stop strips or vinyl rub "flaps" all around the sashes to seal out the worst of the weather by concealing the openings around the sash from the weather.

Also, you would have to sand or plane (and prime/paint) the outside bottom sill piece so it drains away from the window and drips off outside the siding, and possibly cut or drill drain holes or slots to the outside so the tracks drain the right way - and block off any existing original drain holes or slots so they do not drain through to the inside of the house.

With horizontal sliders, it might well turn out that you would have to caulk tight one of them in each window unit due to the inability to properly weatherstrip it without blocking the other sash unit from sliding, making one (presumably the inner one) fixed and sealed/caulked to drain runoff to the outside, and then putting weather strip on the outer sliders to control infiltration. The exact flashing/weatherstripping combination would depend on window make and might not look too pretty, though most would be out of sight from inside, and just look like a trim strip or such from the outside.

Probably have to do something about the top of the outer window frame too if there is not dripcap there, so water does not pool on top and run into the window unit and rough opening. Of course, flashing/caulking all around the outside ofthe outer frame as with any window.

One other solution for rain control, except in heavy wind driven rain though helps a lot there too - which might be all you need if your leakage is not too bad. You can mount fixed (or removeable, like storm windows) window screening outside the window, near the outside face of the outer window frame so it is as fasr from the glass as possible, using a fine mesh screening - that will catch most of the rain and cause it to run down the screening rather than directly hit the window. The fine mesh reduces your air circulation when windows are open, but the price you pay.

Storm windows would of course solve your issue too - though like screens, you have to consider emergency egress factors. Also, wood or fabric or fiberglass awnings/small porch roofs over windows can also limit rain infiltration, as of course can shutters though you have to be home to close them so not real useful in normal circumstances or when asleep.

Below are links to pictures of the types of weatherstripping I am talking about above - the first comes in many shapes and sizes and can be put on the vertical closing surface at each end of the window near the outside face to limit infiltration there, the other on the closing surfaces (tail end) of the sliders and along the bottom sill contact. Latter can only go on the bottom of the sash or the sill to rub against them and to seal the OUTER slider in most cases - the inner (or maybe fixed) slider you cannot do this because it would stop the outer slider from moving past it, becausze they are almost always zero-clearance between them. That inner one of course you can just bottom and end caulk if single-sided - if double slider then about the only weather stripping you can do on the inner moving one is bronze metal strip (third link) on the bottom of the track or on the outer inside face of the track - where the bottom outside face of the slider moves against the frame. OF course, with some detail router or dremel tool work you might be able to cut new weatherstrip slots in the track and edge of sashes to hold press-in weatherstrip and seals just like the original, but that is a LOT of work to do on more than one window. (links are to typical products, not specific dimensions or exact shape that would be best for your case for your windows). You (or contractor) would have to experiment a bit with one window and test it, then if it works well go ahead with the other windows.

On the hardware - with many types of windows, the locking hardware could just be moved from outside to inside - requires a drill and maybe some new self-tapping or wood screws depending on design, but in most cases you could just move the hardware to the inside faces of the sliders. If the vertical slide pin type, then maybe not, but those are usually only used on single, not double-sliders.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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