DIY or Hire a Pro? A Closer Look at Sash Window Repair Options

DIY or Hire a Pro? A Closer Look at Sash Window Repair Options

Original sash windows are a classic feature in many older homes.  However, with age often comes the need for sash window repairs. When sash windows start sticking, slipping, letting in drafts, or showing other signs of wear, you have a decision to make – DIY sash window repairs or call in a sash window repair professional?

This article examines the pros and cons of DIY versus professional sash window repair options. Sash windows repairs can encompass many issues from stuck panes to broken pulley systems.

Evaluating whether to tackle sash window repairs yourself or hire a specialist requires weighing factors like your skill level, the specifics of the repair needed, and cost comparisons. With some original window repairs being simple and others quite intricate, making an informed decision upfront is key.

What can be be tackled by DIYers and what should be left for professional sash window specialists

Here is a table comparing sash window repairs that can typically be tackled by DIYers vs. those best left to professionals:

DIY-Friendly Sash Window RepairsProfessional sash window repair service
Lubricating stuck panesReplacing broken sash cords
Adjusting jammed sash locksRepairing counterbalance weights
Replacing damaged glazing puttyReglazing single-glazed sashes with double glazing
Weatherstripping draftsDraught-proofing or secondary glazing installation
Reglazing cracked glassLevelling and plumbing window frame
Fixing stuck sash liftsSash replacement or removal
Cleaning debris in tracksReplacing window sills
Tightening loose hardwareExtensive rot repair

The DIY Approach

Taking a DIY approach to sash window repairs can save money and allow you to work on your own schedule.

Many issues like stuck windows, broken cords, and loose panes can be addressed with some basic tools and a YouTube tutorial.

Pros of DIY Sash Window Repairs:

  • More affordable than hiring a professional – Tackling repairs yourself avoids hourly labor costs, allowing you to complete projects for the price of materials only.
  • Ability to work on your own timeline – With DIY, you can repair windows when it’s convenient for you rather than waiting for a pro’s availability.
  • Satisfaction of completing a project yourself – By teaching yourself how to do repairs, you’ll gain a new skill and the pride of having fixed something with your own hands.

Cons of DIY Sash Window Repairs:

  • Learning curve if you’re inexperienced – There are many intricacies to sash windows, so first-timers face a steep learning curve. Without background knowledge, the process can be frustrating.
  • Potential to cause further damage if repairs are done incorrectly – Mistakes made during DIY repairs can lead to bigger issues like walls or sills being damaged.
  • Physical challenges of working at height safely – Accessing second story windows requires scaffolding or ladders. Safety should be the top concern.

While simple repairs like lubricating stuck windows or replacing broken cords may be good DIY projects, anything more complex may require professional expertise.

Calling in the Pros

Hiring experienced, skilled craftsmen has some distinct advantages over DIY when it comes to period property windows restoration. You can be confident that the work will be done properly and safely.

Pros of Professional Sash Window Repairs

  • Expertise gained from years of specialization – Pros have worked on hundreds of sash windows over their careers. They have mastery over even the most complex repairs lite rotten wood.
  • Ability to properly assess issues and recommend solutions – A pro can diagnose root causes and suggest the most appropriate fixes based on experience.
  • Proper tools and equipment for difficult access or heavy panes – Professionals have specialized equipment like scaffolding, safety harnesses, and vacuum suction cups to safely handle large sash panes.
  • Licensed and insured for protection – Reputable companies carry liability insurance, protecting you from claims of property damage or injury.

Cons of Professional Sash Window Repairs

  • More expensive hourly rates and service fees – Pro repair costs will be higher than just the price of materials for DIY. Expect to pay more for labor.
  • Need to coordinate schedules – You’ll need to block off chunks of time for a pro to access and work on your windows.
  • Potential for oversell on unnecessary services – Some untrustworthy companies try to upsell clients on more work than is needed. Get a second opinion if unsure.

Reputable sash window specialists should provide free consultations and quotes, so you know what to expect cost-wise. This option is best for intricate repairs like sash replacement or weight and pulley system issues.

Key Considerations

When weighing DIY against hiring a professional, keep the following in mind:

  • Age and condition of windows – newer windows are simpler for DIY repairs, while old, warped windows may require more expertise. Evaluate wear and tear.
  • Type of repair needed – difficulty level varies greatly. Stuck panes may be DIY, but sash rope replacement is better left to pros.
  • Personal skill level and physical ability – be realistic about your handiness and comfort working at heights before attempting DIY. Don’t take on too much.
  • Cost comparisons – research material prices for DIY vs. getting comprehensive quotes from professionals. The price difference may be smaller than expected.

Making thoughtful repairs can restore the function and improve the energy efficiency of beautiful sash windows for years to come.

Evaluate your specific situation to choose the best option, either DIY or professional. With proper care, your windows can once again be a welcoming feature of your home.


Latest Issue

BDC 309 : Oct 2023