A Guide To Removing An Older Double Hung Window From Your House

If you have old double-hung windows you would like to remove from your brick house and replace with a newer, more efficient window, you can save yourself some money by removing the window yourself.


  • Putty Knife
  • Razor Blade/ Utility Knife
  • Scissors
  • Pry Bar


You need to be able to safely use a razor blade, knife, scissors and pry bar in order to complete this job. Make sure you never pull a blade towards your body,and exercise caution with all sharp objects. You also need to have some basic knowledge of window terminology and window construction.

Score The Edges Of The Window

You are going to need to use a razor blade or utility knife to score the edges of the window. The edges of your windows will be sealed with caulking. Caulking is the adhesive, glue like material that is used around your window to hold it in place. If you painted around your windows, there may also be paint you need to cut through as well.

You are going to need to "score" the caulking and paint around the edges of the windows using your cutting tool. To "score" the paint and caulking, you are going to cut down the middle of the paint and caulking to make it easier to remove. 

You will need to score the paint and caulking along the edges of the interior sash stop. The sash stop is located on the both sides of the interior of your window frame. You are also going to need to score any paint and caulking located alongside the wood that runs the lengths of the interior sides of your window frame. After you have scored the stops and sides of the window, insert a putty knife between the cuts you made, and use it help pry off the stops.

Remove The Balance Cord

Must older double hung windows used a balance cord to assist with opening and closing the window. The balance cord will be located inside of the window frame and will run the entire length of your window. Take your cutting tool and cut the balance cords if your window has balance cords. Then remove the cords completely from the window.

When you cut the cords, you should see the weights that are attached to them. You should be able to easily spot the weights on the inside of your window frame. If your window is closed, the weights should be at the bottom of the inside of your window frame. If your window is open when you cut the sash cords, they will most likely drop down to the bottom of the window frame. Be sure to remove the weights as well. 

Take Out The Bottom Sash

Pry off the bottom sash, which is just the bottom pane of glass. It should come off easily now that you have removed the stops and sides of the window, as well as the balance cord. If the bottom sash is large, you may want someone to help you remove it.

Remove The Top Sash

In order to remove the top sash, you may need to remove additional wood from the sides and top of the window. Use your putty knife and pry bar to remove any additional structures holding the top sash in place.

Then, gently remove the top sash from the window.

At this point, it should be easy for your window installer to put in a new window for you since you saved them about half the labor. If you take care and follow the directions above, no harm should come to the exterior or interior of your house. You may also want to cleanup any debris before they get there to install your new window. For more information, contact a business such as Brant Windows and Doors door installation.