Can anyone help?

I bought an older home with wood windows. The issue I have is they don't open and its driving me nuts. Does anyone have any ideas? The windows have this coil going in on each side. Thanks.
  20 answers
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Jan 30, 2015
    @Lucee Mendiola Rodriguez more than likely they are painted shut,you need to put a putty knife between window and frame both inside and out to break the paint bond, then get a small pry bar and gently push window open this will take some jiggling and move the pry bar around from side to side both inside and outside is a pain in the butt xx

  • Eileen Eileen on Jan 30, 2015
    I would love to help. Any chance of posting pics of "coil things"? They might be pressure bars which are sometimes added if the weights in the original window have broken.

  • OnBlissStreet OnBlissStreet on Jan 30, 2015
    I agree, they are probably painted shut. The "coils" - are they the weights that old victorian homes have to open and close the windows? Is there a rope visible? I guess I should ask first if your home is that old?

  • Even if the window does not appear to be painted shut, the paint can be sticking. There is a tool called a window zipper. its much like that of a putty knife, only has a serrated edge that allows you to sort of saw it into between the window and the frame. This normally is all that is needed to get the window(s) working fine again. The coil thing is called a balance. This spring of sorts balances the pressure and weight on the window so it stays in the position that you open the window to. Even if its missing, or not connected, it has no bearing at all with prevention of opening the window. Only that once open the window will be heavy and will want to fall down once its open. Cords, metal squares on each side etc. All the same thing, only different looks and operation. If the house was painted on the outside this is another spot in which the paint could be causing the window to stick. You could also try using a heat gun or hair dryer on high. Run this around the edges of the window where it comes into contact with the frame and window ledge and where the two windows overlap. This might be enough to soften the paint or gunk that is preventing the window from opening.

    • See 3 previous
    • Adrienne Z Adrienne Z on Jan 31, 2015
      I was using a heat gun to remove many layers of paint from the woodwork on the inside of my home. I had a Milwaukee heat gun and it was only a mere few seconds that I completely scorched a section of wood. Those things get hot QUICKLY!!! I took note of where the original poster lived and figured that in Texas, that wood is probably very dry, so the potential for wood acting as tinder there is probably greater than in Cleveland Ohio where I live. I just err on the side of caution especially if a novice is trying something for the first time. Could be disastrous if not careful. If budget allows, I would recommend calling a window guy and get vinyl windows one or few at a time. They can preserve the original wood trim and have the ease and comfort of windows that actually work and also add value to the home. The tilt-ins are also very easy to clean saving you energy & workload time in the long run.

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jan 30, 2015
    @Lucee Mendiola Rodriguez I am not an expert, but you may have to replace or service the coils.

  • Donna Davidson Donna Davidson on Jan 30, 2015
    once you do the putty knife thing,, , it sounds strange, but take a hammer and tap the window down, I had tried everything and mine wouldnt open, but when i did that , they came right up. just tap tap tap all across the bottom window and then lift... if that doesnt work , it has to be the coils.

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jan 31, 2015
    Our old city home was about 75 years old. We bought that house as "an estate" (meaning you buy as is) when I was 21 years old and didn't know to test the windows and look for screens. There were no professional home inspectors in those days. The windows were painted shut and there were no screens. We never got them open in the 24 years we lived there. We did have them priced out in 1973 and they wanted over $22,000 for all new windows and we could not afford that with one son a senior and second son a sophomore and both looking at college. The people who bought the house from us fell I love with its Cape Cod charm (as did I) and bought the home in October they never asked either. They ended up putting in all new windows and screens. the house we live in now has newer metal windows and screen that are easy clean HOWEVER the screens do not come out so we can put in an air conditioner so when we did that we ruined the screens - who knew! So be sure to check carefully the windows of the house you are looking at. I am the voice of experience of what not to do, on this topic.

  • Linda Hunt Linda Hunt on Jan 31, 2015
    Since the house is this old the insulation is waaay out of date if you live in an area with seasons. I would take the extra effort once you unsieze them to take off the framing around them add insulation smooth edges of windows apply bar soap to each side return and never a stuck window again. If you find the wood If you have winter season you need to wait the whole cycle to see if you need to plane the wood because it may just have swelled through rain, heat etc. IF you cannot simply loosen them do this process right away and fix problem you find. Hope we have all helped in some way

  • Dawn McCarty Dawn McCarty on Jan 31, 2015
    Could be needs new sash inside but to open HGTV DIY TV Nicole Curtis Rehab Addict she has great tips and only older homes to make them as close to the way they were. Good luck 😊

  • Janinne P Janinne P on Jan 31, 2015
    This thing is an amazing tool. It's inexpensive and does a wonderful job. Some suggested methods may damage the wood of your windows and you don't want that. This is a safe way to open.

    • See 3 previous
    • D & K D & K on Jan 31, 2015
      Thanks @Janinne, I'm a remodeling contractor by trade and there are so many uses for a oscillating saw it's amazing. I put off purchasing one of these because I already have a trailer full of tools and gear but after purchasing one I questioned why I hesitated.

  • Loretta Clark Loretta Clark on Jan 31, 2015
    If there is any metal on the sides, brush them with pure acetate to help loosen up old paint or whatever could be keeping it from moving.

  • D,W.TAYLOR D,W.TAYLOR on Jan 31, 2015
    Have you ever thought about vinyl replacement Windows? It sounds like you have wooden, double Hung's. If you have a company near you make it sound like your contractor to do small jobs are starting out, most of those openings you can get for run $100 we used to do hundreds of those. And simple to put in, let us know if you need some more help, we can describe how to go about this. Good luck with the project DEL...

  • Nancy Jenkins Nancy Jenkins on Jan 31, 2015
    I found a few of those, screwed shut, the rest waited for warm weather and was able to open all the windows. left a crack to let air dry area. I put some insulation window tape where window hits and not problems.

  • Jillian Seymour Jillian Seymour on Feb 01, 2015
    Check if this is your window situation. He shows how to do a sash cord replacement. The big give away is the wheel at the top of the inner frame.

  • Carole Cottom Carole Cottom on Feb 01, 2015
    Try WD-40 around all of the edges....yes even on wood.

  • Zuann G. Candler Zuann G. Candler on Feb 01, 2015
    I bought an older home with wood windows. I had the same problem. I finally bit the bullet and re spaced the,. Glad that I did. Saves on heating cooling and they work.

  • Donna VanWinkle Mitchell Donna VanWinkle Mitchell on Feb 02, 2015
    Have the windows been painted? If so take a small putty knife and work up and down the seams.

  • Diane Blank Diane Blank on Feb 05, 2015
    If they are not painted shut you could try using a candle on the inside frame. Just take a regular candle (any size that will fit the window track) rub it up and down the window track. If you can get the window started this will help lubricate the track. Used this on a 60 year old cottage I rented last summer, it was worth the time and patience. The windows opened and closed like a charm after I was done. Make sure when you get the window open, that you also use the candle on the lower track.

  • Rita Wozniak Rita Wozniak on Apr 08, 2015
    Hope you got or get them open by Spring.. i love to open mine up during the warm days of Spring and the warmer days of summer..if they are painted closed you could take a scraper an carefully tap it along the edge of the window.. all the way around maybe inside and out.. to break it loose.. and hope it works and they open.. Be aware that some wooden windows have heavy weights inside the wood work.. attached to ropes.. to help hole them counterweighted too stay open or keep them closed.. HOPE YOU DO SOLVE your window problem..or have already i just saw this and its APRIL..

  • Lucee Mendiola Rodriguez Lucee Mendiola Rodriguez on Apr 09, 2015
    We gave up. Replacing Windows in the summer.