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How To Replace Sash Balances On Windows In Reading

Sash windows are a timeless classic that has been around for over a century. These windows are made up of two sashes that slide up and down within a frame, and they are a popular choice for many homes in Reading and throughout the South East of England. While sash windows are beautiful and add character to a property, they can begin to deteriorate over time, and one of the most common problems is with the sash balances.

A sash balance is an essential component of a sash window that helps to keep the window in place when it is open or closed. Over time, these balances can become worn or even break, causing the sash of the window to fall or become difficult to open or close. Fortunately, as a reputable sash window replacement company in Reading, we are well-equipped to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to replace sash balances and ensure your window continues to function optimally.

Understanding The Terminology

Before diving into the specifics of replacing sash balances, it is essential to understand the different terminology used in a sash window. Here are some of the terms that you may encounter:


The sash is the name given to the moving panels of a double-hung or single-hung window that moves vertically to open and close.


The bead is a small strip of wood or plastic that holds the glass in place within the frame of the window.


Weights are used to counterbalance the weight of the sash and keep it in place when it is open or closed.


The box is the name given to the housing at the top of the window frame that holds the weights.


The sides of the window frame consist of jambs on either side of the sash, which hold the window in place when it is open or closed.

Staff and Staff Bead

The staff and staff bead are the components that help to hold the sash in place within the frame.


The parting strip is a wooden strip that runs down the middle of the frame and separates the two sashes.

Top and Bottom Sash

The top sash is the one located above the parting strip, while the bottom sash is located below the parting strip.

Sash Cord

Sash cords are the thin ropes that connect the sash to the weights inside the box.


The frame of the window is the support structure that holds the sash and all other components together.

Lower Sash and Upper Sash

The lower sash is the part of the window that can be slid up and down to open and close it, whereas the upper sash is fixed and cannot be opened.

Identifying The Problem

Before replacing the sash balance, you must first identify the issue. If your window is no longer staying open or it is difficult to open or close, the most likely culprit is a broken or worn sash balance. You can check for this by inspecting the window sash and balance with care. If you notice any fraying or severing of the sash cord or weights that no longer stay in place, it may be time for a repair or replacement.

Preparing For The Replacement

To begin the sash balance replacement process, you will need a few tools that you can find in any DIY store in Reading or nearby areas. These tools include:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Flathead chisel
  • Caulk or sealant

Once you have gathered your tools, you can move onto the actual replacement process.

Replacement Process

Step 1: Remove the Sash Before removing a sash, ensure that you remove any screws, nails, or unnecessary components that might obstruct the sash. Next, use a flathead chisel to cut the paint seal between the frame and sash to provide easy removal. Carefully lift the sash out of its frame, and remove any weights and sash cords.

Step 2: Remove The Old Balance Locate the old balance, and use pliers to remove the screws holding it in place. With the screws removed, take out the old balance from the frame.

Step 3: Installation Of The New Sash Balance Attach the new sash balance in place using screws and a plier. Finally, run the cord through the pulley and attach the weights to the appropriate end of the cord.

Step 4: Reassemble The Sash Reassemble the window sash and reinstall it back into the frame. Ensure that the sash fits well, and run a bead of caulking or sealant to secure it in place.

Step 5: Repeat The Process If your window has two sashes, repeat the process for the other sash.


Replacing sash balances may seem daunting, but once you understand the steps involved, it is an easy process. Sash Windows Berkshire offers reliable sash window replacement services in Reading and the surrounding areas that are available to answer any queries or to take on the task of replacing sash balances for you in case of difficulties. For more information, call us today on 0118 449 2798.

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