This window sits above our (sort-of) 3/4 glazed french doors onto our balcony.

It looks like somehow this rod should turn, allowing the window to fall back into the room but we've had no luck so far. The only part that appears to move is that the rod (?) can be lifted up and down a few centimetres which shuts or opens the window a tiny bit.

The window is quite high up and start about 8ft above the floor and requires a ladder to reach.

I've tried googling a number of different window styles and can't find other similar windows, or even how to open it.

The mechanism to open looks very similar to this 'preston system opener': It looks like the mechanism is similar to a 'preston system opener': https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/product/preston-system-opener-bright-zinc-plated-311878

View from the floor

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3 Answers 3


Yep, looks like you hit it with Preston type, it's a screw drive that pulls the window in like a hopper window. Behind the cross-shaped part with the screw (threaded section) should be a part that spins on the threads and walks the upper assembly out, pulling the window along the screw.

I'd get up there and remove the hardware and clean it up, since it's caked with paint and not gonna move easily, plus you'll find you need a long, looped cord/chain/bead chain to run the spinning part. Hard to describe, but start by pulling the assembly off, clean, and make sure the window is not painted shut (sealed with paint).

Personally, I'd make sure the window opens easily with the mechanism off before moving forward. That style opening is designed to keep the window in place if there is wind, and be easy to open from floor level. Other types of closures used on high windows were a lever with a loop in it that you would use a pole with a hook on to open the latch and pull the window in.

Here's another style shown: Transom Hardware, oldhouseonline.com


It looks like a cord or chain is missing, that threads through the hard-to-see pulley close to the wall.

  • 1
    You have some rust and paint on the screw threads. It will take some cleanup to get it to operate smoothly.
    – Mattman944
    May 23, 2020 at 14:13

Adding to the other answers, here's a pic of the missing piece (rope/drawstring):

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