I am having a tough time coming up with a title, feel free to suggest an edit if you can think of something more clear.

(I'll start with this, my windows are not painted shut, unless that means something else I'm not aware of, they are capable of being opened.)

My house has wooden windows. I don't know what this style is called but the lower half can slide up and the upper half can slide down. I made a cross sectional view below.

| || <-- Seal
  |  <-- Top half
 |   <-- Bottom half
|| | <-- Seal

Occasionally the top half will slide down a bit. Sometimes only a little but sometimes a lot. This lets air, bugs, and noise in. The problem I am trying to solve is this. It's like it's a little too loose or something maybe. Or maybe this is just normal for this style of window. I would like for them to stay up and not slide down.

One solution to this is just closing them. (Go figure!) Occasionally if the noise outside seems a little louder than usual I will go check and fix them. However there's another problem, there's not really a good place to get leverage and push them closed. Too loose to stay in place, too stiff to be easily pushed back up. A trick I figured out is too open the bottom window and then push the top one up from the bottom.

|  | <-- Tiny air gap
|| | <-- Bottom is properly shut

|| |
  | <-- Open bottom to push the top pane up
|  |

The diagram is not as helpful here, but the idea is that with the (bottom pane) fully open I can reach the bottom of the top pane and push it up.

The secondary problem I am trying to solve (that is not as important to me if I can solve the primary one) is that the bottom half still has the same problem of not having a great place to push and even when I can they're pretty stiff.

To summarize,

  1. The top half of the window periodically slides down leaving a small opening
  2. There is no easy way to get leverage to push it up (which could be solved by making it easier to get leverage or to slide)
  3. One way to fix the top is to push it from the bottom by opening the bottom half,
  4. But the bottom half is still difficult to open for the same reasons as the top (just not as tough)

1 Answer 1


A good way to make sticky or heavy sash windows easier to handle is by installing sash window handles. Install them so they are screwed to the top or bottom rail and the vertical rails. Don't install them entirely on the top or bottom rail because then the forces of using them could tear the window apart.

You have Double Sash Windows. These become sticky due to paint getting in the rails or due to swelling from humidity. If they fall down on their own it is because the mechanism that holds them up needs maintenance ... usually either a chain or rope attached to pulleys and weights, or a spring-loaded piston. Do some reading and watch videos about how double sash windows work and general tips on maintenance.

  • I was wondering if installing handles would work but I didn't mention it to try and keep answers unbiased. Also thank you for the terminology, I didn't know what they were called. Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 16:22

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