I've recently purchased an old home with windows that have probably not been replaced since the thing was built in the 20's.

The siding on this home looks new and I'm taking it upon myself to replace the windows for better fuel efficiency and so that you dont feel like you're sleeping in an icebox when the temperature gets to the teens.

Is there any way to remove an old wooden window window (ropes and weights, storm window on outsides) with minimum damage to the outside trim?

  • 1
    When you say replace, do you mean a whole new window, including sill, interior and exterior casings?
    – bib
    Feb 21, 2016 at 19:30
  • @bib I would prefer to remove as little as possible while still getting a new energy efficient double pane double hung window in there properly. I am not sure as to how much I would have to remove to make that possible. Feb 21, 2016 at 19:32
  • 2
    A photo would be helpful. I usually use a carbide tipped saw blade on my skill saw to cut aluminum framed windows out. Leather gloves and a face shield help protect you when cutting like this. I cut to the inside of the frame work and order windows for an exact fit. To install the replacement window it is usually screwed in around the frame, calking added to the outside and then a small trim piece around the edges calked again and painted. This method is fairly quick if you preorder your windows .
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 21, 2016 at 19:38
  • You haven't even told us what kind of siding you have. How can you expect useful answers?
    – isherwood
    Feb 21, 2016 at 22:44
  • @EdBeal Will take a photo as soon as possible and update the question. Feb 21, 2016 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


There are replacement window inserts from most major window manufacturers. If your existing window frames are sound, you remove the stops (the vertical strips that hold the sashes in) and the upper and lower sashes. The new window includes a very thin frame with sashes preinserted that attaches and seals to the existing frame. This is done without removing or replacing inside and outside casings (face moldings).

Search replacement window inserts for information from the manufacturers.

  • 1
    You may or may not be able to keep the storm windows, depending on the exact geometry of the inserts.
    – keshlam
    Feb 21, 2016 at 23:29

I agree with bib. But, you're really not "inefficient" if you have complete & intact storm windows. Those big glass panes & dead air space along with the old windows isn't too far from a new window's performance.

But, if the old ones are needing new Glazing Putty outside &/or paint & you want to remove the storm windows. Then, new inserts are the right choice, even cheap vinyl's are good for at least 20-years. Here's a break-down of the steps & pieces to get the old windows apart quite easily.

Old Windows

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