Sash cord attaches to the hole in the side of the sash, then travels up the groove to the pulley.
Old weights were made of cast iron. Lister is presumed to be the craftsperson who made these weights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a window sash?

A sash is the wooden frame and the glass it holds.

What’s a double-hung window?

A double hung window has two sashes, an upper and a lower. Each sash can be opened.

Air can circulate within the room when both upper and lower sashes are open.

Why doesn’t the top portion of my window open?

In many cases, the top sash has been painted shut, leading clients to believe that it cannot be opened.

What’s the benefit of a double-hung window?

A double-hung window takes advantage of heat patterns to provide the best circulation. Since hot air rises, leaving the top sash open allows heat to escape, while cooler air can enter the house through the lower sash.

The cords are missing from my window, and it won’t stay open by itself. Can you fix that?

Yes. We’ll remove and reinstall the window sash(es) and moulding, replace the cords and make sure the weights are the proper size. Please see our Services page for more details.

I know the cords are in place, but the window slides shut. Why?

Most likely, the weights aren’t heavy enough to hold the window sash open. During the course of repair, we will replace your weights. When that’s done, the sash will stay open without having to be propped up.

Old weights were made of cast iron. Lister is presumed to be the craftsperson who made these weights.

Can you open the windows in my home that have been painted shut?

In all of the years we’ve been in business, we haven’t found one we couldn’t open. During the repair, while the sashes are out, we will safely remove paint from friction surfaces, and clean and lubricate so your windows will function as they were intended…easily! Please see our Services page for more details.

Do you weather strip windows?

Yes. More and more people are asking for weather stripping. Clients have reported a noticable decrease in drafts and noise. Weather stripping also helps the windows slide more smoothly.

My windows are in bad shape and are falling apart. Can you help?

We will visit your home and assess the damage. If the corners of the sash are loose, we can tighten them. If the sashes require repair beyond our scope of services, we’ll tell you and help you find other solutions.

When can you come and repair my windows?

The prospect of having functioning windows is very exciting to many people! Our initial conversation is best by phone. That way, we can discuss your window needs, let you know what our schedule looks like and provide some ball-park pricing. Next, we can schedule a time for me to come take a look at each window that concerns you, firm up the price quote and then, schedule the repair. We work for only one client at a time, so you will receive our undivided attention until your repair job is complete. Many of our clients have expressed that it is worth the wait.

How do you charge?

After visiting your home, examining your windows and reaching agreement with you about the scope of work, I’ll confirm pricing. At that time, we can schedule the repair work. I will email your contract documents for your electronic signature prior to the scheduled repair dates. We will keep you well informed if anything unusual arises, and always consult with you prior to doing additional work.

How long will the project take?

We generally complete two windows a day.

Do you work from the inside or the outside?

Most of our work is done from the inside. The only exception is if the window is painted shut on the outside. Sometimes storm windows need to be removed for outside access.

Do I have to be there while you’re working?

No. You simply have to provide us access to your home. Then we can work independently.

Do you strip paint?

We do not strip paint, but remove it from the friction surfaces. We have found it’s not necessary to remove all paint in order for the windows to function properly.

How do you handle lead-based paint?

Lead was removed from residential paint in 1978. Therefore, when we work on your windows, we assume the paint contains some lead. We take lead seriously and will work in partnership with you to minimize exposure to your family and your home. From setup to cleanup, we have incorporated lead safe work practices into our work routine. As required by law, Fresh Air is a lead certified firm (LBPR #184991) and a Certified Lead Renovator is on-site for each project. For more information about lead-based paint, please visit the OR Department of Human Services website at

Will I have to repaint after the windows are repaired?

You may need to do some repainting when we are finished. We try to minimize paint chipping when we remove the sashes and moulding. Much of how the paint reacts depends on the age and quality of the paint, how well the surfaces were prepared prior to painting, and exposure to the elements.

We will lightly wet-sand, fill in nail holes and caulk to help get your window prepped for painting, if painting is needed.

I don’t want my top sash to open. Can you just restore the function of the bottom sash?

Yes, but we highly recommend restoring your top sash to full mobility. If you still want to restore only the bottom sash, we will check the top sash cords to make sure they are intact. We cannot repair the top sash without also repairing the bottom sash.

Do you also work on casement windows.

No, at this time, we do not work on casement windows.

I have broken glass. Do you fix that? How about reglazing?

Although we do not replace glass, we will direct you to a glass company in your area who can help.

When the sashes are out, we will check the glazing. We can touch up glazing, if necessary. For extensive glazing work, we would refer you to a glass shop or to your painter. Please see our Resources page for more information about glaziers and painters.

General Information

Window Preservation Alliance.Their goal is to change the conversation about the value of original windows. A treasure trove of compelling resources can be found here. Window Preservation Alliance.

Retrofitting Historic Windows. Thought provoking tips for evaluating energy savings/loss from your historic/older windows and what you can do about it. From the National Trust for Historic Preservation, January 2016.

Saving Windows, Saving Money: Evaluating the Energy Performance of Window Retrofit and Replacement. Preservation Green Lab’s comprehensive study shows that existing window retrofit strategies come close to energy performance of replacement windows at a fraction of the cost. Fresh Air is a proud contributor to this study. From the National Trust for Historic Preservation, October, 2012.

Historic Wood Windows. A tip sheet from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For information on caring for your old home, see


Each window has four pulleys - one for each side of each sash.
Is your organization interested in hosting a window repair workshop? Contact us.