Upgrading Window Hardware and Glass

This story shows you how to upgrade window hardware and glass.


Installation of the upgrades on these pages is usually quick and easy, but don't take the job lightly. If a handle or lock is installed out of alignment, it is often difficult to move a screw that crucial 1/8 or 1/4 inch to ensure proper engagement. That may mean having to fill screw holes with wood putty followed by sanding and even a bit of touch-up painting.

Brass-plated hardware looks good at first, but it may appear dingy and worn in a few years. Spend a bit more for solid brass or choose nickel or chrome units.

Applying a low-E film to standard window glass will give a window the energy-saving benefits of low-E glass. New decorative glass films can dramatically change the appearance of a window and a room for small outlays of money and time.

Prestart Checklist

Half an hour or less to install most hardware items

Tape measure, awl, drill, hammer, screwdriver, utility knife, squeegee

Careful measuring, drilling pilot holes precisely

Buy new hardware with screw holes that match up with the old holes, or fill, sand, and paint over the old holes.

Hardware usually comes with all needed screws.

Replacing a sash lock: Step 1

New hardware screws will probably not grab well in the old holes unless you fill the holes. Glue in matchsticks, toothpicks, or slivers of wood cut from shims until the hole is fairly tight. Use a utility knife to cut the inserts flush with the wood.

Replacing a sash lock: Step 2

Once the glue is dry, drill pilot holes. Install the piece on the upper sash first. To make sure the lock will draw the sashes tightly together, position the lower sash piece and close it halfway; the sashes should be fairly tight. Drill pilot holes and drive screws.

Applying glass film: Step 1

Clean the window, then spray on water or the wetting solution provided with the film. Apply the film to the window so that it overlaps the glass on all sides.

Applying glass film: Step 2

Use your hands to spread the film out, then wipe with a squeegee. Start with a horizontal stroke at the top, then move the squeegee down the middle. Last of all, pull the squeegee down the sides.

Applying glass film: Step 3

Once all the bubbles and creases have been removed, cut the edges with a sharp knife. Use a drywall taping knife or an old credit card as a guide to cut a straight line about 1/16 inch from the frame.

Comments (1)
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