How to Remove Box Sash Windows: Step-By-Step Guide

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Box sash windows, with their classic design and timeless appeal, have adorned homes for centuries. However, there comes a time when these windows need replacement or renovation.

Tools you will need:

  • A small trim pry bar or putty knife
  • Rubber mallet
  • Stanley knife

Step-By-Step Guide

Removing box sash windows may seem daunting, but with the right approach and careful execution, it can be a smooth process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the removal process:

Remove the Pieces of Wood

Begin by carefully removing the pieces of wood that hold the window in place. These wooden strips, often painted or varnished, are located around the edges of the window frame. Use a crowbar or a chisel to gently pry them off. Be cautious not to damage the surrounding wall or the window frame itself.

Remove the Bottom Sash

Once the wooden strips are removed, focus on the bottom sash. Open the window and locate the screws or nails securing it in place. Use a screwdriver or a pry bar to loosen and remove these fasteners. With the bottom sash detached, carefully lower it to the ground.

Remove the Parting Bead

The parting bead is a thin strip of wood that separates the two sashes. Locate and remove the parting bead carefully. It’s essential to handle it gently to prevent splintering, as it might be reused during the installation of the new window.

Remove the Top Sash

Similar to the bottom sash, locate and remove the screws or nails securing the top sash. Use appropriate tools to loosen and detach it from the frame. Once freed, carefully lower the top sash down.

Remove the Weights

Box sash windows operate using counterweights hidden inside the frame. Locate these weights and carefully remove them. This step is crucial for ensuring a smooth removal process and preparing the frame for the new window installation.

Remove the Frame

With both sashes and weights removed, focus on the window frame itself. Use a saw or a pry bar to cut through any remaining fasteners or nails securing the frame to the wall. Work methodically around the frame until it is completely detached.

Removing box sash windows requires patience and precision. Take your time, and if you encounter any difficulties, consider seeking professional help to avoid causing damage or injury.

Can Sash Windows Be Replaced Legally?

In general, there are no specific limitations on replacing sash windows compared to other old window types. Therefore, replacing them is typically allowed. The only circumstance where the removal or replacement of sash windows might be restricted is if your property is located in a listed building or a conservation area.

For homeowners residing in conservation areas, there might be some constraints on replacement options. It is likely that you will need to find replacements that match the style and era of the property and other houses in the vicinity. However, there might be an opportunity to upgrade to new sash windows with double glazing while adhering to the area’s architectural aesthetics.

In the case of listed buildings, removal could be entirely prohibited. In such situations, seeking professional assistance might be necessary to restore the existing windows. There could also be restrictions on the types of glass and materials you can use for the restoration.

If you are uncertain about the regulations applicable to your property, the best course of action is to consult your local planning department for guidance on how to proceed.


Can sash windows be removed from inside?

Yes, sash windows can typically be removed from the inside. Most modern sash windows are designed with this convenience in mind, allowing homeowners to access and remove them from the interior for maintenance or cleaning purposes.

How do you remove a UPVC window sash?

To remove a UPVC window sash, you usually need to open the window fully and locate the release mechanism, which varies between designs. This could be a latch or clips. Once released, gently lift the sash upward and inward, disengaging it from the frame. Be cautious and follow specific instructions provided by the window manufacturer.

Can you replace sash windows without scaffolding?

Yes, it is possible to replace sash windows without scaffolding, especially if the windows are accessible from the ground or if you use alternative methods like ladders and secure work platforms. However, for higher or hard-to-reach windows, scaffolding might be necessary to ensure safe and efficient replacement.

How to remove sash windows for cleaning?

To clean sash windows, start by unlocking and opening them. Use a putty knife or a flat tool to gently pry off the moulding around the window. Carefully remove the bottom sash first, then the top one. Clean the frames and glass thoroughly. When done, reinstall the sashes by reversing the removal process, ensuring they fit securely into the frame.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.