Fixing Manufactured Windows

A few tips on pulling apart and repairing window sash that have failed prematurely from rot. May 20, 2011

Has anyone replaced the bottom part of a sash on an Anderson window? On several windows the bottom board has rotted after only 14 years. The ones I have are double hung vinyl clad on the outside, pine stained on inside. They will only sell me the whole sash for $200+. I do have a cabinet shop, so I am tempted to try it.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor O:
Way back when I was a field carpenter, we had to fix a few Andersen windows that were messed up. It was 25 years ago - don't remember the particulars. I do remember that it wasn't that bad. You have a shop, a ruler, and some skill. Do it, it'll be fine.

From contributor B:
The sashes I've had apart on insulated glass units have had nail pins in the face of the corners. Once the pin was pulled, the joints came free. The real difficulty was that the glass had a caulk like adhesive that adhered it to the frame. Getting that apart cleanly was the hard part.

From the original questioner:
Is there any where to buy that frame material for the sash, or just make my own?

From contributor U:
I just happen to have some windows in my shop to fix - another brand that are aluminum clad and also 14 years old. I repaired the first one using only a table saw to make the new piece and cut the joints. Just use some wood that will take the weather.

From contributor S:
$200! Depending on the size, the whole window cost $200-$300!

From the original qustioner:
What is the wood you're using? Would yellow pine be alright?

From contributor U:
I would never use yellow pine for exterior work unless it is treated. Douglas fir or cypress would work. I have had good luck with eastern white pine also.

From contributor C:
Many years ago I worked for an Andersen distributor as a service rep. The double hung windows at the time weren't actually vinyl clad on the sashes, just the frames. The sashes had a very durable high quality paint applied to them on the outside. I would try to get in touch with either the local distributor or an actual Andersen rep, as the warranty was not set in stone and most dealers aren't going to help you. Having 14 rotted sashes is unusual and you might be able to get some help. There were various manufacturing defects that fell into project work that would get extended warranties and this might be one of them.

From the original qustioner:
I already talked to them twice and I get the same response - the warranty is only 10 years. Makes for high price windows if you have to replace them every 12 years.

From contributor L:
Unfortunately the cladding makes them hold water.