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Old Windows: How to Replace Sash Cord

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Dan in Iowa is calling in with a window question. What can we do for you?

    DAN: I’m buying an older home built in 1910 and it just got inspected and it said all the sash cords in the home are broken.

    TOM: OK.

    DAN: My question to you is: is there an easy, efficient way to replace those or should I be asking for more money from the seller?

    TOM: Well, the windows certainly need to be operable and …

    LESLIE: And if the cords are broken, you can’t open or close them; correct?

    DAN: Correct.

    TOM: Well, or you need a lot of sticks to hold them up when they’re open. (chuckles)

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    DAN: Yes. And the inspector said it’s dangerous for pets. If they hit the stack (ph), it could come down on their head and hurt them.

    TOM: Yep, that’s true, that’s true. Yeah.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Well, and kids; everybody.

    TOM: You know, it sounds to me like new windows are in your future, Dan.

    DAN: OK.

    TOM: If I were you, I would try to negotiate the best possible price and then I would replace those windows before the end of 2010 because, if you do that, you can qualify for up to a 30-percent tax credit toward the cost of those windows, which will come off your taxes in 2011 due to the federal tax rebate program that’s going on right now.

    DAN: (overlapping voices) Oh.

    TOM: It’s a real good time to install replacement windows.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    DAN: Excellent, excellent. Well, thank you. I greatly appreciate it. You answered the question and no one else has been able to give me any information on them.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s the answer. You know, replacing the broken sash cords and all that, it’s a big hassle because you have to take the trim apart from the inside and then you’ve got to find the parts and …

    LESLIE: Well, and then you need to worry about the efficiency of the window. If they still have sash cords, they’re probably a very old window.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: You know, are they single-pane; what’s the thermal efficiency – if there’s any?

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: So, you know what? Head on over to EnergyStar.gov. You can do some research there about windows that qualify for the federal tax credit. This way, you kind of have an idea about what the cost would be per window; so when you approach the realtor and the seller, you can say, “You know what? I want X amount of dollars.”

    DAN: Alright, excellent. I truly appreciate it.

    TOM: Alright, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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