Aluminum window stuck--won't open or broken?

loves2readOctober 31, 2012

We have 27 yr old house with original aluminum windows--double paned, with a thermal brake--which was pretty unusual when house was built.

The windows have two features that kind of unusual--

The bottom windows have a tilt out feature so they can be opened/tilted and cleaned from in the house

The latch system is also in the bottom window sill--

Two flat pieces that are under the bottom lip of window--

You squeeze the bottom pieces, causing the window to unlock, and raise the bottom up to open the window...

They can be really tricky to open because they have to be fully closed to allow the latch to catch...

But the latch also slides which is another way to really lock the window...

We are selling this house and the inspector for the seller said that three windows would not open--two in dining room (which has 3) and 1 in corner bedroom--but not which bedroom...

We could get the 3 dining room windows open and took photo to refute the inspection report...

In what we thought was the corner bedroom mentioned, we opened the window and took photo...

Then tried the window in the other guest bedroom and that was stuck or something...

Don't know if we just couldn't get the latch in right spot to make it work...

We were in a hurry for Halloween party and didn't have lot of time to work with it...

We had the windows washed before listing the house and they opened all the windows then...so I really think the window latch is not broken or they would have mentioned it to me...

But am very frustrated trying to open it...

Anyone familiar with this type of latch system?

Is there any way to tell if the latch is broken vs just temperamental?

Can it be fixed w/o replacing the window--this is front facing window and a new one will likely stand out like sore thumb...

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sdello

spray some WD-40 onto the latches and see if that helps free them up.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:17AM
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kudzu9

I very much doubt that you would have to replace the window to fix this. Fixing it may involve something simple, like sdello suggested, or it may require disassembly of the latch or window to inspect it and figure out what is wrong. It's quite possible that there is a mechanical problem with something getting out of alignment or loose.

Without meaning to be insulting, I'm guessing that you are not very mechanically inclined. If so, this may require getting a window installer familiar with whatever brand this is, or at least a competent handyman, to do the fix for you.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:31PM
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loves2read

Hey--not insulting to say I am not very mechnically inclined--
I am retired English teacher -- words are my strong suit--
Some things I can do ok and understand the mechnical process from either first hand experience or reading something like Fine Homebuilding articles...
But not knowing WHAT the problem with this window is--that is most of my problem...
It could be something at simple as just not being seated in the track correctly...or could be ballister (?) the spring that runs along the window side...
I don't know windows so need professional advice...
And I called about 4 window companies and their deal was just to replace the window--cause they don't do repair work...

Finally Googled up the name of aluminum fabricating/window company in my area that has been in business since 77 and they were very helpful. Woman I spoke with said that they had actually built that style of window back in the day and had similar windows in their office looking into the shop area...and yes...opening them could be frustrating...
Called me back this AM just now cause they think they can send some guys out this afternoon to look at it after they finish job in town just north of me
when John called today he was very reassuring--
He said there is likely no problem they can't fix--just might have to order part or something if they don't have it on the truck today...which is why he wanted info about size of window--
so I sent him photo of the window to get estimate of size since I am not at the house right now...

Nice to find a family company that has been in business for so long...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:34AM
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kudzu9

loves2read-
That's good news and I hope they can fix it without too much difficulty. I think you are right to resist having a new window put in, for many reasons. To me that's like a mechanic telling me to buy a new car because I have a flat tire. Anyway, good luck, and please report back about what was required to fix it.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:46PM
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