casement window slightly bowed.

hoovb zone 9 sunset 23August 13, 2014

One of my wooden casement windows is very slightly warped in the vertical; it opens fine, but when going to close it, it hits the frame by about 1/8" towards the bottom middle of the window. I have to take off the window screen and press gently on the warped or bowed area to get it to close. Is there some kind of small adjustment I can make to fix this? I'm not sure what to adjust or what to do.

It has been like this since we bought the house in '99. I've just started opening that particular window lately because I discovered it really helps cool the upstairs off via cross ventilation with our afternoon breezes, so I'd like to open it on a regular basis.

the bottom of the window; you can see there's a bit of space between the part that opens and the frame:

the middle of the closed window: you can see there's not a lot of space.

the lower middle of the window. You can see I actually cracked the frame a bit because I didn't realize there was a problem and the part that opens hit the edge of the frame:

any help appreciated, or if there is a better forum for this question, what would that be? Thank you!

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There are adjustment points on the casement hardware that may allow you to tighten this up a bit.

Post up a picture of the window when open and aimed at the hardware.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:19PM
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thank you for looking at it windowsonwashington.

top of window:

bottom of window:

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:02PM
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The pivot points can where the hardware articulates can usually be adjusted but based on what I am seeing, it looks more like the sash is warped and resultant out of plumb with the frame.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:46PM
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thank you for looking at that, windowsonwashington.

Does that mean--umm...what does that mean? I need a new window or the sash needs to be unwarped? A new sash? Sorry, I don't know much about windows. I was kind of thrilled to be able to identify the type of window as a "casement" window.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:24PM
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New sash.

Check to make sure the window frame is plumb and square first.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:29AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

thank you for your help, windowsonwashington. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:19AM
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You betcha.

Let me/us know what you figure out.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Okay, I found a wooden window repairer/restorer who came recommended. He said the windows in our house were good windows in good condition. He said they are like the teacher with the class of kids, there is always one in the group that misbehaves.

He said the warp was so slight at this point why not just continue to do the gentle push to close it until such time as it became so warped it would no longer close easily, at which time he could replace the sash with a new one that they replicate for about 1K. He said for $88 he could have the carpenter move the top hinge slightly, about 2mm so it would close properly for a while, but it would continue to warp because that is what they do.

Anyway that is what he said. The other problem I had him look at was the door that goes into the garage. It is a fire door as per building code between living space and a garage.

That door is slightly warped also and he said there was a enough space at the top for fire to get through so it should be adjusted. The door is not placed quite right as it is very close on the hinge side to the frame and the bottom and far from the other side and the top. This is exactly what my sister told me a couple of months ago when she visited. She showed me the space differences. She's a landlord so she pays attention to all that (also she inherited the five-generations-of-carpenters DNA).

He said his carpenter could adjust that door enough to close the space at the top to make it more fire safe for $175 as it would take some time and replace the latch on the door which has broken off because of the warp. He said fire doors are extremely expensive and of the style we have would be a pain to replace at this time. Best to just adjust at this point. Then he could do the window adjustment at the same time on the same trip if we wanted.

In any case I have learned some things. So I guess it wouldn't help to remove the sash on the window and put it on a flat surface and put some concrete blocks on it and try to flatten it out just a tiny bit?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:18AM
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If the window is only binding by an 1/8" you could simply sand/plane a little of the sash and frame so it closes. Even rounding off each edge would allow it to close I'm sure. Get some 1 minute epoxy and fill the cracked frame before you sand/plane.

The door sounds like it could be fixed with a few 3" hinge screws. Is it sagging? I bet your sister could fix it...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:58AM
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Thank you ksc1. The door is not sagging. It is bowed (warped) outwards away from the frame. My sister knows her limits. She is not a full-on skilled carpenter. I so miss my Dad and Uncles who could build anything.

I thought about just taking off a tiny bit of the edge of the sash, if the sash eventually needs to be replaced anyway, but was concerned it would look too noticible.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Let us know how it turns out. Sounds like the guy knows his stuff.

I would bother with trying to straighten the sash as you will probably pop the glass in the process.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 3:26PM
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I have seen what you are experiencing a fair amount. What happens with wood casements is that the homeowner will crank the window closed but fail to engage the secondary lock which pulls it in and will help keep it from warping. Same thing with hinged doors and multi point locks. If you have closed it, you are only half way done. It is an older window but you still be able to re-acclimate the sash by closing it and leaving it that way for a few weeks. Also, check and make sure the bottom and top of the sash have a finish coat of paint. Painters will often not do all six sides of a sash.You can check that with a mirror.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 4:00PM
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ksc1, windowsonwashington, and eastbay10, thank you for the helpful comments. I appreciate them a lot!

eastbay10, those are educational details. thank you. There are two secondary locks, at the top and at the bottom of the window, and they are always both engaged when the window is closed, which is 90% of the time. I knew that there is a potential for warping if only one is engaged or neither are engaged, so we've always been careful to engage both.

Also yes, all six sides of the sash are painted. My sister also checked the door when she was here, and that was also painted top and bottom. She thought if it had not been painted that might have caused the warping, but it was painted, not just primed, but also painted.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 5:30PM
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