Window Help!

I am about to close on a rental home that needs window repairs. It is a cheaper home built in 1950. There is significant water damage to the wood frames/casings on the exterior of the windows and in some areas is allowing water to penetrate into the walls. The windows are large single pane windows with inch thick glass that don’t open or close with all wooden frames. The home is not in the best area so I would prefer to repair the window frames and reuse the windows. I know the windows aren’t energy effecient but economically I think replacing the frames would be the better choice. I would consider myself handy but have never personally done window work so I would like any advice you have to offer.

Anyone with any advice or experience with this type of window?
Any recommendations on a good website on window repairs?

Again the windows vary in size but are quite large single pane windows that don’t open or close.

Is there a way to post pictures on here? I will do this if it will help.


I have no experience in this area, but as they do not open/close, why not add a storm window on the outside? You could even build these yourself. In yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer there was even an article in the real estate section describing this. The column is called Sensible Home by James Dullies, I believe, and it may be syndicated.


I found the link. If I can’t use the link, google search “the sensible home”.

The author is James Dulley.

Search under “storm windows”


Instead of replacing or rebuilding the frames, I would install surplus windows. Go to your local builder’s surplus store. I have bought new (surplus), double-hung, double pane vinyl replacement windows for $45 each.

Good Luck,


For $45 each it’s hard to justify repairs to existing windows…good call Mike.

It is almost always impossible to replace the windows and maintain the original style of the house.

If there is enough good wood to work with, simply paint the dryrot with a sealer type product that stops the dryrot from sreading. It is not regular water sealer. It smells like fiberglass resin but is really thin, like paint thinner. Any good paint store should have it. Then use thin aluminum flashing, the kind that comes in a roll and cut and shape it to fit just right and glue it over the problem areas. Use construction adhesive to ensure that no moisture gets behind it. Paint it and your done. You can feather the edges with spackle if you don’t want it to show. I have some patches that are over ten years old and still holding tight. Total elapsed time will not be more than one hour per window. Good luck!

P.S. The left over flashing can be used to patch just about anything. I use it to fix any holes in drywall, like the ones a doorknob makes or even the hole in the ceiling left over from changing out a gas water heater to an electric one. It works really good to fix the gap around pipes under sinks where the bugs get in or to cover mouse holes etc. It is a Godsend to repair those old aspestos shingles that always crack and are near impossible to replace. Just slip it under the top shingle. If it neads texturing just use a screen roller to give it the wood grain. Paint the whole thing and you would never know it was patched.

I keep a 50 ft roll of flashing in a 5 gal bucket with a gallon of construction adhesive, a pair of sissors and a putty knife. It’s my favorite tool.