I’ve discussed how to re-rope double-hung windows in a previous post, but folks are always looking for more ideas on how to make roping easier. So, here are four simple hacks I’ve developed to make re-roping windows a whole lot easier.
Hack #1 The Piggyback
If you’ve still got a rope poking through the pulley, then you can cut the knot off and tape the new rope to the end of the old rope. That way, when you pull the weight out of the pocket, it will easily draw the new rope down the pulley and out the pocket door. Then, you just cut the old rope off the weight, tie the new rope on, and cut it to length. Voila!
Hack #2 The Quick Draw
Don’t break out your tape measure- just run a length of rope from the top of the jamb to the sill and cut. That length should be more than enough to tie your weight off and leave some excess for the sash knot.
This trick only works on normal height windows. Any window shorter than about 40 inches may need 2-4 additional inches added to the length of the rope.
Hack #3 The Sinker
When the rope just won’t go down the pocket and keeps getting hung up on something, you can tape a screw to the end before threading it down the pulley. The extra weight encourages it to fall down where it belongs. A little shaking and dancing (of the rope, not your booty) helps the job go easier too.
Hack #4 The Nuclear Option
If you just cannot get the rope to go where it needs and you’ve tried everything, it may be time for the nuclear option. Cut the paint line at the interior casing and gently pry it off, being careful not the damage the plaster.
Once it’s off, you’ll have full access to the whole weight pocket and you can fix whatever is causing the rope to get stuck. Sometimes it’s trim nails in the wrong place that can be cut off, other times, it’s poorly placed framing. Whatever it is, fix it now and test before putting the casing back on.
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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.