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By Roger McNiel

Sash window refurbishment professional or DIY depends entirely on the type of work necessary, and the ability of the person doing it themselves. Replacing the cords, counterbalancing weights, or spiral pulleys can be done by a sensible amateur with all the correct information. Whilst replacing frames and whole windows is probably better left for the professionals.

There is currently plenty of information available in books and on the internet to equip the lay person to replace cords and other moving parts. Designs may vary according to the regions where the initial windows were built and replacement parts seem to be readily available. In some more modern windows the counterbalancing weight system has been replaced with a spiral balancing system. This does mean that an initial inspection is necessary before any counterbalancing or spring pulley parts can be purchased.

Windows are not light things being made from solid wooden frames and large pieces of glass and it will be necessary to remove them. DIY is never straight forward with access to places and parts causing added difficulties. It is also worth considering that the windows position may require the use of ladders to reach the work to be done.

It therefore becomes quite obvious that to attempt this work themselves a person will need to be fit and active. Plenty of people are able to do the simple refurbishment with the correct tools and knowledge, and some quite possibly a more complicated job. A person who has a successful DIY background, thinks things through and is used to hard work could find this easy.

The alternative is of course to pay a professional. If you personally do not feel able to commit to such a task then the professionals do this all the time and so make it look easy. As is always the case the downside of paying a professional to do anything is always the cost.

Time estimates seem good, with bottom cords taking around one to one and a half hours to fit, top cords around two hours and the spiral weights up to an hour. This means you have a rough idea of your labour costs. However always be prepared that your window is not a standard one, and may involve extra charges.

For this reason and the fact that the balance weight systems vary it seems a good idea to get any company out to give a quote before agreeing to have the work done. It is always wise to research the workmanship and reputation of any company before employing them. The internet is always a good source of information in this area.

Whether to choose professional or DIY sash window refurbishment is obviously dependant on the personal situation of the house owner. Armed with this information they should be able to make an informed decision as to which is right for them. This should result in an easy transformation to get the windows working like new once more.

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