By Gene and Katie Hamilton

If you have a drafty old wooden double-hung window that lets heated or cooled air escape, you don't necessarily have to install a new window. An alternative is using a sash replacement kit. It's an attractive addition, not to mention an energy-efficient one - a good solution for many old homes.

A carpenter will charge $450 to rebuild a 30- by 54-inch window with a sash replacement kit. This includes labor and material. If you have basic carpentry skills and tools, and a sense of adventure, you can buy the kit and do the job for $325. The sash replacement kit from Jeld-Wen is made of solid pine with exteriors either primed or wood clad. It comes in various lengths and is sold through their dealers.

The kit components include a lower and upper sash, parting stop, jamb liners, sash lock and brackets to complete the installation. For tools you need a hammer, screwdriver, putty knife or pry bar, pliers and nail set.

In general, the project involves removing the old sash and preparing the frame for new jamb liners with brackets, and securing them on both sides. After jamb liners are snapped in place, you install the head parting stop and then the upper and lower sashes. Since you're dealing with an old window, it's not likely that the frame is perfectly square, so some creative nudging and shimming may be required.

The average price to replace a window sash noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.

Cost updated 2014

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  • DIY71%
  • PRO29%