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Adjusting Pella Casement windows

RichT's picture

I have  Pella casement windows installed in a 16 year old home that are beginning to drag to the point that they will not shut far enough for the latch to engage.  I contacted the local Pella distributor and they said they would provide instructions on how to adjust the windows. Well the instructions came but they have no reference to how to get the casement windows back into square. Looking at the windows I don't see an easy way to adjust the window. Pella tells me that they will be glad to come out and adjust the windows for a small fortune. (The last Pella guy we had here took an entire day on one window and broke another in the process).

The windows are great and have proven to stand up well in the Colorado weather. I just would like to get them back into alignment.

Any suggestions?

(post #61393, reply #1 of 8)

let's start with a clarification.

Are the sashes out of square or ois it just loose hardware letting them sag?

or are the frames ouyt of square, and if so, is it because the house has settled?

I always like to know which dragon I am attacking. Been known to stick my sword in the wrong one before. I hate it when they call me "Wrong Gorge George, the Draggin' Slayer"



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Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #61393, reply #2 of 8)

This a pretty natural occurence given the weight of casements with IG glass over a 16 year period. The adjustment I've made is to remove the sash from the window and reposition the top hinge arm on the sash closer to the lock side. This will pull the opposite corner ( lower lock side) up and and stop it from dragging. Fill and prime the old holes.

If its been awhile that these have been sticking the hinge arm may be bent from being forced. Usually they can be put back in alignment with pliers and or a tap for a hammer.


(post #61393, reply #5 of 8)

I think you may be correct. The windows are large, so they are really heavy. Someone could make a fortune just making a set of shorter arms that could be easily replaced without having to move the holes. I have tried the shim route but the windows still do not sit square in the openning. The house is not brick but rather redwood sided and it is built like a rock. Very little settling has occured over the years and everything is still square, it is just the window itself that does not fit evenly in the frame.

The house has 20+ Pella windows in it, so I have a lot of adjustment to do.




(post #61393, reply #6 of 8)

On many of my troubleshooting outings for casement window problems I would encounter "dragging, difficult to operate, and the operator handle is stripped out" as a common complaint.   The wider the unit the more frequent the problem.

Found that removing the bottom casing and examining how the window was installed would often show that the builder had not placed a shim under the hingeside vertical frame member and on that side of the frame adjacent to the hinge position.

 Time and weight would slowly distort the frame downward/outward at the hingeside. The wider the window the greater the arc distance of movement, hence it would not open/close easily.

The "Fix" was to insert wedges and attempt to drive the window hinge jamb back up to a corrected position.  Some units corrected easily.....others required more extensive disassembly.   Worked it it one at a time.  Usually replaced the operators also since most had been over-cranked in attempt to close/open the units.

Take a look...................Iron Helix

.......Iron Helix

(post #61393, reply #3 of 8)

On Andersen windows they make a shim that you can install under the bottom hinge to lift it up enough to clear......not sure about Pella.  Sometimes you may still need to move the keeper for it to latch properly though.

House wouldn't happen to be brick, would it?  That could be another problem with a different solution.



(post #61393, reply #4 of 8)

Also the hinge and track like to get filled with junk. In my area the spiders things that they are Hilton.

I have a small brush with long fiberglass brissles that I use to clean out the works and then I spray them with a dry lube.

Aslo if the the frame and sash are both square, but the sash is askew in the frame then where the crank connects to the sash at the bottom there are 2 screws that hold the crank arm on the sash. The holes in the arm are slotted and you anc adjust that arm.

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

an easy adjustment to pella casement windows (post #61393, reply #7 of 8)

I just moved into a home a week ago with Pella casement windows.   Built in 1980.  Most windows work fine.  But some "stick" and don't close all the way or enough to engage the latch.  Here's a solution that worked for me.  If you look closely at the closing arm mechanism you'll see that there's a hook on it that catches a latch on the hardware attached to the sash.  When it gets close enough it "grabs" it and pulls the bottom of the sash tight. On the windows that I was having trouble with, the hook wasn't close enough to catch the latch.  If you unscrew the hardware from the bottom of the sash (3 screws for me) you'll see that the holes in the hardware are not round but are oval.  This allows a little bit of "play" in where the hardware attaches to the sash.  I took advantage of this play to slide the hardware as far away from the hinge as possible and then re-tighten the screws.  This moved the latch closer to the hook on the closer hardware enough that they engaged upon closing and the crank pulled the bottom of the sash tight to the frame, thus allowing the latch to close.  Worked for me.  Probably wouldn't work on a more severe problem. 

Pella Windows (post #61393, reply #8 of 8)

Wiould you suppy diagram for window  hinge adjustment which  would be helpful for unskilled homeowner.