STEP 1: Check Your Packages

For each window you are replacing, you should have two
Ply Gem Windows packages:

  • Ply Gem Windows Balance kit containing two balances and installation hardware.
  • Ply Gem Windows Sash kit containing two sash (one top and bottom), and one vinyl parting bead.

Before removing your existing sash, recheck your measurements to make sure you’ve ordered and received the correct size replacement sash.


STEP 2: Removal of Existing Sash

Recommended Tools & Accessories

• Carpenter Hammer
• Light Duty Pry Bar or
  Putty Knife
• Phillips Screwdriver
• Utility Knife
• Nail Set
• Small Finishing Nails
• Wood filler and  


Remove all interior window coverings and exterior screens. Carefully remove head and side stops (photo 1) with light duty pry bar or putty knife.

photo 1

If painted, score paint with utility knife to avoid damaging paint finish (photo 2). SAVE THESE PIECES to reinstall after Sash Replacement System is installed.

photo 2

If your window has a parting bead at the top of the frame, carefully remove it with a light duty pry bar or putty knife (photo 3).

photo 3

Remove all staples, nails, screws, etc. which hold balances to jambs. There may be several in each balance (photo 4).

photo 4

Neither sash nor balances are likely to fall at this point, but caution is advised.

Top sash should now be lowered to about halfway and the bottom sash raised until even with top sash.


While holding both sash at top with one hand and bottom with other hand, swing over toward you until you can grip both sash and balance together from sides (photo 5). Lift out and lay flat, out of work area.

photo 5


Spring balances will have tension on them and can fly apart when they are removed from frame.


After laying the sash and balances down, let balances, one at a time, slowly slide toward bottom of sash until spring tension is relieved.

STEP 3: Preparing the Opening …


After removing the old sash and balances, make sure the jambs and sill are clear of staples, screws, etc. Also, clean out any debris which has collected behind the old balances, check jambs and sill for possible deterioration or damage (photo 6). Make necessary repair or replacement before continuing sash installation.

photo 6

Locate your window Call Size on the Size Chart. Measure the opening from the inside of one jamb to the other side jamb. This measurement should equal the “Width" on the Size Chart. For example, the opening width for a 18210 Ply Gem Windows Sash Replacement System must measure 20". If your opening exceeds the dimension listed, a filler can be applied to the side jambs to achieve the proper net width opening.

Measure the opening from the head jamb to the sill at the sill-sash line. This measurement should equal the “Height" on the Size Chart. For example, the opening height for a 18210 Ply Gem Windows Sash Replacement system must measure 34". If your opening exceeds the dimension listed, a filler can be applied to the head jamb to achieve the proper net height opening.

Fillers can be cut from material such as plywood or furring strips. If your jamb requires a filler to meet the width or height requirements, this can be handled easily. You’ll need to determine how much space needs to be filled in and cut the plywood or furring strips to fit. You’ll then want to apply the filler to the jamb with finishing nails.

STEP 4: Test for Balance Fit


Position new balances against side jamb with sloped part of balance resting on the sill (photo 7). To do this, place top of balance up against head jamb, between head parting stop and side jamb. Now swing bottom in flat against jamb. Balance should go in place without force. If balance is too long or does not fit angle of sill, a hacksaw or sandpaper on a block can be used to make a minor trim. DO NOT CUT TOO SHORT. Balances that are cut too short will allow excess air and water to infiltrate. Remove balance before continuing.

photo 7

4b. Placing Balance Blocks …
Find the small black rubber blocks included with the balance kit. Four blocks must be placed into each balance before balance is attached to the clips. Turn the balance with the back facing you (the back has the foam cushion strip). At the short side of the angle-cut end, place the first black rubber block 1" from the corner (photo 8).

photo 8

Place the other black rubber blocks and the bottom (photo 10) and top (photo 9) pads as shown in photo 11.

photo 9
photo 10
photo 11

4d. Placing Clips Where and how many?

photo 12a

photo 12b

photo 12c

photo 12d

photo 12

4e. Attaching the Balance
Align balance with its proper jamb, foam cushion toward jamb and long side of the slant cut end to the outside. With balance against clips (photo 13), press onto each side of clip (photo 14). Be sure both sides of each clip attach to balance. Follow the same procedure to attach the opposite balance.

photo 13
photo 14

STEP 5: Install Ply Gem Windows Tilt Sash …


Install top sash first. Identify this sash as being the one with the keeper installed, not the lock. Install it into the sash guide in the outside track of the balance. Hold sash at an angle, with exterior side up and with pins toward the window opening. Insert right sash pin into the hole in the sash guide, in balance (photo 15).

photo 15

While sash remains at an angle, pull down and insert left side pin into left sash guide hole. Level sash and swing up into track (photo 16).

photo 16

Repeat the procedure for the bottom sash, in the inside track (photo 17 & 18).

Move sash (both) up and down stopping at different heights. Sash should not creep up or down. If it does, follow the instructions listed in “Adjusting Balance System …”

photo 17
photo 18

STEP 6: Finishing the Job …


Replace side and head stops, fill holes with wood filler. (photos 19, 20, 21).

photo 19
photo 20
photo 21

Replace parting bead using the vinyl parting bead included, hollow bulb toward sash (photo 22). Apply caulking and finish to wood sash and as needed on woodwork.

photo 22

Keep paint and/or finish off of all balances, weather stripping and all hardware. Do not paint edges of sash that slide against balances. For Clad Wood sash DO NOT PAINT OR STAIN VINYL exterior. For Vinyl sash DO NOT PAINT OR STAIN any part of the VINYL. Vinyl surfaces of Ply Gem Windows Sash Replacement Systems can be cleaned as needed with mild soap and water only. If sash sticks or drags after installation is complete, wipe balance edges with silicone based (not oil) lubricant.


• How to Tilt Ply Gem Windows Sash …


Position the bottom sash in the middle of opening, vertically. Always tilt and/or remove the bottom sash first. Next, grasp the top corners of the sash while compressing the balance toward the side jamb and pulling the sash toward you as shown in photo 23.

photo 23

The sash will then swing over into the tilt position (photo 24).

photo 24




• How to Remove Ply Gem Windows Sash …


With the bottom sash in the tilt position, allow one side (left or right) of the sash to rise until the pin (in the bottom corner of sash) releases (photo 25).

photo 25

Side springs are under tension and may release pressure as you raise the corner of the sash to release pin from balance.


• Adjusting Balance System …


Remove sash that needs adjusting. Each sash guide has one adjustment screw located at the top of the guide (photo 26). Photo 26 to come Using a flat blade screw driver, turn the adjustment screw slowly and gently clockwise until screw stops.

photo 26



Re-install sash and test for proper operation. Sash should move up and down freely but should hold position when opened midway. If sash is too tight after you made this adjustment then remove sash again and loosen adjustment screws a ¼ turn counter-clockwise. Re-install sash and test for proper operation. Repeat this procedure until sash operates properly.