How Do You Fix a Misaligned Window?

Misaligned window are more than a homeowner annoyance, they can be a sign of something more serious happening.  You’ll want to fix your misaligned windows as soon as possible.

fixing a misaligned window

Why Does It Happen?

Misaligned windows can happen when the foundation of your home settles over time.  You might notice things like uneven walls or doorframes, especially if you’re waist deep in a painting project and realize you’re not edging in a straight line.  It’s perfectly normal, but if anything, a bit annoying, which is certainly the case when you’re trying to close a window that’s suffered from this natural foundational shift.

Misalignment can also be the consequence of an improperly installed window.  It’s the unfortunate case of an unqualified contractor or a window of poor-quality construction.  A misaligned window is enough of reason to seek out well reputable contractors to install your windows.  You don’t have to buy a top-of-the-line window to avoid misalignment, either, but you should purchase ones that are durable and insulating.

Another factor to consider is the warping of wood.  Almost all wooden windows fall victim to warping over time.  Wood is a material that swells when exposed to outside elements like rain or humidity.  Its nature doesn’t wick away moisture like vinyl, but rather it absorbs it, causing the material to expand.  This, of course, can cause issues with window alignment.  You might notice that after time your wooden windows are more difficult to close, some not even wanting to open or close at all.

Wood windows can also suffer damage, more often than their vinyl or fiberglass counterparts.  If not maintained, wooden window frames can become damaged, and this will hinder their ability to open and close smoothly, sometimes getting stuck in the track.

How to Fix Misalignment

There are many ways to try to fix a misaligned window, just as there are many reasons as to why the window became misaligned.

Quick Fixes

If you’re lucky, there may just be a simple and quick fix you can employ to realign your window.  You’ll want to try these easier methods first before considering the more involved solutions.

First, try lifting and pushing on the window to realign it.  The fix could just be that the foundation shifted, and the frame and window just need a nudge back into place.  When the house’s foundation shifts, it can cause the frame to distort, and the window sash channels won’t line up with the window and you’ll find you can no longer open and close it.  The majority of windows are designed so that the locks rely on a mechanism that requires the window’s two sections to align to securely lock.  So, try lifting or pushing on the window while attempting to shut it at the same time.  Lift and push around the window lock while trying to lock it.  If the foundation hasn’t shifted dramatically, this simple action of lifting and pushing while trying to lock the window could realign it.

If that doesn’t work, next try investigating the sliding track.  The sliding track might need cleaned and lubricated to allow the window to open and close.


The next stage of window alignment solutions is repairs.  If your windows are wooden, you could be experiencing misalignment due to the wood warping from moisture.  Severe warping means you’ll need to replace the section of wood so the window can realign and work properly again.  You might be able to sand the window frame down and apply a new stain to fix it.

repairing a misaligned window

Your window could also be misaligned due to old caulking.  It’s not a difficult repair to re-caulk the windows, but you’ll need to make sure you get the appropriate product for the window application.  Re-caulking can prevent moisture from building up and help keep the window functioning smoothly.


In some cases, a full window replacement is the best option.  Consider replacement if:

  • You have multiple windows that are misaligned and not opening or closing properly.
  • Your windows are severely damaged and cannot be fixed with repairs.
  • Your windows are suffering from other signs of needing replaced like fogging, condensation, poor insulation, and energy inefficiency.

Although window replacements can get expensive, you’ll actually fair better savings wise if you upgrade to energy efficient windows. Over time, you’ll find that your utility bill is lower and you’re saving dramatically on monthly energy costs thanks to Energy Star certified window replacements.  Having a professional window installer replace your windows will also give you peace of mind that your new windows have been installed correctly and are no longer misaligned.

Before you consider reselling your home, you’ll want to make sure that your window situation is resolved.  Windows are a major feature than new buyers look into, and new windows are undeniably a worthy investment that you’ll see a return on while you live in your home and when you go to resell.

When it comes to windows, you want something that will be energy-efficient all year round, working parts that are conditioned to last for a long time, and a secure window that won’t invite intruders. All those qualities and perks are found at Feldco. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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