Replacing Window Locks

window locksAs per the International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection set by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, B to B Home Inspections will inspect a representative number of windows by opening and closing them along with checking the locking mechanisms.

It’s not uncommon to discover in your report that one, a few or many of your window locks are not in working order. Since this poses a safety and security risk, dysfunctional window locks will be reported.

It’s a simple fix!

Before the home inspection, sellers can easily change out known inefficient locks.  If not, sellers can await the inspection report and then replace the locks should the buyer request in the negotiations. However, if you are looking for a cleaner report with minimal issues, consider fixing these little locks in advance.


Take a photograph of the broken sash locks. Take some measurements from screw hole to screw hole.  Have both on hand as your browse through the locks at the hardware store. Match up the exact size of your current window lock with one of the window locks in the store.

Alternatively, if you happen to have records of the original window manufacturer, consider sending those photos to a windows-parts dealer to ensure an exact match replacement.

Installing Locks

If your locks are secured with rivets, you will need to remove the old sash locks by drilling out the rivets. If your locks are secured with screws, use a philips head screw driver to simply unscrew the lock.

There’s no need to remove the keeper (the stable part of the locking system), unless it, too, is broken.

Set the new locking mechanism in place on the sash and secure it with pop rivets or screws depending on what design your locking mechanism calls for.

Drive the new rivets into the old rivet holes. You will need a rivet gun for locks secured with rivets.

If this is too much of a bother, simply seek out a home handyman to take care of it all.