Opening windows sideways
November 27, 2006 2:56 PM   Subscribe

My flat recently had new windows installed that have hinges on the side and at the bottom, allowing them to open inwards either way. I can't figure out how to get them to open sideways. Anyone have any suggestions?

According to the instructions, turning the handle 90 degrees allows the window to "tilt" (open at the top, which works) - and turning it another 90 degrees makes it "turn" (open at the side), which I need to do to clean them. The problem is the bottom hinge doesn't seem to be disengaging, so the window won't open at all with the handle in the turn position.

The instructions they gave us are very confusing and generalised for all models, and mention having the key in various positions that make no sense, but I've tried every combination and nothing works. There aren't any visible locks or other controls I could fiddle with. Is there something I'm doing wrong, or does it sound like the windows are faulty? They're standard issue uPVC double glazing.

(The windows were paid for by the building management company, so it's pretty much impossible for me to complain to anyone who might know something)
posted by cillit bang to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
There are windows like this on my house and they work, but inversely to how you say: 90 degrees = turn, 180 degrees = tilt. One of them is a little sticky and you have to lift up slightly on the handle - lifting the window up - to get it to "turn".
posted by jet_silver at 3:09 PM on November 27, 2006

Response by poster: Actually it's to get the building up to a minimum standard of decency.
posted by cillit bang at 4:05 PM on November 27, 2006

If these are the kind of windows I'm thinking of (like these) the problem is often that as you go past the 90 degree mark the window open very slightly at the top and with the top slightly open they're locking into that plane of motion only. If you push on the top of the window whilst turning the handle to 180 degrees then you may have better luck.

Once you've done it once or twice then you'll get the knack of it.
posted by koshmar at 5:38 PM on November 27, 2006

Because I can't see your windows and fiddle with them, I'm not sure I'll be much help (do you have any friends who already have them in their flats who could come over and fiddle?).

But, I did use to have windows like these, and they were tricky. And both of them broke eventually. What happened was that, after a couple of years of use, the bottom latches would not disengage at all (perhaps something got stripped?), so the windows would only tilt open at the top. When I turned the handle to the position (and also pushed and jiggled the window at the same time) that used to open the window all the way, whatever had used to happen to disengage the bottom latches no longer happened. Since yours are new, I know that it's probably not stripped. I share my story, however, because maybe something else is wrong with the mechanism, and perhaps you have to call the manufacturer. Perhaps whatever is supposed to disengage is not disengaging.

But I would try pushing and jiggling first.
posted by mosessis at 7:25 PM on November 27, 2006

I have windows like that. Turning the handle 90 degrees downwards opens them at the top; 90 degrees upwards opens them from the side. Simple, but as the others said, can be tricky/sticky.
posted by defreckled at 7:32 PM on November 27, 2006

I had these in Germany. They're wonderful. You have to start with the window closed, or go to closed (and locked) to get to a different position. If you mess up, you can end up with the window hanging from a single hinge! It didn't break, but sure couldn't have been good for the window mechanism.
posted by Goofyy at 12:10 AM on November 28, 2006

I have the same sort of windows and my experience is that Koshmar's advice may be helpful. You definitely need to make sure the window is perfectly closed, which in my case involves hammering on the top, before you can open it the other way.
posted by patricio at 3:37 AM on November 28, 2006

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