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How To Replace uPVC Window Hinges

Most double glazed windows have what we call friction stays, or window hinges, and these are very popular amongst the majority of upvc windows you will find these days, and historically too. Here we are going to show you how to find the correct set of upvc window hinges to replace what you have currently installed on the window.
Replacing a pair of upvc window hinges is a relatively straightforward job for most people if you follow the basic guidelines. With so many of these hinges having been used over the years on double glazed windows, and the fact that there has been some standardisation, the job is not as difficult as you would first imagine. So here we show you how to ensure that you select the correct upvc window hinges by size and orientation where appropriate. Although most of the time you will find this hinge on upvc windows they have also been used on aluminium and timber windows. In the rare eventuality that the window hinges are not the same as the type indicated you can send a picture to our Technical Support team who will happy to advise you further.
How to find the correct upvc window hinges (with quick links):

Some basic assumptions to be reminded of:

  1. Hinges are sold in pairs.
  2. Each hinge has to be fitted to the correct side of the window, for example, the arrow on the hinge is the direction of the window opening. You will be supplied with a pair that contains one of each. See the video below for more guidance.
  3. Standard hinges have a stack height of 13mm but we supply a kit of special packers to make this up to 15mm or 17mm if needed including instructions. You can therefore generally ignore this point. When we say stack height we are generally referring to the depth of the hinge but this is impossible to measure on the window, hence why we take the 'kit' approach so you don't have to worry about it.
  4. The first corner fixing holes on the track and the arm are generally standard but the others aren't. No need to worry as new holes can be re-spotted easily enough for the remaining holes. Check the diagrams of each hinge if you want to know more.


Watch The Short Video


Step 1: How To Measure The Overall Width Of The Track
Generally speaking most upvc window hinges are a standard size of 18mm these days, but some double glazing hinges on older upvc or aluminium windows are actually 15mm so it is important to measure this size carefully.
Do remember it is the outer most size of the track and not the inner size that you need.
If you want to change to other types of frcition stays then this is possible. Typical examples being hinges with inbuilt restrictors and fire-escape hinges. The most important determinant in order to do this is the hinge track width. Otherwise if you are just looking to replace your hinges then it is easy enough to use a standard size hinge.
Measure the friction stay track width


Step 2: How To Measure The Overall Length Of The Track
This step is really easy to do and all you need to remember is that it is the total length (including the end cap) of the friction stay track on the fixed frame. We generally don't worry about the arm length fixed to the opening frame.


Upvc window hinges are generally sold in the old imperial inch sizes, but it is easy enough to convert to millimetres (x 25.4). When measuring you can quite easily round up to the nearest inch increment and feel safe with the size.


Some older sizes may not be found like a 10 inch side hung window hinge but if you have the room inside the window you can use the 12 inch. All that happens is that you sacrifice a small amount of geometry that moves the window out slightly more into the middle but not by a great deal.
How to meausre the friction stays length


Step 3: How To Determine Side Hung Or Top Hung Orientation Hinges
This one confuses everyone!
Side hung hinges are fixed to the top and bottom of the window.
Top hung hinges are fitted to the sides of the window (left and right).
See the diagram opposite to confirm this and to help you further the position of the handle usually confirms this also - handle on the side means a side hung window.
The above is correct when viewed from the inside of the window not the outside.
If you are wondering why there needs to be a difference and why it is important then consider the weight on the bottom hinge of a side hung window. All the weight of the window is on the bottom hinge and so the hinge is designed differently to accommodtae a load bearing washer to help the window glide under the higher degree of weight, compared to a top hung window where the weight is equally distributed on the sides.
How to determine top hung or side hung frition stays


Quick Troubleshoot Section
The window doesn't close correctly leaving a gap in the corner.
The hinges have been opened incorrectly and placed on the wrong side of the window. Always check you are opening the hinges in the direction of the arrow only before fitting. If you open them incorrectly they can be returned to their correct position and re-fitted. Watch the video above for more.
My window seems to scrape metal against metal when closing
This is a common case of a top hung hinge being used on a side hung window.
My window has rivets but I want to use screws
You are best advised to maintain the same fixing method as there is a reason why they are being used. Most, if not all, aluminium windows are held onto the frames by rivets.





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