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Home Contractors

A Step-By-Step Guide to Window Replacement

A significant choice, window replacement can alter the style and atmosphere of your house. But the process is more manageable than you might think if you follow a step-by-step guide.

Start by measuring the window’s width and height. Run tape from the jamb to the frame on both sides to get the exact measurements, using the smallest value as your best estimate.

Measure the Window

Measuring the window is the first stage in window replacement. It will assist you in deciding how to replace it best.

If you have some free time, it is easy to measure the width and height of your window. Extend a tape measure from the inner jambs on both sides of the frame to determine the window’s size.

Repeat the same procedure for the height. This time, measure from the head jamb on the left, middle, and right sides.

Once you have the three measurements, compare them to find the smallest one. Use this measurement to order your new windows.

Remove the Old Windows

If your home was built before 1940, you might have double-hung windows with sash weights and cords. These are typically installed in side jambs and require simple but thorough removal to make way for new windows.

In the meantime, remove any flashing, trim, and brick molding to give yourself access to the window. A hammer and flat bar can help to loosen the nails that hold the old window in place.

Next, remove the interior stops, which are located on each side of the frame as vertical stripes. With a putty knife or pry bar, gently push them out of the structure and away from the wall.

Then, install the replacement window against the interior stop. Test fit it to ensure it’s level and plumb before installing the screws. If not, add shims to prop up one side of the window from underneath. These can be scraps of wood approximately 1/8 to 1/4 in thick, depending on the type of window replacement you’re installing.

Window Replacement

Install the New Windows

Installing new windows can be overwhelming, but a few simple steps can help you make it go smoothly. This step-by-step guide will walk you through everything from removing the old window to installing the new one.

Start by measuring the window in the top, middle, and bottom. It will help you determine the best size to buy.

Next, remove the old trim, molding, and window stops. Depending on the window type, these pieces can be reused or discarded.

Removing these pieces can be challenging, but you can save time by scoring the edges with a utility knife and prying them out with a putty knife or pry bar.

Before installing your replacement window, ensure it is level and plumb (a perfectly straight vertical line). It can be accomplished by securing the sash to the jamb with screws.

Seal the Window

A suitable window replacement results from careful measurements, quality materials, and a thorough installation understanding. The right seals can keep your windows energy-efficient and reduce heating and cooling costs.

Generally, the most common sources of heat loss at windows are gaps between sashes and frames. Small cracks can cause cold air to enter the home and warm air to escape increasing energy bills.

Use caulk around exterior window moldings and under the sill pan to prevent gaps. The insulating film is another excellent way to prevent leaks.

Measure the size of your old window and determine if you need to add shims between the window frame and the sill to ensure it’s plumb, level, and square.

To help keep your new window level secure, insert shims or scraps of wood 1/8 to 1/4 in (0.32- to 0.64 cm) thick between the window frame and the sill on both sides. Once you’re happy with the fit, screw in the pre-drilled holes using a 2 in (5.1 cm) long screw.