Installing Replacement Windows

Installing Replacement Windows

If your home has aging single-pane windows, you should strongly consider replacing them with energy efficient windows. They will lower your heating and cooling expenses while also increasing the value of your home. An investment in your property, new windows can be installed by the professionals, or you can do the work yourself.

Take Measurements

Begin by taking measurements for your window. With accurate measurements, you can rest assured that the new window will fit perfectly. A tightly fitting window is more efficient and will work reliably. The width is found by measuring between the window jambs. The jamb is the stationary part of the window that the sashes slide along. Measure at the top, bottom and center, and then use the most narrow measurement.

Find the height by measuring from the top of the window sill to the bottom of the head jamb. As with the width, measure at three points and then use the smallest measurements. Have the window ordered, or pick up a ready-made window from your home improvement store. Accurate measurements are essential to ensure that the new window fits properly and works smoothly.

Necessary Tools

If you are going to install your own windows, you will need some basic tools. Assemble the following tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Pry bar
  • Caulk gun and caulk
  • Replacement window and shims
  • Square
  • Chisel and utility knife
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Level

Remove the Original Window

Demolition can make anyone a little nervous, but removing old windows is not as difficult as you might think. The replacement window will fit neatly inside your existing frame, so you only have to remove the sashes and stop pieces. Work from the inside of your home to make the process easier.

Start by pulling out the stop pieces. Take care with this step because you will re-use the equipment. Remove the inside sash, cutting the weights or cords as you go. Leave these items in place in the window. Take the outside sash to the bottom of the window and discard the parting beads. Leave the exterior stop in place to retain the new window when it is installed.

Install New Window

Use shims where necessary to secure the frame and hold it in place. Place the header in the top of the window and caulk it. With the window open, check to be sure it is square. Place shims in position as necessary to keep it square. With the window plumb and centered in the frame, use screws to secure it to the frame. Pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the wood in the original frame. When installing the screws, make sure they are firm enough to hold the window in place without distorting the frame. Caulk the window on the inside and outside, then reinstall the interior stops.

Replacement windows are reasonably easy to install, but you must take care to install them properly. If the windows are not perfectly plumb, the sashes will be more likely to stick or warp. The window will not be as energy efficient, and it may break as a result. Consider trusting this job to the professionals to ensure that your windows are properly installed and will be as energy efficient as possible.