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install replacement windows

How to Install Replacement Windows

If you have a house with old windows, then you know how vital it is to install replacement windows. However, not many know that this is a task which can be done by almost anyone. In fact, if you have the right tools and skills, you can save hundreds by installing your own replacement windows. Indeed, vinyl windows are low maintenance and energy efficient. In general, many have switched to vinyl windows due to their great features. Learn how easy it is to install replacement windows.

Options to Install Replacement Windows

To Start, know that you have two options when you install windows: full-frame and insert. Firstly, full-frame windows replace the entire window down to the house frame. Notably, these are best when the old window frame is rotting or breaking down, or if you are working with a rough opening. However, this is more complex to install because you have to remove the inside and outside trims. In fact, you may need to remove the siding. If the frame is in good shape, then you could use insert windows. Sometimes, these are called pocket windows. Indeed, these are best used when you need to fit in smaller windows to the existing frame. Of course, this is a less advanced project than full-frame windows because you are not taking out the frame. Remember, there are many types of windows that could be installed, such as sliding windows, picture windows, and casement windows. However, this construction method works best on a normal home window. Specialty windows may call for special installations. If so, call a local company to help you install windows.

Tools & Materials

Next, you need to obtain the right tools. This is what you should need:
  • Cordless drill
  • Caulk Gun
  • Hammer
  • Hearing protection
  • Level
  • Pry bar
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • Flashing Tape
  • Utility knife
  • Acrylic caulk
  • Foam backer rod
  • Insulation

Measuring to Install Replacement Windows

Before you start to install replacement windows, you should know what size windows to get. First, measure the width of the old existing window frame. Remember, measure from jamb to jamb to get the right measurement. To do this, measure from the top, middle, and bottom, then write down the smallest of the three numbers. Next, measure the frame’s height from the top of the sill to the underside of the head jamb in three places: at the left jamb, in the middle, and at the right. Again, record the smallest measurement. Then, measure the frame from each diagonal. To explain, measure from the top right to the bottom left, then from the top left to the bottom right. Don’t forget, these measurements should be the same Lastly, you can measure the slope of the sill with an angle measurement tool. Once all this is done, order your new windows.

Remove the Old Window

First, remove your storm windows. Sometimes, you may need to unscrew them to that them out. Second, take out any sashes and sash weights. Firstly, deal with the sash weights. If your window has these, cut the cord on them and let the weight fall inside the frame. If your window has sash springs, raise the sash near the top of the window and cut off the plastic covers. Then, remove the screws on the spring while holding it in place. Third, identify where the stops are. Remember, these stops will be placed back where they are once you install the replacement windows. Then, you can score the window with a utility knife to where the stop meets the frame. If you have a double hung window, it may be harder to remove the stops than a single hung window. Remember, they will be in different spots. After this, you should be able to pry the stops off. If not, use an oscillating saw to cut them out. Now, all of this should allow you to take out the sash. To do this, press in the jamb liners and pull the top of the sash forward. This should allow you to pivot one side of the sash upward and take it out of the frame.

Prep for Installation

After the old window has been removed, prep the frame so you can install replacement windows properly. First, clean the window opening and frame. Indeed, you can use a vacuum to clear any dust off the frame. Also, scrape off loose paint and patch any holes or cracks with wood putty. Then, you can sand the jamb liners. Now, there are two ways you can prep the frame. For one, you can apply flashing tape to keep the window in place. Then, after you make sure the sill is level, dry-fit the window to see if it would fit. However, you could also use fiberglass insulation to fit your window in. Of course, this is best to use on fiberglass windows. To do this, make sure any fiberglass is pulled out and cleaned from the sill. Then, make 3/8-inch-diameter holes, one near each end and one in the center, down through the sill and up through the head jamb.

Install Replacement Windows

No matter which method you used to prep the windows, the next step is to install them. First, caulk the opening of the window. To start, apply beads of caulk at the top of the frame and the stops. Also, apply two continuous beads at the sill. Second, you can install and secure the replacement window. From the inside of the room, set the bottom of the insert window onto the sill, then tip it into the opening. Remember, press it until it reaches the inside stops and into the caulk. Then, screw it in loosely to secure the door into position. At this point, check the sashes so they sit evenly on the frame. Indeed, it is vital to make sure the window is level and square on all sides to extend the life of your window. If you did not use the insulation method before, close any gaps in the window with spray foam insulation. Also, you may need to install trim on the outside. First, use a knife to cut the sill adapter to the right size. Next, drill weep holes at the bottom of the adapter and lock it into place. To explain, these holes let rain water drain out. Finally, install the exterior trim with finish nails and seal the edges with beads of caulk. Remember to caulk the interior trim as well.

Install Replacement Windows the Right Way

Notably, it may seem hard to install replacement windows the right way. However, with the right skills and tools, it can be an easy task. If you need help installing windows, Titan Construction can help. Call the number below.