Replacement Windows: How To Replace Your Own Windows
Article by Kevin Germain
Replacing windows is not really as difficult as you would think it is. It is not imperative that you hire professional window installers when replacing an individual window. It will take a little bit of sweat equity, some instructions, general household tools and a little bit of time and you can install your replacement window. Every type and brand of windows is a little bit different so it is imperative to look into the directions that came with your window to properly install it.
So the first thing you will need to do to install your replacement window is to get together all the tools you will need to complete the project. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of the job and realize you don’t have everything you need to do a finish the job. Most jobs will be completed with items you have around the house from previous work that you might have done. The following is a detailed list for most replacement windows. Be sure to double check the instructions included in the box with your new replacement window also. You will need; clear caulk and caulk gun, a small pry bar, hammer, tape measure, shims, square, level, utility knife, chisel for wood, drill, sandpaper, saw and the actual window.
The first step to replacing a window is to order the replacement window. You will want to take measurement from the inside window jam. You will take six measurements in total. First measure the middle of the window jamb to the opposite middle of the jamb from top to bottom and then side to side. The other four measurements will be to the left and right of the first two measurements from the center of the window. You will use the smallest measurement you get. There will be a difference in measurements from wear and time but hopefully they will be within a quarter inch of each other.
The next step is to remove the old window. From the inside of the house you will remove the stops and sash. The sash is the moving part of the window and the stops are the part that prevents the sash form falling into the house. You will want to be very careful and try and salvage whatever materials you can from the existing window to use in the replacement. This includes the window sash and stops. You may need to use your utility knife and shims to protect some materials. By running the knife down the cut any paint that might have adhered to the old window.
The next thing you will need to do is prepare the frame for the window to be installed. This will include patching holes, taking care of splintered wood and adding insulation. You will want to place the window into the prepared site to get a feel for how it is going to fit into the new space. Once you have positioned it so that it is leveled you can go ahead with the actual installation of the replacement window.
You must first caulk the inside and outside then install the sill angle and secure the header and footer into the space. It is then time to add the window. Using the square and level you will want to put the window in place and add shims to create fit. You will then insert screws into the jamb and the window should be in place. You should then test the window to make sure it is working correctly. Slide the window open and closed. If it is not smooth you will need to adjust the screws. If the ends of the shims are sticking out you will need to cut them so that they are flush. The window will need to be caulked on the inside and the inside stops installed. There you have it a finished window that you replaced on your own.