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There are many reasons why people should think about replacing their old windows like problems opening or closing, drafts, excess noise etc. According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value Report,” when updating windows, homeowners can expect up to an 85 percent return on investment. Coupled with the energy cost savings, it usually pays to replace.

When choosing replacement windows, look for ones that are designed for installation into existing window frames as the process is quicker, simpler and often as effective. This is especially true for brick or stucco exterior homes. Vinyl replacement windows are inexpensive, easy to install and easy to maintain. Vinyl replacement windows are only one of the alternatives available. Also up for consideration: aluminum, wood and wood clad, though Vinyl replacement windows are the most energy efficient, easiest to clean, and add maintenance free beauty to any home. They are the window of choice by most replacement window sellers and contractors.

It’s not a difficult job either. With some help from where you are buying the replacement window, you can manage the job yourself and save a lot of money.

Step #1
This is the most important part of the installation procedure. It is critical that you measure your old window opening properly and accurately. Accurate measurements ensure that your windows fit properly for maximum energy savings and ease of installation.
Take all measurements from inside your home.

 How to install new replacement windows

  • To find the width, measure from the inside of the jamb on one side of the window to the inside of the jamb on the other side of the window. Take more than one measurement then use the smallest measurement minus ½” for the width of your replacement window. This half inch allow ¼” on each side for the foam insulation.
  • Tip: Be sure you measure all the way to the jambs as measuring only to the stops will cause your new windows to be too small.

  • To find the height, measure from the top of the sill to the bottom of the window’s head jamb. Again measure in more than one place and again use the shortest measurement minus ½” for the height of your replacement window.

Step #2
Remove the old window
Since the replacement window fits inside the existing window frame, you only have to remove the inside stop from the existing window, parting bead and the sashes. All this work can be done safely from inside your home.
 How to install new replacement windows

  • First remove the inside stop pieces from the window taking care when removing them as you can reuse them when installing the new window.
  • Remove the inside sash. Sometimes the old window will use counter weights, just cut the sash cords and let the weights fall to the bottom of their wells. Don’t worry, just simply leave them there.
  • Remove the parting beads and discard. Remove the outside sash the same way you removed the inside sash. Don’t remove the exterior stop from the window jambs as these stops will give the replacement window something to stop against when you install it.
  • If your old window had weights there will be pulleys at the top, just knock them into the frame. Clean up the window jambs and sill thoroughly. Then fill any holes or cracks in the jambs or sill with some caulk.

Step #3
Install the new window
Take your time installing and adjusting your new window as poorly installed or adjusted windows loose energy and aren’t easy to operate.
 How to install new replacement windows

  • Place the window in the opening and check for square. If the window is not square in the opening, shim as needed to square it. (On most windows there is a hole near the top and bottom on each side sometimes they are hidden behind the bumper stops.) Install a mounting screw at the top and bottom of each side jamb. Be careful not to install the screws too tightly as this will deform the side jambs.
  • Slide the top and bottom sashes up and down to check for gaps and smooth operation. If the sashes do not operate smoothly, (this is rear) check to make sure there isn’t something out of place or where it shouldn’t be.
  • Insulate around the window. Today this is done with low expansion spray foam insulation. You can buy it where you bought the windows or at a lumber dealer.
  • TIP: BE CAREFUL with the foam! If it gets on something it will not come off so protect yourself and your house. Also once a can is used and left for 10 minutes it is no longer useable, so if you are installing more than one window install them all and then insulate them.
     How to install new replacement windows

  • After the foam has set (only a few minutes). Cut away any excess then caulk the inside of the window and reinstall the inside stops.
  • The outside of the window may need a small wedge piece of wood under the sill of the new window to support the window and to fill the void. You should also foam insulate here before installing this piece. Then caulk the complete outside of the window to the old frame.
  • While you are here you may want to repaint the outside of the window. An alternative on the outside is to cap all the exposed wood with aluminum which will give a maintenance free exterior to the window. In order to do this you will need to have a break to bend the aluminum (but that is for another time) or hire a contractor but it really is the way to go.

There are many extras you can add to your window order. Low-E glass is one of the extras that is well worth the little extra in cost. It reflects heat back to its source, helping to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter making it more energy efficient. Low-E is also a barrier against ultraviolet rays that can cause your furniture, flooring, carpeting and drapery to fade.
Be aware that there is an order time to get these custom built replacement windows. Typically it will take between two to four weeks from the time you order them to get them into your hands.

Vinyl replacement windows are the most common and easily installed technology for upgrading the energy performance of your home. The time it will take you to replace one window will depend on your abilities, but be assured after you have the first one in the rest will seem like a snap. Professionals can install a normal sized window without capping in under an hour.

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One Response to “How to install new replacement windows”

There are some simple steps you could follow. Avoid extreme temperatures, improve visual appearance, and give our homes an elegant look.