Window Replacement Process

Window Replacement Process

You’ve decided it’s time to replace your drafty, ill-fitting windows, but just what does the replacement window installation process actually look like? Becoming familiar with these steps will help you feel more comfortable with the project. Learn more about the window replacement process here.

Your window replacement experience depends on whether you are replacing the same size and style window with a replacement window or if your project includes replacing the actual frame of the window due to damage or a change in shape or size. Before either installation process occurs, your window professional will come out to measure. That measurement is important to ensure you replace your old window with one that will fit exactly to ensure maximum energy efficiency and functionality.

Pocket installation

One of the two main ways to install your new windows is pocket installation, which is the easiest way to go about it. There are a few factors that determine if pocket installation is the way to go for you:

  • This option is available if you are replacing an old casement window with a new one of the same size and type.
  • If you’re looking for a quick, affordable window replacement option
  • If your home’s exterior is brick, stucco, or any other material that would make it difficult to do a full frame replacement

Here’s what to expect if you do decide to do a pocket installation in 5 general steps:

  1. Your professional will cover anything susceptible to any damage during the installation process.
  2. The old window will be removed. It is not uncommon for the glass to crack or break, but ideally your contractor will avoid this.       Any deteriorated material will also be removed from the frame.
  3. The new window is then positioned to be put in place. This is an important step in making sure that there are no gaps between the window and the frame.
  4. The window is sealed, caulked and insulated to ensure energy efficiency. This process should be done on both the interior and exterior of the window.
  5. Extra debris will be collected from the surrounding area and a final inspection should be done.


Full Frame Installation

The second and more complex way to replace your windows is a full-frame installation process, where every part of the window is removed and replaced. This is a more labor-intensive project and will tend to cost more to cover the price of extra materials and labor hours needed. There are a few reasons why you may want to consider a full frame installation:

  • If your house is older, and the windowsills are deteriorated. Pocket installations will not be as effective if the windowsills do not work efficiently.
  • If you’re looking to add curb appeal and change the look of your windows. There are many different types of windows, and an upgrade would add considerable value to your home.
  • If you are changing the shape, size or type of window you are replacing


Here is an overview of the general process of a full-frame installation. You can find a more specific guide here.

  1. After covering the area to protect it from any damage, a professional will remove the window and frame in its entirety.
  2. The opening is sealed around the sides to prevent air from seeping through.
  3. The new window is then measured and positioned to be put into place, sealed, caulked and exterior trim replaced.

The downside of a full replacement window is that it will usually take a lot longer than pocket installation, which usually only takes about one day.

Getting Your Windows Replaced

It’s important to your home’s integrity and energy efficiency to measure and install your replacement windows correctly. Our experts at Thompson Creek are trained to make sure the job is done right. Call us for a free estimate for your replacement windows, including installation today.