Installing replacement windows is a job that can be intimidating to many because it involves removing the old windows. But the reality is that the job is pretty straightforward, and with the basic tools and skills, you may be able install your own replacement windows. This could save you hundreds of dollars in installation charges per window.
In this guide, we’ll outline how replacement windows are installed, so you will have a better understanding of the job should you choose to do it yourself.
First, Measure for the Replacement Window
Before you can install a replacement window, you need to know the measurements, so you can be sure you order the right sized replacement. To do this, you need to measure inside the existing frame, not the gap between the stops that hold the sashes in place. To get the right measurement, you will need to open the lower sash.
When taking height measurements, you want to take three measurements – one at the left, at the middle, and at the right interior of the window. The same applies when measuring the width. Take measurements at the top, middle, and bottom. When ordering your replacement windows, order the dimensions based on the smallest height and width measurements.
Removing the Old Window
Windows vary in how they’re constructed, so the steps needed to remove yours may be different than what’s listed here. In most cases, however, the following steps include:
- Remove the storm windows (if applicable) by scoring along the edge of the storm window frame with a utility knife, removing the screws and using a pry bar or putty knife to remove the frame.
- Cut the sash cords or carefully remove the sash springs, depending on your window model.
- Remove the interior stops (if working from the exterior) or the exterior stops (if working from the interior).
- Remove the top sash, then the parting stop, and then the lower sash.
- Fill any holes with wood filler. If you find damaged or rotten wood, remove it and replace it with fresh wood.
- Clean the opening and prep it for the new window.
Installing the Replacement Window
Installing the replacement window is more of a complex process than removing the old window. In some cases, having an extra set of hands available can make the job much easier. The steps to follow include:
- Apply flashing tape to the windowsill.
- Check the sill for level and use shims where necessary to ensure that it’s level.
- Dry fit the replacement window in the opening.
- Apply a bead of silicone caulk at the top of the frame, the stops, and sill.
- Set the window in the space, resting it against the interior or exterior stops and pressing it firmly into the caulk. Use shims to secure the window in place.
- Drive screws through the holes in the window and shims.
- Check that the sashes sit evenly in the frame. If they do not, then use shims at the meeting rails to make the necessary adjustments.
- Check that the window is plumb, level, and square and that the window operates properly. If it does, then cut the shims.
- Apply spray foam insulation (on the exterior) into the gaps around the windows, being careful not to overfill.
- Install exterior trim around the window frame using a nail set to finish driving the finishing nails, so you don’t damage the trim.
- Seal the edges of the trim with latex caulk, making sure to leave the weep holes open.
- Fill any noticeable nail holes with wood putty and paint the trim as needed.
- Apply latex caulk along the interior trim and the installation is complete.
Need Replacement Windows? Call Thompson Creek Today
If you need replacement windows, then Thompson Creek is where you want to get them. All of our replacement windows are made using the finest materials and expert craftsmanship. If you aren’t comfortable doing your own replacement window installation, don’t worry; we will install them for you. At Thompson Creek, we do it all. Just call the experts at Thompson Creek and get a free estimate for your replacement windows, including installation, today.