Windows provide homes with protection from the elements, but as they age, their performance can decline. Older windows are not just an aesthetic concern; they can lead to higher energy bills and allow moisture and pests to enter the home and cause damage.
Replacing old windows is a common home improvement project that some homeowners choose to carry out on their own. However, it is a complicated process that is often best left in the hands of professionals. Here is a look at what is involved in replacing old windows.
1. Understand Replacement Window Types And Terms
Homeowners need to understand the difference between new construction windows and remodeled windows. The former typically has a nailing flange that can be attached to a rough opening, while the latter is made to fit into an existing finished opening.
Although remodel windows are generally easier to install than their new construction counterparts, it is essential to note that they are slightly smaller than new construction windows because they are made to fit within a finished opening of an existing window frame rather than a rough opening.
Here are some useful terms to know when working with remodeling windows:
- Stop Moulding – This refers to the area that holds the window into place within the frame.
- Frame Height – The frame height is a measurement taken from the part where the lower sash touches the sill to the location where the upper sash reaches the header.
- Frame Width – The frame width is measured all the way to the outside edge of the stop moulding.
2. Measure The Opening Of The Window
The first step in installing a replacement window is measuring the pocket opening carefully to ensure a good fit. Take a note of the precise width and height of the window as getting this step right can prevent the need to sand the frame or place filler strips later in the process.
Begin by measuring the height on the inside of the existing frame on the left and right sides as well as the middle of the window. Then, measure the width at the top, middle and bottom.
When it comes to choosing the new window, go with the smallest measurements for the height and width if an exact match is not available. Keep in mind that new windows should be roughly 3/4 of an inch smaller than the window opening to avoid having to reframe.
3. Get Everything Ready
Before beginning the project, ensure everything is on hand to complete it. Inspect the new windows to verify that they are the correct sizes and that none are damaged. If windows will be installed on the upper levels of the home, it may be a good idea to rent scaffolding as it will be easier to maneuver than it would be on a ladder.
Be sure to use eye protection and cut-resistant gloves. If any of the windows being removed are damaged, painter’s tape can be applied over cracks to stop shards from falling out during the removal process.
4. Check The Space
Once the windows are out of the walls, check the remaining wood for any structural damage and replace or repair areas that are in poor condition. It may be necessary to install new exterior stop moulding.
Then, center the new window within the opening, using shims and woodblocks to support it. Ensure that it is level, making adjustments if needed.
5. Install The New Window
Now it is time to officially install the remodel window into the opening. First, apply a bead of caulk along the inside of the exterior and stop moulding. Then, place the window in the opening and push it firmly against the caulk. Shims should be placed where the pre-drilled holes are situated to secure the window.
Then, measure the window’s diagonals to ensure it is square. If the measurements are not the same, shims can be used to adjust the fit.
Drive screws through the shims and frame, then trim the shims with help from a razor knife. Check again that the sashes are even and that the window has been placed in a level position, then fill the gaps between the framing members and the window jambs using fiberglass insulation. Then, use finishing nails to install the interior stop moulding.
6. Paint And Finish The Window
After the window has been installed, it is important to wait for the caulk to dry completely before painting. Choose paint that matches the trim of the rest of the house for a uniform appearance.
Contact The Northern Virginia Window Replacement Professionals
Avoid the risks and hassles of DIY window replacement by entrusting the job to professionals. Contact the experienced window replacement and installation contractors at Adelphia Exteriors to discuss your project and request an estimate today.