If your existing windows are outdated, damaged or show signs of aging that affect your home’s curb appeal or ability to sell, you may need replacement windows. The best way to determine the size of windows you need is to window to conduct the measurements for you.
However, you may also be able to conduct the measurements yourself with a few simple steps.
Measuring For Replacement Windows: What You Need To Know
While measuring for replacement windows may look different depending on the location of the windows and their style, the typical process to follow for accurate measurements includes these steps:
- Decide if replacement windows are right for your needs
- Measure the width and height
- Measure the depth of the windows
- Record all of your measurements
- Round your measurements to the nearest 1/8th of an inch
- Find the right replacement windows
The following is a review of each step of the measuring process for replacement windows. If you have questions or run into any roadblocks along the way, contact a window contractor for assistance.
1. Replacement Window vs. New Construction Window
The first step is to ensure that your window space is suitable for a replacement window. This entails measuring to determine if your window is square and at an optimal 90-degree angle.
To do this, measure diagonally from the top left of the window to the bottom right, and then measure from the top right to the bottom left. The two measurements should match within a 1/4 of an inch. If they do, then your space is eligible for a replacement window.
However, if the space is not square, replacement windows may not fit properly, leading to them function improperly or leave small gaps when they are closed. In this case, new construction windows may be the better option to ensure the optimal and precise measurements of your windows, allowing for proper function and appearance.
2. Measure The Width And Height Of The Window Space
Once you determine that replacement windows are an option, then you can measure the width and height of the window space. For precision, it is best to measure the window space at the top, in the middle and at the bottom. Measure from the vertical board on one end to the vertical board on the other.
When measuring the bottom of the window, slide the window up and measure the lowest point possible. Move the window all the way up to measure the middle point; the window should be closed when measuring the uppermost point. The measurements should be similar if not identical. Be sure to make note of the shortest measurement of the three.
The next step is to measure the window height; this is done similarly to how you measured the width. You can measure the height by recording the measurements (in inches) in three different areas (left, middle and right). Measure from the window sill (not the trim board) to the head jamb and the top of the window.
3. Measure The Depth Of The Windows
Measuring the depth of the window is not always required as most windows fit the depth in traditional style homes without any issues. However, some window spaces may be too thin for certain window types. When ordering your replacement windows, it can help to have the depth measurement and confirm with the contractor that the depth is adequate for the windows you are considering.
In order to measure the depth of the windows, you can simply measure the length of the sill space. Start with the front portion of the trim and measure to the back. The measurement should be 3 inches or more in depth to ensure an optimal fit for your replacement windows.
If your window space does not match the necessary depth, your contractor should be able to present you with alternative options, or craft new construction windows according to your specific needs. However, in most instances, the depth is not a concern with replacement windows.
4. Write All Of Your Information Down Right After Measurement
It is very important to record all of your information as you go to avoid forgetting, or inaccurately remembering your measurements. The best way to record your measurements is to have a layout of your window already drawn; record your measurements to the most precise number possible (see below).
5. Properly Round The Measurements To The Nearest 1/8th Inch
The replacement windows will be ordered to the 1/8th inch for precision. Therefore, be sure to round all of your measurements to the nearest 1/8th inch. It is generally better to round down rather than up, making sure the replacement is able to open and close properly without any sticking.
6. Find The Right Replacement Windows For Your Home
Once you have recorded your measurements, you can begin your search for the right replacement windows for your home. It is best to purchase through a professional contractor who can also handle the installation process for you.
This ensures you purchase the right size windows and get the design preference without any doubts about the quality or precision of the windows or the installation process. So how do you find the right windows for your home? Start by following the tips below.
Choose The Right Window Type
Every type of window offers unique functional benefits and style. The most common types of windows recommended by contractors are single-hung windows, double-hung windows, casement windows and bay windows. Be sure to discuss all of your options, based on the type of existing windows and your measurements, with a licensed window replacement contractor.
Consider The Window Frame Type
You may be able to keep your existing window frames; however, replacing the window frames is often a good idea when replacing your windows, especially older window frames.
There are different frame types to consider including aluminum, wood, vinyl, fiberglass and metal; however, the two most popular options are wood and vinyl. Wood may offer more aesthetic appeal, but vinyl is typically easier to install and can resist water damage more effectively.
Consider The Style Of Your Home
Taking more of a macro view of how your windows will affect your home, you should consider your home’s architectural design. For example, traditional homes are typically with double-hung or awning windows. Contemporary homes and farm houses typically benefit more from bay, bow and casement windows.
How Windows Can Affect Energy-Efficiency
Your windows can impact your energy costs each month. If one of your goals is to lower your energy costs as much as possible, you can opt for double-hung windows or bay windows which are more energy efficient than single hung windows.
The Level of Maintenance That Is Required
Certain windows, such as bay windows, require more maintenance than single-hung windows. It is important to understand the level of maintenance that is required for each window type you consider and how much time you have to invest in maintaining your windows.
Finally, It Is Time To Consider The Cost Of The Replacement Windows
The last step is to compare the costs of each window type you are considering. The goal is to find the best overall value while remaining within your budget. While an entry level replacement window may fit your current budget, it is important to factor in that higher quality windows will last longer and require less maintenance costs over the long-term.
What Are The Benefits Of Replacement Windows?
The benefits of replacement windows depend on the type of windows you purchase. In general, new windows can lower energy costs each month, improve the aesthetic appeal of your home, allow your home to feel more comfortable and climate-controlled and even increase the value of your home. Many homeowners are surprised by just how much of a difference they notice when they replace their old windows.
When Is Professional Window Replacement Recommended?
Window replacement is recommended if your windows are more than 20 years old, show signs of water damage or rot, they do not open and close properly, you see an increase in your energy costs each month or you want a style change for your home.
Of course, there can be other reasons when new window replacement may be a good idea as well; discussing your replacement options with a licensed contractor may help in the decision-making process.
Professional installation is encouraged anytime you are removing your existing windows and replacing them with new ones. This ensures your windows are installed with precision and in the safest and most efficient manner possible.
Contact Adelphia Exteriors For Professional Window Replacement
At Adelphia Exteriors, we strive to provide high-quality, fitted windows to our clients across Northern Virginia. If you have concerns with your existing windows and feel that your home may benefit from replacement windows, or if you need new construction windows, contact our team of experienced professionals today.
We will assist you with the measurement process or gladly, even measure your window spaces for you. We can help you decide on the best window selections for your design and functional preferences.