Installing replacement windows can be a difficult job, but is also an easy an option to save a lot of money when buying home replacement windows. Projects that involve the exterior shell of a home can be intimidating because of the potential for serious problems if the job is completed incorrectly. However, many careful homeowners have installed their own windows successfully without help.
Before starting this project, be sure to have a clear understanding of how windows are attached to the exterior of a home. Several different sealing methods are used to prevent energy loss through the building envelope, and these methods may vary depending on the materials from which your house is constructed. Also plan on installing one window at a time. This allows you to refine your window technique and address any problems as they occur.
Installing Replacement Windows in a Home
The most important step when installing replacement windows is measuring correctly. Keep in mind that some older windows are not precisely square. Once you have the correctly sized replacement windows, steps for swapping out windows are fairly straightforward.
- Begin by removing any window screens, blinds, or other items that interfere with the window installation process.
- Next remove any window trim and the sash using a pry bar. If the trim is in good condition, consider saving it for when you install window trim later.
- Remove jamb liners using a pry bar and then remove the old window.
- Now the frame should be exposed. Take this time to clean the frame carefully, removing any paint or debris that may interfere with the installation of the new replacement window.
- Using a low pressure foam specifically used for windows, fill in any holes around the sash. Be generous when using this product. If there are hollow spaces beyond the sash and in the wall, drill through the sash to fill in these spaces.
- Run a bead of silicone caulk around the interior facing exterior casing that comes into contact with the replacement window.
- Slide the new window into place, starting from the bottom and tilting upwards slightly until it is into place.
- Press the window into place, making sure that it is coming into contact with the exterior casing.
- Using a few screws, secure the window so it will not fall out of place. Sink the screws only deep enough to hold the window into place, not completely into the frame.
- Some windows require adjustments in order to be level in the space. In these cases, shims are used to secure the window so it is level and perpendicular to the floor.
- Now screw the window completely into place, through the pre-drilled holes in the replacement window.
- Finish by caulking around the window to fill in any gaps. Install window trim around the interior as needed.
- Prime and paint the window trim and window as needed.
Before attempting to install replacement windows, be sure to research the different parts of a window so you know which pieces to remove during the replacement process. It is also a good idea to clearly understand the anatomy of a window before beginning. You should also research the types of replacement windows available to the consumer to ensure the type you choose are easy to install. Finally, consider getting a quote from a local contractor. The discounts many professionals get on materials may make having someone install the replacement windows for you a reasonable alternative.