installing replacement windows

Your Ultimate Guide to Installing Replacement Windows

ByHarison Pyykko July 2, 2020

So, you have decided you are done with your old or damaged windows but don’t prefer to do window renovation or repair work. You just want to replace them with better looking, more energy-efficient ready-to-install units. That’s wise. It is always safe to have professional window contractors to install your replacement windows. However, if you have the inclination for DIY home projects and consider these activities fun, you will find doing the window replacement for your home a little challenging with a big reward. Your concerns on how to install a window properly will be discussed here.

How to Install a Window

While a major window renovation is more the domain of window service contractors, the installation activity in a window replacement project is something relatively easier for you to do. You will need the following tools and supplies so have them ready before you start: Tools:
  • crowbar
  • lever
  • hammer
  • screw gun
  • replacement window
  • galvanized screws
  • nails
  • shims
  • window wrap
  • foam insulation
  • felt paper
Windows are primarily composed of glass panes encased in a frame. You do not need to replace a whole window if you just need a new windowpane. Pane replacement can be done by a glazing contractor. If on the other hand, the whole window has to be replaced, a stock window replacement is more practical than a custom window. Some adjustments to the frame may be needed, but its cost will be much less than buying a perfect-fit custom window. We describe the 10-step process with some pointers to help make your window replacement trouble-free.

Step 1. Remove the window trim and casing.

Using a crowbar, first remove the window trim and jamb extension, a piece of wood attached to the window jamb as an insert material to bring the jamb even with the wall.

Step 2. Remove the old window and guide track.

Remove the window from the jamb after unscrewing it. You will be dealing with a glass-paned window, so take care not to break the glass as you do it. For windows with multiple window sashes designed with moving tracks on the side, it will be easier to remove one sash at a time. Remove the entire window casing, including the trim and sill plate.

Step 3. Prep and repair new window opening, if needed.

After the window has been taken off the wall, check that the window jamb’s condition to make sure there is no structural damage. In many instances, old windows leak, causing jambs to rot out. Replace or repair the damaged portions of the jamb before proceeding. Measure the rough opening to check that it suits the new window’s dimensions. It should have 1/4” to 3/8” clearances around the new window for adjustments and insulation later on.

Step 4. Dry fit window.

Make sure the headers and studs are plum and square after the window has been removed. The frame should match the dimensions of the new window. Dry fit the window to make sure there is proper fitment.

Step 5. Adjust the window frame.

Address any fitment issue you notice. This may entail adding new boards to the frame such as 2 x 4s or removing part of the siding on the exterior. After adjustments have been made, dry-fit the window again. The window should fit snugly into the opening after the proper adjustments. Before you move ahead with the next steps, make sure you are fully satisfied with the windows’ fit in the opening.

Step 6. Install the new window.

If it is necessary to remove a section of the exterior siding, remember to put felt wrap back up; this will keep moisture out. Apply window wrap to the window’s exterior framing. Starting from the bottom, install the window wrap and work your way up. The actual installation of the window is very simple. To install the window, push the window up from the exterior until it is flush to the frame. After checking that you have a solid piece to anchor your screws, screw your window into place. Adjust the window by maneuvering the screws. Add shims to areas that need to be adjusted. Use screws or nails to secure the window in its correct position.

Step 7. Wrap the window.

Once your window is measured square and meets the plumb requirement, nail it into place. Add a layer of window wrap around the window’s fins. Overlap the wrap and completely cover the surfaces. Do not allow the wrap crinkling or folding back. The wrap must be flush to the window frame; it is a key component to keeping moisture out.

Step 8. Add insulation.

Cover the edges of the window to cover to protect them as you put the insulation material. Put expanding-foam sealant in the gap between the window and the casing. Avoid adding excessive foam as it will cause bowing to the window, rendering it ineffective. Once the foam dries, scrape it off with a knife.

Step 9. Replace trim and casing.

Cut away the dried excess foam and install a new interior casing. Replace the exterior trim, if needed.

Step 10. Paint and do the finishing.

Filling any nail holes with paintable or stainable wood putty. To finish, paint or stain the trim moulding around the windows. You now have a new window installed. For stylish and highly functional replacement windows, New Town Windows and Doors can help with your selection and other concerns. We are a full-service professional window service provider that supplies a wide range of high-quality replacement windows. Partner with us on your next window projects – whether you need replacement windows, renovation or repair, or window installation. If you decide to do the installation yourself, we’ll guide you on how to install a window for your home.

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