New windows can completely change a room and save a homeowner hundreds of dollars on energy costs. The cost of new windows alone can be a bit staggering, so many homeowners save money by installing their own window replacements. This does not come without its own set of challenges, but an especially handy homeowner may be up for the task.
Planning a Window Replacement
It is important to plan the job, and know that window installation does take a significant amount of time. Allow for ample time so you do not end up working through the night to keep the wind out of your home! Having an extra set of hands to help with the job is advisable. A partner to help with heavy lifting and holding the window into place is an advantage to getting this job done quickly and as painlessly as possible.
First begin by measuring the old window. Measure the height from three different parts of the window. Windows expand and contract frequently, causing them to disfigure over time. Take the smallest of these three measurements and record it. Measure the width of the window, again, from three different places, and record the measurement.
Make sure the window opening is square before you install
Investigate how square the existing window is by measuring the window diagonally from the top left frame corner to the bottom right frame corner, and from the top right frame corner to the bottom left frame corner. If the measurement is more than ¼ inch difference, the entire window frame will need to be replaced as well. Being able to reuse the old frame will save money short term, but a full window and frame replacement guarantees a much more efficient and visually appealing window in the end.
Carefully remove the window stops and set them aside. The window stops prevent the window from falling out. If they become damaged, they will need to be replaced. Most times, the window stops can be reused. Remove the window and frame. Install a new frame in the exact location of the old window, using the exact same measurements. Seal the frame after installation. If you have have window treatments or blinds that need to be removed be aware that when you remove the blinds or shutters it can chip the paint and caulking around the wooden shutters where it connects to the wall.
Position the new window inside of the frame. Do a “dry install” to be sure that the window will fit the space. Once satisfied with the windows positioning, apply a thin bead of silicone along the top edge of the window stop. This is where your partner comes in handy. While one person holds the frame, drive wooden shims in below the window until it is level and tight against the top of the frame. Carefully insert shims or nails down either side of the frame to hold the window into place. Finally, measure the window to ensure that it is square and level, make any adjustments necessary to the shims to make it so, and attach the frame by using the screws provided. Normally there are holes in the frame pre-drilled as a guide to where to install the new screws. Secure the window and fill in any gaps between the window and frame with insulation to help prevent air from escaping. Fiberglass insulation is the best in this case, since it blocks early all air from passing through.
Though it may appear easy, window replacements require planning and skill. A Glass Company would be a good choice if you have a window or multiple windows that are not easy to install. A homeowner should be sure of their ability before attempting to replace their own windows. A poorly installed window can lead to problems down the road. An efficient window is only as good as its installation.