How to Replace an Existing Window in Your Home

Replacing an existing window in your home with a new vinyl window unit is not as difficult as you may think. With minimal tools and the ability to use a measuring tape, you can replace the average window in about one hour. The first item of business is to measure the existing window opening to determine the size unit you need. Once the measurements are taken you may order the replacement unit. Most companies take about three weeks or so to deliver custom sized vinyl windows so allow for this time to pass.

To determine what size window you need, open both the upper and lower sash half way. Using your tape measure, measure the exact distance between the inside of the tracks where the existing sash run. It will measure slightly wider than the sash themselves. Take one measurement at the top of the window and one at the bottom. They are seldom the same. Now close the sash and take yet a third measurement at the mid-point of the window or the top of the bottom sash. Again, this measurement may be different from the other two. You will use the narrowest measurement you have to order the new replacement window. Unless there is a huge difference in the three measurements the small difference between the largest and smallest measurements will be minimal but still important for fitting the new unit into the rough opening.

Once the new window arrives, carefully unpack the unit to check there is no damages. In the package will be a loose piece of aluminum angle measuring approximately three quarter by three quarter inches and it is color matched to the new window. Set this aside for later. Remove all masking tape from the header piece, as Sash Window Repairs Kent once the window is installed, it will be impossible to remove.

Starting on either side of the existing window, remove all window trims including the sill and apron pieces. If reusing the trims, strip all the nails and set aside. Now carefully remove the casing trims that are holding the lower sash in place. Once one side is removed, the lower sash can be removed and discarded. Now with a sharp chisel or a flat screwdriver, remove the parting beads that separate the upper and lower sash. These will both be discarded so if you destroy them during removal it is not a problem. Paint and age can make them a bear to remove. Now remove the upper sash and on older homes, remove all sash weights, ropes and pulleys. Save the sash pocket doors so they can be reinstalled. With all the accessories removed, use loose insulation or non-expanding spray foam to completely insulate the sash pockets. These sash pockets are a huge source of cold air and wind leaks. Do a good job.