How to Replace Your Home Windows
You may need to replace your windows after a break or damage to the frame, but renovating your windows can provide a fresh look to your home and improve insulation to save up to 15% on your energy bill.
So how should you replace home windows? You can do it yourself, but it’s far better to work with a professional home window replacement company. See this guide for preparing for the replacement, finding your new windows, and getting them installed, or work with an expert window contractor like Evergreen Home Exteriors in the Washington State area.
Preparation for the Replacement
There is a lot of preparation involved in replacing windows. Learning more about the windows you have and the new windows you need is the first step in how to replace home windows. That is not all, you also need the right tools, measurements for the windows, and get the windows, a source for the new glass, and the expertise to carefully replace them.
Vinyl windows, standard and inexpensive as they are, may range from $100 to $900 alone. With costs like that per window and factoring in tools, it may be best to work with a home window replacement company.
Remove the Old Window
You have a lot to factor in when it comes to how to replace a home window. That includes the trim and window stops for one. For aesthetic reasons, understanding window trim sizes is significant because it helps your windows appear balanced. On average, most window trim uses about 2 ¼ inches in width. You’ll also need to remove any sashes, pulleys, and weights used on the original windows.
Be sure to keep everything you remove if you need to order different windows in the next step. You shouldn’t throw anything out unless you are sure you’ve replaced the window. Again, a contractor will be uniquely suited to helping here. They may even haul away the old window material.
Adjust your Frame
Once you have your replacement window handy and remove the old windows, the process of fitting the new window into place comes next. That will include shimming the old windows first in a dry fit. A dry fit ensures your windows are the appropriate size. Then you can begin the installation to replace your home windows.
Shims are helpful, small pieces of wood and plastic that allow for incremental adjustments. You can find shims for projects that are as flat as .001 inches. A home window replacement company is sure to have plenty of those to get the right fit.
Installing Your New Window
The installation is far less work when you have planned appropriately. You can save yourself some time and frustration with your best measuring of windows and frames as well as buying the right tools early on – tools such as a proper drill, caulking gun, and oscillating tool and blades.
Like any home improvement task, however, there can be complications. When it comes to replacing a home window, you’ll probably need to make several adjustments as you work. This step is composed of several smaller steps, however. In truth, you may be going back and forth between several steps until you’re truly ready to move on.
The Installation Process
- Caulk the sill and then place the window in the opening. Be sure to use a square to ensure your window is oriented correctly. If your shimming isn’t giving your window a snug fit, you may need a larger window.
- Use your mounting screws to hold the window in place, but beware of over-tightening them too soon. You’ll still need to make adjustments. Tighten them enough to ensure you won’t have too much space between the window and the frame. Be ready to adjust.
- Ensure gaps are closed off between the frame and the header. You need to make sure you have spaced everything correctly using the shims. Now will be the time to trim them flush to the window.
- Test the window sash and ensure it operates smoothly. If not, you’ll need to adjust your shims.
- You may have to remove the window and repeat steps as needed to ensure a proper fit.
Once you’ve finished the window and ensured it is operating correctly, you’ll need to seal the window into the frame with caulk and then install your trim. Making sure to seal your windows properly is crucial in how to replace a home window. As the U.S. Department of Energy writes, “Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.”
Bring in Professional Help
As you can see, as relatively straightforward as a home window replacement may seem, it helps to bring in a talented contractor. So many steps in the process require a level of fine-tuning that a contractor with years of experience might best handle. A good contractor, such as Evergreen Home Exteriors & Remodeling, will provide a free estimate for any window replacements.
If you are considering a window replacement and possibly dreading the extra work, contact a home window replacement company like Evergreen Home Exteriors & Remodeling.