Replacing a Window In 5 Steps

Replacing a faulty, cracked, or warped window can save money on your energy bill and increase the value of your home. With the right tools, planning, and caution, you can replace the old windows in your home in a handful of steps.

Some window projects might be too complex to tackle on your own. Not every window replacement is built for a DIY project. Before taking on an installation project, consider if it makes more sense to contact a contractor to get the job done.

1.  Measuring Your Window Frame

Before you break out the tools, drive to the store, or call a contractor, make sure to carefully measure your window frame. You’ll use these measurements for your new window.

A common tip is to measure the height and width in three separate places on the window frame.Measuring multiple times reduces the chances of an inaccurate measurement. You should also measure inside the existing window frame, and not from the borders or stops that contain the window itself.

Once you’ve measured three times each, use your smallest measurements for your new window.It is easier to compensate for a smaller window than it is to shave off dimensions from a larger window.

2.  Picking Out a Replacement Window

There are two types of replacement windows that you can choose for your project. Insert windows are meant to fit inside an existing window frame. They tend to be smaller than the original window you were using, but they are relatively simple to install because you do not have to handle a new frame on top of the window.

For insert windows to work, your window frame and siding should be in good condition. If your frames and siding have suffered wear and tear and long-term damage, you may have to look into the other type of replacement window.

Full-frame replacement windows replace every part of the old window, including the frame, interior design, and potentially even the siding. They are also known as new construction windows. Full-frame replacements are meant for old and damaged windows. Since more parts must be replaced, full-frame projects tend to take more time and effort than insert window projects. You should also choose your full-frame replacement design wisely, as the trim and aesthetic should match with the rest of your home.

3.  Removing the Old Window

When working with glass, fiberglass, and wood, make sure to wear proper protective gear. Windows can also be heavy and unwieldy, so you should consider getting help when picking up windows or moving them down floors.

Windows are installed and fastened with several different materials. You will need tools to cut through and unbolt the caulk, fasteners, and connectors that keep your window in place. Utility knives, gloves, saws, and wood filler can come in handy depending on the type of window you are removing.

Full-frame installation also means you will take out the existing frame at this stage.

Window removal has many moving parts, and you have to be prepared to work in hazardous conditions. Some of the many parts you will have to deal with include caulking, sash springs, stops, fasteners, balance lines, and old paint. Since every window goes through different stages of wear and tear, taking it out can pose unique challenges. If you feel like these challenges are too daunting to take on alone, you can call a contractor before you get in too deep.

4.  Installing the New Window

Once your empty window frame is clear of dirt and debris, it’s time to install the new window.

Dry-fitting your new insert window, or placing it in the frame without sealing or fastening it, is an important early step in installation. This is to ensure your window is level and the dimensions are correct. There should be a small gap between the window and the frame, which is where the caulking goes.

Full-frame installations should be attached inside rough openings. Since they come with brand new frames, the frame should be nailed inside the opening.

After caulking, the rest of the installation process includes securing every part of the window, leveling it, and installing the new trim. You will likely use shims and caulk to make sure the window is secure in its final destination.

Just like removing a window, installing its replacement involves many tools and moving parts. Shims are important for keeping every aspect of your new window level, while utility knives can trim down excess parts and make the dimensions more exact.

5.  Finishing the New Window

Once you have done a thorough job fastening and sealing your new window, you can paint it to match the rest of your home. After all the drilling, caulking, and carrying, painting the window can feel rewarding. Some windows may not need painting, if you are happy with the current design.

Contractors For WindowInstallation

DIY project stake time, effort, planning, and skill. While your home should always look and perform up to its potential, the resources needed for an intensive DIY project like window replacement don’t always come together. You can run into problems that delay or even cancel a project, even with strenuous planning.

Open & ShutKC can take all the stress out of replacing a window for you. We are perfectionists in our craft, and we strive to furnish every home with beautiful, airtight, and long-lasting windows for the right cost. We have a straightforward process, and we will work with you and your home’s specific needs to make the installation as painless as possible.

Give Open &Shut a call at 913-586-OPEN or visit us at to get a free quote for new windows today.

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