Window Replacement & Installation Guide

If the windows on your home are old, replacing them with newer, more energy efficient models can provide a huge measure of energy efficiency to your home.

New windows usually feature two or three panes of glass with an insulating air space between.

Some higher quality windows also have gas such as argon between the glass panes, which offer an even greater insulating factor.

Often a special coating called “low-E” applied to the glass. This coating contains metallic particles that slow heat loss in the winter and reduce heat gain in the summer.

Installing New Windows

Windows are available in several different styles including single or double-hung, gliding/horizontal, awning, hopper, casement, jalousie, fixed, bay or bow and garden.

The most common style, standard-size, double-hung windows are in stock in most home improvement and builders supply stores. Most other types of windows will have to be specially ordered, especially if they are an unusual size or shape.

Windows are typically made of vinyl, metal, wood and wood with vinyl- or metal-clad exteriors. Wood is more energy-efficient than either vinyl or metal.

Windows come in either new-construction or replacement models. New-construction windows are installed from the outside, with no interior or exterior trim in place at the time of the installation. Siding and window trim are installed after the windows are in place. Replacement windows are installed in the existing window frames, leaving both interior and exterior trim in place. The instructions below are typical of installing a replacement window.

Window Replacement

How to Install Replacement Windows:

  1. First, from inside the house, remove the storm windows.
  2. Next, outside the house, remove the screws for the storm window frame.
  3. With the screws removed, tap out the storm frame gently with a hammer and remove it completely.
  4. Next, inside the house, use a utility knife to cut the paint and caulk between the narrow strip of molding called a sash stop and the window casing.
  5. Then, insert a putty knife and work the sash stops loose enough to insert a prybar.  Use the prybar to carefully remove the sash stops. You can save the sash stops for reuse later.
  6. With the sash stops removed, you can now remove the upper sash, lower sash, and window crack all at the same time.
  7. At the top of the rough opening, you can remove the parting strip with a pair of pliers.
  8. Now that everything has been removed (with the exception of the outside trim and the inner casing), it’s time to do a test fit with the new window.
  9. If the window fits into the rough opening, the next step is to make sure the sill is level.
  10. After you know the sill is level, use a caulk gun to apply silicone sealant to the bottom corners of the rough opening.
  11. Starting on the lower sides, apply aluminum weather proofing tape to cover the bottom of the sill.  The butyl adhesive backing prevents any water from penetrating the sill.
  12. Next, apply silicone sealant to the outside stop, which is where the new window frame will sit.
  13. Next, apply silicone sealant to the edge of the window ledge,and the corners at the ends of the sill.
  14. Now, it’s time to set the window in place.  Set the bottom in first and then tip the frame upright and push it against the stops.
  15. Check to make sure that the window frame is square.
  16. The install shims at the top, bottom and middle of the sides of the frame.
  17. Check that the gap between the sash and the frame is uniform from top to bottom.
  18. With the frame square and locked in position, run screws through the pre-drilled holes in the sides, through the shims, and into the jamb.
  19. Now use a utility knife to score the shims and break off the excess.
  20. Fill the small gap between the edge of the frame and the window opening with low expansion foam made expressly for this purpose.
  21. Replace the sash stops removed earlier and secure with nail gun.
  22. Outside, form a watertight seal between the replacement window frame and the original opening by pressing foam backing rod into place.
  23. Next, fill the remaining space with silicone caulk and apply a caulk sealer.
  24. Now tool the joint smooth with your finger.
  25. You’re done! Perform any clean up and finishing off of the trim on the inside, and sit back and view the world through your new windows!

Comments are closed.