Replacing Windows

For a first timer, replacing windows may seem like a complex task. But the following guide can make the process simpler.

Required Tools and Materials

Replacement windows
Small pry bar
Putty knife
Utility knife
Wood chisel
Cordless drill and drill bits
Miter saw
Measuring Tape
Wood shims

Step 1

Take the stops off. These are the thin vertical wood pieces that keep the sashes in place. Use the pry bar to remove then. You may also need to use a utility knife and screwdriver. Don’t throw away the stops.

Step 2

Now you have to clip the sash cords. Take the inside sash out. Clip the chains and cords. Let the weights fall in the pockets. Trim any visible rope. Take the outer sash out by sliding it down. Remove the parting beads. Keep the outer stops in place.

Step 3

Before replacing windows, clean the jamb. Sand it and if needed, patch up any holes. Large cavities can be filled with putty or wood filler.

Step 4

Put the new window in the opening. Check if it fits. Set the window sashes in the middle. Move the bumper steps along the middle. Find the 4 side mounting holes.

Step 5

Now the outside stops of the jamb have to be caulked. Caulk and then put in the sill angle. Put the header on the window top. Caulk it. Fasten it into place.

Step 6

Put the new window in place. Make sure the corners are square. Tap the shims in to make it square. Fasten the bottom and the top mounting screws. If there is space between the frame and window, adjust the header. Screw this into position.

Step 7

Make sure the sashes are sliding smoothly. Make adjustments if needed. The final step is to caulk the inside windows. Put the inside steps in place.

Tips and Warnings

Vinyl is the least expensive frame type. It requires little maintenance and is available in many colors. Wood is attractive and can be painted on. But it will cost more.

Frames made from fiberglass and other composted materials are very strong. Aluminum is the costliest.However, it can be painted on easily.

If you are replacing windows, make sure the measurements are correct. Measure at the side jamb at the right to the left. The top and middle should be measured too. Do this too vertically on the sill’s interior, measuring from the interior of the top widow jamb. The center, left and right must be measured too.

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