The newer vinyl replacement windows have many benefits to offer owners
of older homes. First of all, its all but impossible to find stock windows at your
local lumber yard or home improvement center that fit the measurement of the openings from
your old windows. Since the newer vinyl replacement windows are made-to-order, the size
you get will be a perfect fit.
Another advantage to considering vinyl replacement windows is, you
dont have to cut the window existing opening bigger to accommodate a larger window
or patch the inside walls and siding because the new window is smaller than the old
opening. Since the new replacement windows will be built to fit your existing openings, no
other major alterations need to happen. Usually, a little caulking and some minor touch-up
painting is all thats necessary.
Some other important advantages of installing new vinyl replacement
windows are also inviting. You can expect some energy savings on your fuel bill because of
the better insulating properties of thermo pane glass. The glass can also be tinted to
reflect heat or to block UV rays. Youll love the tilt-in panes for easy cleaning. No
more risky trips up the ladder. Newer windows usually have fewer problems with
condensation in winter time because of the better insulating properties of the newer glass
Youll need to take an exact measurement, height and width of each
window frame to be replaced. Put a small piece of masking tape on each window and give it
a number for identification. Write the number of each window on a list, along with the
height and width measurements for each window. Tell your window supplier to tag each
window ordered with the corresponding number from your list. This will be a great time
saver later on when the windows arrive. Youll know exactly where each window goes.
When measuring, use a carpenters framing square to check each window
for square. If a window is 1/8th inch out of square, youll need to deduct 1/8th inch
from your measurement(s). Use a small level also to check for level and plumb. If the top
and bottom of the window opening are level, yet the opening is out of square, theres
a good chance that the side openings are not plumb. If the side opening is 1/8th inch out
of plumb, deduct 1/8th inch from the "width" measurement. Usually, your window
supplier can give you a printed sheet with their measuring and ordering guidelines.
Dont worry; most windows are built with sliding top or side moldings to make up for
out of square openings.
Its best if you have a helper, at least someone to hold the
window in place while you attach the mounting screws.
From inside the home, use a flat pry bar to remove the stop moldings on
the sides and top of the window. Pull the bottom sash inside. Youll have to cut the
weighted ropes on each side to release the window. The lead weights will then drop down
inside the wall cavity. Dont worry, you wont need them. Once the bottom sash
is out, remove the top sash the same way. Use a paint scraper to clear away any paint
chips that might prevent the new window frame from sitting properly. You should then brush
and vacuum any debris and dust from the opening.
Slide the new window into the opening to check the fit. If all looks
good, remove the window and prepare the opening for installation. Each window manufacturer
may have their own specific instructions for installation. Generally, youll want to
run a bead of caulking on the sill and sides for the new window to "set" in.
Most windows will have pre-drilled openings in the sides for mounting screws, which are
also usually provided.
Next, set the new window back into the opening. Press the unit forward
to rest against the outside window stop moldings. Check the window for plumb on the sides.
Use wooden shims to move the unit as needed. Once the frame is plumb in the opening, check
it with your framing square. Again, shim as needed to get the unit square.
The next thing youll want to check is that the unit is plumb,
from inside, to outside. Again, use wooden shims to force your new window unit into plumb.
Youll also want to take note where the mounting screws will go and put wooden shims
in, as necessary, to fill any voids where screws will be placed. After installing the
mounting screws, check each window for smooth operation. You may find it necessary at this
point, to remove or add shims for proper operation of the window.
After you are comfortable with the operation of each unit, youll
want to slide the extension moldings on the top and sides, to take up any extra space. You
can then apply a bead of caulk around all four sides of the window, inside and out.
To install new vinyl replacement windows is not rocket science. With
these tips, some simple tools and printed instructions from your supplier, you can easily
install your own vinyl replacement windows.