DECIDING ON HOW TO
REPLACE WINDOWS IN YOUR HOME
If you’re not a professional remodeler or handyman, learning how to replace windows in a typical residence may seem a little over your head. And, if you have an older home with all wooden single pane windows, you may need to call a professional.
Some older homes were built with the windows being a vital part of the construction, not something a typical homeowner could remove and replace.
If your home was built after the fifties, however, windows were becoming much more mass produced and dimensionally regulated. That means easier and cheaper to remove and replace.
Today, a typical homeowner can indeed learn how to replace windows on their home. So if you’re trying to decide whether to call a professional or do the job yourself, consider the restrictions imposed upon you by the house itself and the time and skills needed.
Walk around your home with a pad and pencil, make notes and look closely at the window frames, the sills and the house siding as it touches the frames. Of course, if you’ve decided you know how to replace windows and are going to replace yours yourself, take a tape measure along with you.
Bring your camera or phone as well, and take pictures if you think your windows are the old kind or ones that may be difficult. The staff at the big boxes just love pictures! Many of these people worked in the trade once and really do like sharing their knowledge.
Doing It Yourself:
Even the professionals employ a little trial and error when removing some old existing windows. Until recently there were no standards and windows were installed many different ways. So, removal may take many forms. This is the time to take your notes and pictures to a big box.
The easiest way to start the removal project, and to see what may be involved, is to carefully pry off everything surrounding a window from the outside. Use an 18″ pry bar and a claw hammer. Gently tap the bar, remove one piece of wood at a time and don’t be too aggressive.
For free articles and videos on how to measure, remove and how to replace windows search removing home windows or install vinyl windowusing the Bing Custom Search right ->. Write measurements (jam to jam) horizontal first, then vertical (ie. a window two foot wide by four foot tall would be 24″x48″).
The easiest type of windows to install yourself is vinyl framed windows (right). These come pre-made with everything needed, including screen and lock.
Your new vinyl window has mounting flanges which can be used to mount or trimmed off with a utility knife if your particular situation calls for it. Obviously, its better if yourinstallation can make use of these mounting flanges, as they further block the outside from coming in.
Hiring a Professional:
Figuring out how to replace windows can be tricky, which is why it’s one home improvement task perhaps best left to the pros. Take the time to get at least three different quotes from window companies to compare. If asked, tell each that you are getting multiple estimates, but won’t make your final decision on price alone. Don’t ever pay for an estimate and before making your final decision, check out the companies with the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org).
And, don’t feel bad if you choose to not hire any of them. After talking with a couple of these professionals, you may even decide you probably can do this job yourself!
Signs It’s Time to Replace When:
• You feel a draft when sitting next to a tightly closed window
• The glass is cracked or broken
• Frost buildup and condensation occurs on, or in the window
• Interior window panes are cold in winter or hot in summer
• Outside trim is missing, cracked, or rotted
• The windows won’t stay open, closed, or get stuck
• The windows are unattractive or high maintenance
More energy escapes from an average home through the windows than any other place. The initial investment for new windows, over time will be offset by future savings. Certain windows qualify for rebates from gas & electric companies and from the government. Search window rebate.
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