Many of us like to think of ourselves as capable amateur handymen and women. While some tasks around the house lend themselves to DIY enthusiasts, there are others that are best left to the professionals. If you’re renovating your home, or you have a window that seen better days, you might be thinking about flexing your skills and trying to install a new window, but how hard is it to replace a window and what does the process involve? We go over this process below:
Installing a New Window
Installing a new window involves several key processes, all of which must be done correctly to produce the desired outcome. These steps include:
Step 1: Measuring the space
Before you do anything else related to finding the ideal replacement window or starting the installation process, it’s crucial to measure the space where the new window will be located. This needs to be 100% accurate to ensure a perfect fit. Measure both the height and the width of the space, taking care to note down the exact measurements. When you place the tape inside the window, measure the distance from one jamb to the other, taking care to measure the top, bottom and middle of the window. This will give you a more precise measurement, as windows can warp over time. If there is a difference between your measurements, opt for the smallest figure.
Step 2: Buying the right type of window
Not all windows are created equal, and there are many types that might not be suitable for your home. Match the window type to the style of your home and the type of replacement operation you’re carrying out. Are you in need of a block frame or a fin frame? If you’re unsure what kind of window you need, it’s wise to seek expert advice for window replacements so that you don’t end up wasting time or money on windows that don’t fit.
Step 3: How to remove trims and window stops
When it comes to removing trims and window stops, the key lies in applying gentle force. Take this stage of proceedings steady, and make sure you have the right tools before you begin. You don’t want to damage other structures or the wall surrounding the window when undertaking this task. Arm yourself with a screwdriver, a utility knife and a pry bar and start by making sure there isn’t any paint that is causing the stops to stick to the window frame. Gently cut any paint away using a utility knife. Use a pry bar to ease the stops away, pulling gently until you feel the stop giving way. Remove the stops and set them aside.
Step 4: What is shimming and how do I do it?
Shimming is a technique, which helps to ensure that the window is aligned perfectly and that it sits square in the space. Shims can be inserted at the bottom and sides of the window, as well as by hinge points. Shims should be used in pairs, which face opposite directions. If you only use one shim, this might not provide sufficient support and the window may become distorted.
Step 5: Fitting the window and caulking
Before you secure your new window or think about nailing or caulking, it’s a good idea to do a test run to make sure that the window fits as you hoped. Once the new window is in place and you’ve positioned the shims, you’ll have a good idea of how close to perfection you are. If you’re happy to continue, check the window and make sure you’ve removed all the packaging and any additional items, such as clips that are used to hold the sash in place in transit. Once you’re ready, caulk the window sill using sealant and then place the window inside the opening carefully. Use the shims to position the window and gently tap them in, stopping around an inch before they lie flush. Use the mounting screws provided with the new window to secure it at the top and bottom and to fix the header. You can then test the sashes, adjust the screws accordingly and caulk inside the window to finish. Depending on how much room there is when you test the sashes, you may need to knock the shims out or saw off the ends.
How hard is it to replace a window?
If you’re a professional with years of experience under your belt, replacing a window is a relatively straightforward task. However, if you’ve never done this before, it’s important to realize that the margin of error is vast. There are lots of mistakes you can make along the way, and even the smallest inaccuracy can put the entire project in jeopardy. If you order the wrong windows, or your measurements are out, you will probably end up wasting a considerable amount of time, effort and money.
If you’re keen to minimize the risks and enjoy peace of mind that your home will have perfect windows, why not call in the professionals? Contact Sivan Windows and Doors in Northridge, California, to find an affordable, effective solution today.