Home maintenance and renovation is of prime importance to any house owner and most of them would like to renovate their floors, walls and other features of their home as per the latest designs.
But rarely people consider the replacement of windows even though they place a major role in improving the aesthetics of the house. Along with age the seal around the glass of windows and the frames of the windows breaks and this causes the moisture and air to get in to the house which may then leads to the development of mold and fungi on the walls and windows.
Moreover it makes the house less energy efficient and hence the importance of replacing a window is very clear. Earlier it was very difficult to replace a window but now with the invention of vinyl replacement windows which are available in pre-hung and self-contained forms the installation become very easy. . Vinyl replacement windows also help to save a considerable amount of time however care should be taken to have appropriate initial window measurements.
Installing replacement windows requires carpentry skills and the interest in home renovation. If the windows are on the ground floor then it is of simple to moderate difficulty. If a professional is hired for this job then it costs a huge amount.
- The materials and tools required for this job includes hammer, drill, measuring tape, screw driver, utility knife, chisel, pry bar, square, caulking gun, shims, caulk, replacement window etc.
- The most important thing for installing a replacement window is the accurate measurement of the window to be replaced because only then the new window fits well in to the opening and helps to save maximum energy. In order to get the correct width measure it from the jamb on one side and especially from the inside of the jamb to the inside of the other jamb on the opposite side of the window.
- While taking measurement take it from the top, middle and bottom of the window and consider the narrowest measurement for the new window. Similarly for measuring the height, take it from the top portion of the sill situated at the bottom of the window to the inside of the jamb at the head of the window. Measure it at the right, middle and left of the window and consider the shortest measurement for the new replacement window.
- The new replacement window gets fit in to the existing frame of the window and hence remove the sashes by removing the inside stop from the old window. While removing the inside stop take care not to soil them because it can be used while installing the new window. Now slowly and carefully remove the sash by tilting the top of it towards the person. Sometimes the sash might be attached to weights by a chain or cord and if so cut the cord and allow the weights to fall down. Similarly removes the other sashes also and separate the parting beads and discard them. Allow the exterior stop to remain there itself as it helps to retain the new replacement window while installing it.
- If there are weights, either remove the pulley completely or push them in to the frame and clean the window sill and jambs thoroughly. Remove any traces of mold with cleansers that contain bleach. Use caulk to fill any holes present in the sill or jamb.
- Use the driller to make holes of 3/8 inch diameter on the sill and the head jamb and holes should be close to each end and also one in the middle. Then spray the expanding foam insulation in to these holes till the foam bulges out of the holes and also spray the foam in to the side jambs. Provide enough time for the foam to set and once it gets hardened remove the excess foam out of the frame.
- Thereafter put on two thick layer of caulk around the frame of the window and keep the bottom of the new replacement window over the sill by leaning it towards the person doing the work. If the new window has a head expander, then keep it on top and across the window. Once expander is in position and the bottom of the window fits well on the sill, then slowly press the top of the window in to the frame. Then use a carpenter’s level to check whether the window is installed exactly vertical because proper installation is necessary to provide better sealing and functioning of the window.
- Drive two inch long temporary screws in to the frame through jambs on the top of the window and lock up the sash to avoid the opening of the window while finishing the installation.
- If the window is not in the center then use shims around the window and take the diagonal measurement of the window in both directions and if the measurements are not the same then adjust the shims till identical measurements are obtained. Use a level and to examine the plump of the side jambs and if necessary adjust it with shims.
- Now drive the real screws in to frames through the pre-drilled holes on the sides of the window and take out the temporary screws. Use a utility knife to trim the shims to fit in to the shape.
- Thereafter use caulk to fill the gaps on the outside of the house around the window. If the gap is smaller than ¼ inch then use elastomeric caulk and if the gap is larger then use foam backer rod made of rubber, while the gaps around the window and within the house can be filled with expanding foam insulation.
- Nail the inside window stops in place and caulk the gaps on the inside. Thereafter finish the work by staining or painting the window sash and interior frame of the window with appropriate color to match the rest of the house.
- While working wear gloves, goggles and mask to avoid accidents and to protect your skin and eyes. Well-built windows help the house to be energy efficient by retaining proper air temperatures and moisture inside the room. It also helps to reduce external noise considerably.
Photo Credit: Buildwithapro.com