Installing a replacement window can be one of the best energy-saving decisions you can make for your home. With winter just around the corner, now is the best time to undertake this type of project. Replacing a storm or vinyl window is a job most homeowners can do themselves with just a little know-how and elbow grease. You will save money during the winter months on your heating bills, and this will pay for the window or windows themselves many times over, and will make your home more attractive. Certain types of windows, Like bay windows, bow windows, and architectural windows, is best left for professional contractors and experienced handy men, as they often require 2 or more people to set in place properly. New construction windows are vinyl windows with an exterior flange and these windows are installed from the outside, and is generally used in new home construction. A typical replacement window can be installed from The Inside Of The House, and is used to replace inefficient and worn-out windows in older homes. That’s the primary difference between the two. So let’s get started!

1. TOOLS YOU WILL NEED – A hammer, chisel, pry bar, utility knife, screwdrivers, snips, caulking gun, silicone caulk, roll insulation, and a molding removal tool.

2. WINDOW REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION – First and foremost, make sure to take all the window measurements and have all your new windows at your house before you remove the old ones. In older homes you will usually find sash windows installed, this can be taken out with a minimum of fuss. If you are removing a vinyl window that has been cracked or damaged, you can find the screws anchoring the window on both sides. Just remove them and the window should pop out. If it is a vinyl window with a flange you are replacing, which is usually the case in new construction, you will have to cut the outside flange in order to remove the window, before you take out the screws. This can be done from the inside using a sawzall with a fine tooth blade, however you must take your time to reduce potential damage that can be done to the siding if you are not careful.

To begin, take your utility knife and cut the caulking seal that surrounds the stop molding on the window frame. Using your molding removal tool, gently pry the molding loose from the window frame. For a sash window, lift up and then pull the bottom window out, you will see the chain links that balance the window on both sides. Take your snips and cut them as close to the wheels as you can, and the weights will drop down inside the frame. Use a flat head screwdriver to unscrew the wheels from the frame, next take your hammer and chisel and chisel out the wood strips that separate the top window from the bottom. Repeat the steps to remove the top window. To install your new replacement window, lift and set it on the window sill, then set it in the frame on a slight angle, bottom first, then push the top all the way in until it touches the outside stop. Using a torpedo level, check the bottom and sides for level and plumb before you screw it in.

Screw your window in securely, and using your utility knife, cut strips of roll insulation and pack it in between the window and the frame to help insulate and reduce heat loss during the winter. Pack the insulation snugly; do not over pack it. I also recommend that you do not use goop or any type of foam insulation, if you use too much it can bow and warp the window and you will not be able to open and close it. After your insulation has been installed, check that the window is opening and closing properly and all the screws are secure. Re-install the stop molding around the window frame, and using silicone caulking, re-caulk the window on all sides and on the sill. Wait a few hours, then you can put back the blinds and curtains.

3. STORM WINDOW REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION – If you are not afraid of heights and are comfortable using a ladder, you can change the storm windows on your home. Storm windows are the easiest windows to install or replace, however it must be done from¬†The Outside.¬†Just observe the basic safety rules and take your time. Set up your ladder and, using a cordless drill or a screwdriver, remove all the screws attaching the window to the frame. Sometimes the window may be caulked and if so, use your utility knife to cut the seal. Set your new storm window in place, and screw it in using the supplied screws. Apply silicone caulking around the window, and you’re done.



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