How to Install Vinyl Replacement Windows

July 21, 2010

You have selected the popular choice of vinyl for your replacement windows and plan to tackle window installation yourself. Now what?

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Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Measure: Measure and write down the width of the window opening at its top, middle, and bottom. Place your tape measure from the widest point of the window jamb, immediately behind the vertical strip of stop-trim that keeps the sashes from moving. Find the smallest of the three measurements and subtract from it a quarter-inch. This becomes your width measurement. Then measure the height, using the exact same process. Again, the smallest measurement minus one-quarter inch will be your final height measurement. Now order your replacement windows before removing the old ones.
  2. Remove: With your new windows at hand, remove the old ones. Using a hammer and pry-bar, pull off the pieces of stop-trim. Do this carefully as you need them for the new windows. Pull out the bottom sash. (If it is attached to window weights, cut the rope or chain and let the weights drop.) Extract the vertical divider and then remove the top sash. Leave the exterior stop-trim in place. Ensure the sides of the jamb are free of obstructions.
  3. Insert: Place a strip of fiberglass insulation on the windowsill and set the bottom of the replacement window on the sill atop the insulation. Slowly push the top of the window up and in, and at the same time, tuck in the insulation around the sides and top. Once in place, tap the shims between the sides of the window and the jamb until the window is level and plumb.
  4. Secure: Insert long mounting screws through the sides of the window into the jamb. (Depending upon the window size, you will need two to four per side.) Replace the interior stop-trim. Caulk all of the edges.

Your new vinyl windows will save you money with reduced heating and cooling costs, help keep you comfortable through the four seasons, and increase the value of your home.

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