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40 Tips for Window Replacement

Construction How-To, Windows & Doors February 8, 2016 Sonia


Window Installation

First step is to remove any trim pieces that might interfere with the removal of the window.

First step is to remove any trim pieces that might interfere with the removal of the window.

15. Most manufacturers offer standard size windows to closely match existing units. Once you have the new windows on site, double-check the measurements for fit before removing the existing units.

Inspect and remove any damaged material. In this case the window sill was rotted.

Inspect and remove any damaged material. In this case the window sill was rotted.

16. Most windows are “clamped” in place with stop molding on each side of the wall. Use hammers, putty knives and pry bars to dislodge the old stop molding. Exterior stops can be removed to install the window from the outside. For indoor installations, remove the interior stops. With the stops gone, carefully push the old windows out of the frame.

Remove and dispose of all rotted wood, including casing and/or brick molding.

Remove and dispose of all rotted wood, including casing and/or brick molding.

17. Remove and replace any rotted wood in the window’s sill plate or framing prior to installation.

One option is to replace rotted wood with a sill made of cellular PVC, which won't rot.

One option is to replace rotted wood with a sill made of cellular PVC, which won’t rot.

18. Refer to the window manufacturer’s instructions for specifics on assembly, which may include accessory pieces, such as vinyl sill extenders to help fit the window into the opening.

Fasten all new framing and trim pieces securely.

Fasten all new framing and trim pieces securely.

19. If installing the window on a sloped sill, use wood blocks along the sill to help level and support the unit from below.

Pry away the window stops (thin molding strips that surround the window and hold it in place).

Pry away the window stops (thin molding strips that surround the window and hold it in place).

20. Make sure the replacement window fits into the opening level, plumb and square, otherwise it won’t open/close properly. Check both sides for plumb.

With the stops removed, the old window should slide out of the pocket. Some replacement windows, such as the Simonton unit show, will have an accessory vinyl trim piece to close the gap beneath windows installed on sloped sills. Attach the vinyl flange prior to installation.

With the stops removed, the old window should slide out of the pocket. Some replacement windows, such as the Simonton unit show, will have an accessory vinyl trim piece to close the gap beneath windows installed on sloped sills. Attach the vinyl flange prior to installation.

21. Adjustments can be made with shims, which should be installed at all anchor points and anywhere necessary to keep the unit correctly in place.