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How to Measure for Window Replacement

Construction How-To, Windows & Doors May 21, 2014 Sonia


Once you have the measurements of the existing window, consider deducting slightly from your figures so the replacement window will be easier to install. Some professionals suggest deducting 1/4 inch from the width and 1/2 inch from the height. This slightly smaller measurement ensures the installer won’t try to force the new window into place, potentially damaging the unit or affecting its operation. The extra space makes it easier to adjust the new window with shims and allows room to insulate around the unit.

Remember, the replacement window must fit into the opening plumb, level and square, even though the opening may not be any of these.

Always consult the window manufacturer’s installation instructions because product designs vary.

Always consult the window manufacturer’s installation instructions because product designs vary.

Most manufacturers will offer standard size windows, and the homeowner/contractor should order a size that most closely matches their measurements, unless they plan to change the size. Keep in mind that if a window is slightly smaller than the window frame, then it can be shimmed to properly fit in the opening. However, if the window is too large, then it won’t fit into the rough opening without substantial reconstruction of the wall.

Some manufacturers such as Simonton Windows customize their windows to the exact measurements requested, and standard sizes do not apply.

 

Replacing Metal Windows in Brick Homes

Metal windows are generally fastened with a flange inside the wall behind the brick. To measure for replacement, follow the same three-step measuring guidelines but strike the tape from brick to brick to measure the window’s width. To determine height, measure from the brick at the bottom to the lintel at the top of the opening.

For metal windows in brick walls, measure the width from brick to brick. Measure the height of metal windows from the brick at the bottom to the lintel at the top. Measure the height of metal windows from the brick at the bottom to the lintel at the top.

For metal windows in brick walls, measure the width from brick to brick. Measure the height of metal windows from the brick at the bottom to the lintel at the top. Measure the height of metal windows from the brick at the bottom to the lintel at the top.

Note: The brick opening may be larger than the window opening.

If this is the case always use the smaller of the two openings to determine the size of the replacement.

 

As shown in the diagram, take three measurements for the window’s height and three measurements for the window’s width. Use the smallest measurement for each dimension.

As shown in the diagram, take three measurements for the window’s height and three measurements for the window’s width. Use the smallest measurement for each dimension.

Determine Your Style

If you’re considering a window replacement project for your home or building a new home, it’s important to know what window styles you prefer. When people refer to a “style” of window, they are generally referring to a description of how the window operates. Some of the most popular styles are Double Hung, Casement, Bay, Bow, Slider and Picture windows.

To gain a better understanding of what windows “do” and the benefits they offer, here’s a quick look at window styles provided to EHT from the experts at Simonton Windows.

Double hung windows allow you to keep the bottom sash closed and open the top sash for ventilation in the home. (Photos courtesy Simonton Windows)

Double hung windows allow you to keep the bottom sash closed and open the top sash for ventilation in the home. (Photos courtesy Simonton Windows)

Double Hung – Both sash (top and bottom) operate independently on a Double Hung window. This allows you to keep the bottom sash closed and open the top sash for ventilation in the home. This is a great style choice if you have young children or pets at home because it enhances the ability to get fresh air into a room from the top of a window while keeping the bottom sash closed for safety.