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How to Measure for Window Replacement

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


Single Hung – Just the bottom sash opens upwards on this window and the top sash is inoperable.

Casement – The sash are hinged on the side, and the window cranks open a full 90 degrees for maximum ventilation. This is a good option for older homeowners who don’t wish to strain their backs with the “push and pull” action of a Double Hung window.

Slider – You can have multiple window panels that slide open on a track with a Slider window. There’s also the option of having a “fixed stationary” panel that doesn’t open combined with a window panel that “slides and glides” open. Again, this is a great option for older homeowners since the sliding action of the window is easy on the back and shoulders.

Picture – A Picture window does not have the capability of opening at all. It’s a fixed unit usually installed to maximize views.

Bay windows are created by mulling together three windows at either 35 or 45 degree angles.

Bay windows are created by mulling together three windows at either 35 or 45 degree angles.

Bay – Bay windows are created by mulling together three windows at either 35 or 45 degree angles. The windows can be a combination of fixed and operable units, or they can all be operable or all be fixed. These focal point windows are oftentimes found in key areas of the home including living rooms, kitchens and master bedrooms.

Bow – Bow windows are more “rounded” in appearance than a Bay window. They are generally created by placing windows at 10 degree angles. Whereas a Bay window has three units, a Bow window can have three, five, seven or nine separate windows mulled together as desired.

Awning – With a crank-out Awning window, the sash are hinged on top and the window opens out and upwards.

Basement (or Hopper) – Similar to an Awning window, except that the sash are hinged at the bottom and the window opens from the top out for ventilation.

Geometrics – These fashionable windows are usually fixed units. They come in geometric shapes, such as an octagon, half-round or rectangle, and are often “paired” on top of operable units to add more light and style to the home. They’re also used in secluded areas of the home, such as bathrooms, hallways and foyers.

A Garden window extends the space outwards from the window with shelves that allow room for plants or other items.

A Garden window extends the space outwards from the window with shelves that allow room for plants or other items.

Garden – The unique Garden window extends the space outwards from the window. Ideal for over a kitchen sink area, this window features functional Casement sidelites and a fixed unit in the center. Shelves allow room for placing plants or other items.

 

Install Yourself or Call a Contractor?

A homeowner with the right tools and carpentry experience can install a replacement window. However, Extreme How-To strongly advises that first-timers enlist the help of an experienced professional to show them the ropes. If the window is installed improperly and is not plumb, level and square, then a number of problems might occur. The Double Hung and Slider sash may be difficult or impossible to remove. A Casement sash may not operate properly due to excessive drag on the sill. The sash pivot bar on Double Hung windows could bind and cause the sash to become inoperative, or the weather-stripping may not seal properly—allowing air and water infiltration, even if the sash is locked.

Leaving a little space around the window allows room for shims and insulation.

Leaving a little space around the window allows room for shims and insulation.

All window installers, both professional and DIY’ers, should always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for installing their specific units, because products vary by design.

The window must be installed plumb, level and square even if the rough opening is none of these things. For this reason, most pros deduct slightly from the window measurement before ordering to ensure the window fits easily.

The window must be installed plumb, level and square even if the rough opening is none of these things. For this reason, most pros deduct slightly from the window measurement before ordering to ensure the window fits easily.