How To Change Windows
How to change windows involves research, planning and quite a bit of labor. Depending on how many windows you plan to replace, the labor might get pretty involved. Think at least 6 to 8 hours worth of time you could have spent doing something else. How to change windows and window replacement also involves teamwork. Look around for someone who owes you a favor. If you're doing a house of windows, make a list of everyone who owes you a favor. You'll need at least one person to help with each window --- for the full 6 to 8 hours.
You'll also need a few basic pieces of equipment.
- tape measure
- professional square
- building pencil and graph paper
- caulking gun and caulking tubes
- box cutter
- screw drivers
- nails and screws
- window cleaning materials
- exterior house patching materials
- interior room patching materials
- nail remover
- Planning for the windows. How to change windows in a structure involves measuring and planning before anything else. Shop for replacement windows to look for the price and options. Most hardware, window stores and home improvement stores won't have samples in the store, so you'll need to pick from a catalog. Take photographs of your home and current windows and bring them along for the big choice. The professionals at the window store can help match the window styles with the home structure.
- Measure current window opening. Use the paperwork for the window style you've selected to measure. Record all measurements and window location on the graph paper.
- Order new windows. Take you're measurements in and order. Some stores offer a free on-site measuring service, if you buy a mess of windows. Take the store up on the offer, if it's offered. Measure twice and cut once is a good philosophy, but if your measurements aren't correct, you're stuck with windows that don't fit your openings.
- Remove the old window. Sounds easy, but this step in how to change windows may be the most difficult step, especially with old sash windows. Take off both the interior and exterior trim work and examine the frame. Newer sash windows may just slide out. Don't break the glass. Try to leave as much of the window in place. Work with the structure frame. You might need to saw a few old nails to allow the window to slide out. Avoid any old insulation, it might include dangerous asbestos fibers.
- Dry fit the new window. With the helper, lift the window up place it in the opening. Check for the need for shims, small wood pieces, to wedge the new window snugly into place. Use the level to make sure the window is even.
- Prepare the window frame. Take the new window out and sand any high points or fill low points identified during the dry fit.
- Insert the window. Put in the new window. Glue your shims in place and add caulking around the edges. For big gaps, tuck in some insulation to keep out cold air in the winter and warm drafts for summer. Put up an interior wood frame, if necessary, to hold the window in place.
- Patch the outside. How to change windows includes patching any damage done in removing the outside trim and taking out the window. Allow patch to dry.
- Patch the inside. Fill any damage done to the inside of the house. Allow fill to dry.
- Reattach trim to both inside and outside of the structure. Put up the old trim or add replacement trim around the window.
- Clean the replacement window. Carefully clean any patch off the window and frame. Remove any labeling and stickers.
- Recycle the old window. How to change windows involves recycling the old windows. Offer the windows to decorators or use a group of windows to build a seed bed to keep the buds toasty in the fall and winter months. Vintage-looking greenhouses use old windows, so put an advertisement online or in recycling newspapers to reuse the old windows.