Window Replacement is a major project, and homeowners need to choose both a high-quality window and an installation company they can trust. Compare prices and features, and ask about financing options, including whether the window company offers its own credit.

Window Replacement

Top window manufacturers offer lifetime warranties that are transferable if you sell your home. Other important considerations include acoustic and thermal performance, especially if you live in a historic district.

Unlike older windows, modern replacement windows are designed to last for a very long time. The lifespan is determined by both the style of the window and the frame material. Most replacement windows are made of vinyl, and they come in a variety of colors and finishes to suit any home’s style. When choosing a new window, it’s important to choose both a style that complements your home and a frame material that will stand up to the elements.

Unless the window has been damaged beyond repair, it is generally best to replace the entire window rather than just the glass. Replacing just the glass allows outside air to circulate freely and may increase energy efficiency, but it also opens your home up to the elements and a security risk.

When installing a replacement window, use shims to adjust the new window until it fits snugly against the jambs. Then, screw the new window in place through predrilled holes in the window sill and jambs.

If the new window isn’t snug in the frame, fill the gap with caulk. Be sure to caulk the junction between the existing frame and the outside of the replacement window as well, or else it won’t be able to open and close.

Over time, hinge arms that support the sash of a window can begin to sag, which causes the sash to drag across the frame. To fix this problem, first make sure the new window fits squarely in its opening and centered on the hinge. Then, remove the old hinge channel and drill 1/8-in. pilot holes around the mark, then fill the holes with epoxy or wood filler. When reinstalling the channel, be sure to fill any unused screw holes with epoxy or wood filler as well.

Replacement Sashes

The sash of an old window may need to be replaced. Typically, this is only required when the glass becomes broken or the window cannot open and close. Window replacement is usually a job for a professional. However, if the problem is localized to just the sash, then replacing just that component might be enough. This type of repair is usually done with a kit sold in home centers. These kits contain a coil spring block and tackle to replace the weighted system that would normally be used in older wood windows. These new mechanisms will allow the sash to move up and down correctly.

The first step is to remove the window stops on both sides of the frame. These are typically caulked to the trim, so use a utility knife or putty knife to pry them off. Then, you will need to pull out the sash and disconnect the sash cord or chain. After that, you can remove the muntins that separate each pane of glass.

When you have the sash out, it is a good idea to add some type of weather stripping. This will not only make the sash move properly, but will also drastically cut down on drafts and energy loss.

Before reinstalling the sash, you will want to re-pin the cord and sash rod in place. You will also want to re-pin the staff bead and sash stop. Lastly, you will need to add some type of trim to the bottom of the window to prevent it from sliding out of the frame. Once these are done, you can re-install the sash. You will need to be careful as you install it, as the pivot pins on top and bottom will need to line up with their clutch within the jamb liners.

Replacement Frames

This type of replacement allows you to upgrade your window and door system if you are unhappy with the size, shape or operating style of your existing frame. During full frame window replacement, the existing windows and frames are removed down to the studs, and exterior trim and siding may need to be replaced as well.

You will likely need to purchase a new frame at the same time, so make sure you buy one with the right amount of glass in it! You may need to go to a store that specializes in frames and glass to get the right piece. They will be able to help you find the exact size that you need.

When purchasing the new frame, be careful to pick a size that is just slightly bigger than the old one. A slight difference will make the new glass fit perfectly, while a measurement that is too big will cause the piece to not fit at all.

Before attempting to glue the piece of glass in place, spray it with window cleaner or eyeglass cleaner and wipe both sides down with a paper towel. This will remove any dirt, dust or other debris and will help the new piece of glass adhere to the frame without smudging or sticking to itself. Also, be sure to work over a table or other surface that you can easily wipe down if any glass dust gets on it. This will save you the trouble of having to clean up and dispose of any messy glass shards.

Replacement Insulation

Insulation is one of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient. If you have insulation that is ripped, torn or missing, it can cause gaps where heat can escape or enter your home. In addition, if you notice that some rooms in your home are warmer or cooler than others, it may indicate that the existing insulation is insufficient for the current climate conditions. Fortunately, the vast majority of insulation materials are relatively easy to replace or repair. This includes rolled fiberglass insulation, which is usually pink in color, spray foam insulation, and duct work insulation. Rock wool or cellulose insulation is also available with different facing options based on the R-value you need. These insulation products are typically made from recycled materials and can last decades before they need to be replaced.

Replacement Trim

When you replace windows, it’s an excellent time to repair or upgrade the trim around the new window. This helps keep water out of your house and gives the whole installation a finished look. This trim can be expensive, so you may want to compare prices and DIY options to find a trim that fits your budget and needs.

A good place to start is by looking for rot or other damage to the wood. If there is rot, you can use exterior wood filler to patch holes and reseal the area. It’s important to rough up the surface of the wood before applying the filler and to make sure you’re using an exterior grade filler that’s compatible with your home.

Another way to check for damage is by examining the sill and brick mold (the trim that covers the lower part of the wall around the window) to see if there are areas of rot. This is an indication that the basic framing of the house was not properly done, resulting in leaks and rot below the window.

When repairing or replacing your window trim, you’ll need to choose between a full-frame replacement and an insert installation. In a full-frame replacement, the entire window frame is removed and a new window is installed in the stud opening. This method is best when there is significant rot or deterioration of the existing buck frame or sills.

An insert installation uses a new window that’s custom fit within the old frame and sill. This method is most popular because it keeps the existing interior and exterior trim undisturbed. It also allows the homeowner to match the color of the replacement window with their home’s trim.