How to Replace a Window: [10 Ways] To Get It Right

If you’ve never done so before, most homeowners are unsure of the proper way to replace a window. Those who live in the Phoenix and Tucson areas can call upon Affordable Windows of AZ to help install new, energy efficient windows, but it’s still helpful to understand the process behind it. This overview will help you step to secure the best results in your window replacement project.
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Here’s a step by step guide to getting your window replacement right:

Buy the right windows

You need to look for a replacement window, pocket window or insert window when you’re doing a replacement project. These don’t have nailing fins and fit into the fame already in your home. Most of the windows sold at home improvement stores are meant solely for new builds and construction projects. They aren’t going to be the right choice for your already built and lived in the home.

Take accurate measurements

This is one of the most important steps that need to be accurate. Take your measurements from the inside of the house. Take the width by running your measurement tape from the inside of one side of the jamb to the other. Be sure to measure the bottom, middle, and top, as windows warp over time. Choose the smallest measurement as the final. To measure the height, do the same thing but vertically. Gaps can be filled in later, but you don’t want them to be big gaps.

Delicately remove any trim and window stops

Use a pry bar, screwdriver, and utility knife to remove these from the window frame. Be sure not to damage these pieces as you will need them later for installation.

Handle cords, sash weights and pulleys with care

Remove the sash and then cut the cords or chains. Remove the weights if possible and be sure to dispose of them properly. (they can contain lead) The outside sash you will slide down and remove any of the parting beads which are the strips that keep the sash on track.
Clean the window jamb and sill before moving onto the next steps of installation. Sand any wood and use putty to patch holes.

Perform a rough installation first

Get an idea of how the window will fit into space before actually installing the replacement window. When the shims are in a good spot, make marks on the wall to remember where they need to go.

Shimming is important

Shimming is key to a replacement project for any gaps. If your gaps are too big, you likely purchased the wrong size window.
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Remove packing clips

You will see these in the track above the movable sash. Unscrew and remove these before installation.

Fit the window

After caulking the window sill with a ⅜” bead of sealant, you will fit the window. Tap in the shims to an inch of sticking out at the spots that you marked on the wall. Screw in the mounting screws at the top and bottom of the jambs without screwing too tight. Move up the header to close gaps and screw in place.

Test for quality installation

Be sure everything is operating correctly and make adjustments if needed.

Caulking and stops

Caulk the inside and install inside stops.

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