Oppose the Draft: Replacing Old Windows

From on May 09, 2008 in Window Replacement

Old WindowsConsidering soaring energy prices, it is no wonder that so many homeowners look forward to removing and replacing old, drafty windows. In most cases the replacement involves removing an old aluminum or wood window with a new vinyl window. The first step in replacing any window is to record a proper measurement for the new window.

You will need to measure the opening jamb-to-jamb, both vertically and horizontally, in at least three different places. The shortest measurements will dictate the height and width of your replacement windows. Give yourself a little extra room in both directions (1/4”) to facilitate installing the new window squarely. When you have your new window, you are ready to remove the old.

Aluminum windows are fairly simple to remove, unless there is stucco or brick set right up to the window. That can make things much more difficult and you may want to consider hiring a professional window contractor or consider retrofit options. Usually you can remove the exterior trim around the window to reveal the nailing flange, or fin, around the window frame.

After pulling any nails the window should tilt right out of the opening. But first make sure that no paint or caulking are still attached to the window on the inside. After the window is out, apply window flashing to the wall at the bottom of the opening. Place the window, centering it in the opening and making sure it is square. Finish flashing it, sides first and then the top so that shingling is maintained. Next, reinstall the old trim if it can be saved and apply a bead of caulk between the window and the trim, and the trim and siding.

Learn about removing wood windows here. And talk to a certified window contractor in your area for a free consultation.