If you need new windows at your home, there is no sense paying someone to perform the installation on your behalf.  It is much cheaper to adopt the DIY (do it yourself) ethos and replace your windows on your own.  Below, we take a look at the basics of windows replacement to help a homeowner replace their windows without paying through the nose for professional assistance.



What You Will Need for Window Replacement

You likely have some of the tools necessary for window replacement in your basement, garage or tool shed.  You will need a hammer, cordless drill, caulk gun, level, putty knife, pliers, tape measure, protractor, utility knife, expanding foam and fiberglass insulation.  Don’t forget to buy the actual windows that will replace the ones currently at your property.  Two different types of home windows exist: replacement and new construction.  New construction windows are for new homes and additions.  Such windows have nailing fins along the front that ensure the window can be nailed flat to the house.  Replacement windows are added when the current windows must be replaced.  There are no nailing fins on replacement windows.



The Window Replacement Process

Pulling out the old windows and installing new ones is easier than most assume.  There is no need to rip off the interior moldings.  Nor is there any reason to disturb the trim or siding along the perimeter.  Measure the current window frame’s dimensions to ensure the new window’s size is a proper match.  Measure across the bottom, middle and top of the current window frame.  An angle-measuring tool will be necessary to gauge the sill slope.  There is a good chance the window replacement you favor will have multiple sill angle to choose from so be sure to have this measurement on-hand.

The next step is to take of the old sash from the frame of the window.  If necessary, unscrew the wooden stops to eliminate the lower sash.  Remove the parting beads to open up the upper sash.  If the window frame has aluminum or vinyl jamb liners, pry them off.  If you notice any blistered or loose paint, scrape it off.  If there are cracks or holes, patch them with wood putty of exterior grade.  Sand the jambs until they are smooth.  Prime and paint these surfaces so they look visually pleasing.



Foam and Caulking

The addition of polyurethane foam designed for windows will prevent the frames from bowing and ensure the sash still functions.  Be sure to remove fiberglass within the weight pockets prior to adding the foam.  Bore holes with 3/8 of an inch in diameter by the ends and in the middle.  Spray the foam directly into the sash weight pockets within the side jambs.  Add the foam to the holes until it starts to ooze outward.  Give the excess foam remaining along the window six hours to harden prior to cutting it off.

The next step is to add the caulk to the exposed portion of the inner face of the casings.  Add elastomeric caulk along the exposed portion of the inner face of the casings/blind stops.  It will also be necessary to add ongoing beads of caulk to the windowsill.



Placing the Window

Installing the actual window should be done from within the room as opposed to outside of it.  Place the bottom of the insert replacement along the sill, tipping it upward into the vacant space.  Make sure the window is pressed tight against the blind stops or exterior casings.  Fasten the window with the use of a 2-inch screw.  Driving a 2-inch screw through the upper portion of the side jamb into the window frame will secure the window and also ensure it operates.  Close the sash and lock it.  Insert the shims below the sill behind the jambs on the sides to ensure it is centered for smooth opening, closing and locking.  Screw the window in place with the pre-drilled holes you created at the outset of the process.  Reinstall the stops, prime/paint/stain the window frame/sash and the job will be complete.