How to Replace Vinyl Windows

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How to Replace Vinyl Windows

Part of home-ownership is ensuring your home remains in good condition. For a lot of homeowners, that may mean replacing their current windows. This often requires a substantial investment but the added efficiency and increased curb appeal are worth it.

One of the elements that contribute to the cost of replacing existing windows is the installation. However, replacing vinyl windows is a fairly straightforward process and many experienced DIYers may want to cut costs by tackling the installation themselves. With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install vinyl replacement windows in your home.

Measure and Order Vinyl Windows

Replacing your home’s windows starts long before installation day. Before ordering vinyl replacement windows, you need to know what size windows you need. To do that, you’ll need to measure the interior width and height of the existing window. Measuring each window more than once will ensure accuracy and help avoid added costs.

Once you’ve got your window’s measurements you can easily pick out the style of vinyl window you want. Vinyl windows come in a variety of styles to complement the architecture of many different home designs. Popular options include single hung and double hung windows, which come in a wide range of colors. When selecting vinyl replacement windows, some things to consider include the Energy Star rating, type of glass, and the warranty.

Have the Proper Tools and Materials

Before installing vinyl replacement windows, you will need to make sure you have the right tools. Having everything ready to go before you start installing the windows will make the process go much quicker and easier.

Gather the following tools and materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Pry bar
  • Level
  • Paint scraper
  • Cordless drill
  • Caulk gun
  • Professional-grade exterior caulk
  • Safety glasses
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Shims

Removing the Existing Windows

Step #1: Remove the Interior Molding and Trim

To begin, you’ll need to remove the inside molding and trim from the windows. This can be done easily using a pry bar to lift pieces away from the window and interior wall. Set the pieces aside where they will not be damaged as you will need them once the new window is in place.

Step #2: Remove the Parting Stops

Once the window has been removed, take out the parting stops at the top and sides of the window. You will need the parting stops to install the replacement window, so set them somewhere they will be safe from damage.

Step #3: Remove the Window Sashes

Next, remove the top and bottom window sashes. Start by drawing the bottom lip away from the lower slash and pull it forward and out. Then pull the bottom sash towards your body in an upward and outward motion. Both sashes can be disposed of once they’ve been removed from the wall.

Step #4: Fill the Sash Pockets and Gaps

Your old window may have either a sash liner or pockets. If your window has sash liners, remove the springs and the cord pulley system. If it has sash pockets pull out the weights. Once removed, you will need to fill the empty cavities and gaps with fiberglass insulation.

Installing the Vinyl Replacement Window

Step #1: Prepare the Window Opening

After removing the old window and pieces, you may need to scrape away any paint, caulking, or foam that was left behind. Simply run a paint scraper along the exterior and interior surfaces of the jamb.

Step #2: Verify the Window Measurements

To confirm the vinyl replacement window fits, set it inside of the frame. The window should fit snugly with no large gaps between the window and jamb. After verifying the window fits, remove it from the opening.

Step #3: Caulk the Opening

To prevent water damage and drafts, caulk the inside and outside edges of the stool. Do this by running a thin, even bead of caulk where the stool meets the window sill and the window apron. Then apply caulk along the opening’s header and the exterior blind stops.

Step #4: Insert and Level the Window

Set the window back in the frame by setting the bottom on the sill and tilting it into place. From the inside, butt the exterior window frame up to the opening blind stops to secure it into place. Next, check if the window is level. If not, use shims on the bottoms and sides of the window to level and secure it.

Step #5: Secure the Window

Add additional shims to behind the screw holes to keep the frame from warping while screwing the window place. Then align the screws with the pre-existing holes and secure the window to the frame. Using a low-pressure expanding foam, fill the gaps between the frame and opening. Finally, replace the interior molding and trim pieces.
Have questions about replacing your home’s windows with vinyl windows? Our experienced team can help! Contact Yanish Custom Exteriors for more information.

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