If you are planning to do some remodeling and give your home a bit more curb appeal, one of the main ways you can raise the profile of your property is to transform the look of your home with some replacement windows.
Replacing a window might initially sound like a job you would rather not tackle but even if you have average DIY skills it’s not that challenging and there is a lot of job satisfaction when you save loads of money and improve the value of your home at the same time.
One of the questions you will need to answer when choosing your windows is what the difference is between PVCu and uPVC, and you can read more here about that when you are starting to plan the job, plus there are a number of other steps to follow with your window project.
Buying the right window
You need to get your DIY project off the right start if it is going to finish well and that means you have to be careful when buying your window, as some versions might not be suitable for your home.
There are plenty of windows on display at your local DIY store but if these are intended for new construction properties you are going to struggle with the installation.
What you actually need if you are remodeling an older property is one that is billed as a replacement window, or it might be referred to as an insert or pocket window.
The fundamental difference is that a replacement window won’t have any nailing fins and has been designed to fit snugly into an existing frame, once you have confirmed the measurements.
Take your time with the tape measure
It goes without saying that if you don’t get the measurements of your window frame spot on you are going to have some issues when it comes to fitting a replacement.
To measure the width, run the tape measure from one side of the window jamb to the other, then measure from the inside to the opposite jamb, to check that the measurements are identical.
Follow the same procedure to get the measurement for the height and be mindful that it’s better to use the smallest measurement as your guide because you can always fill in any gaps afterward.
Be careful when removing the old window
Damaging the frame and surrounding materials when removing the old window will make more work when fitting the replacement.
Be very attentive about removing the trim and window stops and slice any bonded paint with a knife before attempting to pull the old window away.
If you have sash windows
If you have an older period property there is a fair chance that you might have sash windows and this presents an added challenge, although it is not an insurmountable one.
If you are struggling to remove the weights you could let them fall into their pockets so that they are out of the way.
There are online tutorials you can follow if you want some extra guidance on this stage of the process.
Try before you fit
Once your frame is ready to receive the new window the next step should be to offer it up to space at check out how it looks and gauge how well it seems to fit at the same time.
If you are happy that the window is going to fit and you don’t need to make any more adjustments at this stage you can then make marks on your wall to show where the shims are going to go.
You can’t expect a perfect fit
It is important to remember that it is highly unlikely that your replacement window will fit perfectly and there are always some adjustments that will need to be made.
You should expect to have to use some shims to fill a few small gaps as part of the fitting process but they should only be small gaps, as anything too loose is going to be hard to weatherproof.
Don’t forget to remove the packing clips
Replacement windows will normally be safely secured for transportation using packing clips and they are only there to keep the window in place and stop it from moving.
These clips need to be removed when you are ready to install the window and once you have unscrewed and discarded them you can cover the hole with the screws provided.
Squaring up the window
In preparation for fitting the window, it would be a good idea to caulk the sill with a bead of sealant, before offering up the window to the opening.
Check that all four corners are square and you are happy that the window is going to fit flush into the opening.
Gently tap the shims you are using into place but be careful not to knock them all the way in at this stage, so that you can make adjustments.
Once you are happy, at this point, you can proceed to screw in the mounting screws that came with the window working your way between the top and bottom of each side jamb, being careful not to over-tighten the screws.
Finally, fix the header in place.
Check your window works fine
Test the window thoroughly to ensure that all aspects of the window operation are in working order and that nothing is too tight or out of line.
You may have to make some minor adjustments at this stage by reducing the size of the shims if necessary, sawing off the ends once you are satisfied that the window is a good fit and it works fine.
You are almost done at this point and now that you are satisfied that your window is in place and fits tightly its a matter of carrying out final caulking and installing the inside stops.
Start by caulking inside the window and then install the inside stops and complete the job with the small finish screws that came with it.
Although you will need a bit of DIY know-how to get the job done, the main thing you will need is a bit of patience and perseverance, but the satisfaction of seeing the finished window in place is well worth the effort.