How to Install Vinyl Replacement Windows

By A. Nutt

Vinyl windows have become a very useful method of replacing older windows, particularly wooden ones that have warped and no longer work well. Vinyl is ideal for many household applications, but it particularly suits windows since it never needs to be painted (you choose the color you want it to come in) and is very easy to clean. In addition, these windows are quite cheap in comparison to wood or metal.

You can install your own vinyl replacement windows fairly easily, you'll just need to make sure you measure carefully and follow the steps below.

Measuring
You'll need to carefully measure the entire window. This includes both sides of the window and the top and bottom. The reason for this is that you'll find the frame is often slightly different due to warping, particularly in older houses. Since vinyl windows are custom made, you need to measure correctly the first time around. Check with the replacement window manufacturer to find out all the measurements they need before you start.

Installing the Vinyl Windows
In order to install new windows, you will need to remove the old ones. This may be quite a bit of work, depending on how the old ones were installed.

First, you will need to remove the old sash. This includes the 'stops' or pieces of wood that hold the window in place. The outer ones will not need to be taken off, but you need to pry out the ones on the inside of the house. Try not to ruin them since you will need to put them back once the new window is in place. If they are ruined, there are replacements that can be purchased. They are usually available at your local hardware store.

If there are sash ropes holding the window in place, cut these. Pull the lower sash out, if it is a double hung window (the most commonly used), pry off the middle stop that separated the two pieces of the window and carefully lift the upper part out of its place.

The next step is to put the replacement vinyl window into the frame. This will be far easier if you have two people to work on it, though one person can do it. It's just awkward to lift and hold the window in place while trying to replace the stops. It will need to sit against the outside stops and should be snug all the way around if the measurements were taken correctly. However, in the case that it doesn't fit exactly, you will need to do a few adjustments yourself.

Thin strips of wood can be used to fill in any gaps along the edges of the new window and if the old sill is slanted, but the new vinyl window has a flat bottom, you will want to place a wedge shaped strip there to hold it in place and fill in the gap.

Once the window has been fitted, screw it into place by putting screws in through the predrilled holes in the side jambs that come with the window. Now you can replace the stops on either side on the inside, simply screw or nail them back into place on either side of the window.

The second to last step is to ensure that the entire window works properly. Open and shut it a couple of times to be sure everything slides smoothly. Finally, you'll need to take a caulking gun and run a line of caulk around the outside of the window to keep drafts out.

It isn't difficult to install your own replacement vinyl windows, but it does help to have a second set of hands!

Quality vinyl windows manufacturer provides a wide range of replacement windows, bay/bow windows and doors. Other services such as installing vinyl windows and custom design to meet architectural specifications.


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