How to Replace a Window in Your Home, Step-by-Step

Window replacement may sound intimidating at first, but with these simple steps, it is far easier to update your window than you may have thought. Before getting started, note that there are two types of window replacements: full-frame replacements and insert replacements.

You will want to undertake a full-frame replacement when:

  • There is rot in the window frame.
  • The window frame is out of square.
  • You need to change the size and shape of your window.

You will want to do an insert replacement when:

  • The window frame is free from rot.
  • The window frame is not out of square.
  • You want to replace an old window with a new one, without addressing the trim.

While some windows last at least 20 years, you may also want to think about replacing your windows if they a few decades old.

Removing the Current Window

Before you can install a new window, you must first remove the current one. Follow these steps, which will vary depending on whether you need a full-frame removal or an insert removal.

Basic Steps for Full-Frame Removal

  1. Remove the window stops.
  2. Remove the lower sash.
  3. Remove the upper sash.
  4. Remove the trim and casings.
  5. Remove the sill and frame, leaving the rough opening visible.

Basic Steps for an Insert Removal

  1. Remove the window stops.
  2. Remove the lower sash.
  3. Remove the upper sash.

Tools and Materials for Replacing a Window

  • Level
  • Crow bar
  • Hammer
  • Screw gun
  • Window
  • Galvanized screws
  • Foam insulation
  • Felt paper
  • Shims
  • Window wrap
  • Nails

How to Replace a Window

  1. Remove the entire window casing.
  2. Adjust the window frame to ensure the studs are plum and square. Be sure to leave a one-fourth-inch gap on all sides for adjustments and insulation later on.
  3. Using a window wrap, apply the wrap to the new window, starting at the bottom.
  4. From the outside of the house, install the new window, ensuring it is flush to the frame. Screw the window into place, always being careful to anchor the window into a solid piece of wood.
  5. Apply another layer of window wrap, keeping it straight and flush to the frame of the window for best moisture protection.
  6. Insert an expanding-foam into the gap between the casing and the window to provide insulation. Scrape off any excess foam once it has dried.
  7. Install new interior casing and exterior trim, if needed.

At Glass Doctor®, we are happy to replace your windows and take the burden off your hands. We understand that window replacement is no small task, and our team is equipped to make the process easy and stress-free for you—we will even install the new window on the same day. If you have questions about our services or you are seeking a quote on window replacement in your home, do not hesitate to reach out. Simply call 855-603-1919 to get started.




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