After trying small repairs to windows, sometimes they are not enough to justify keeping the old windows, especially if it is warped or weather-damaged. To replace old windows with new ones can save a homeowner on their heating and cooling bills by regulating the heat loss or gain in the home.
If the windows are in disrepair, and are older models that are less than energy efficient, it may be time to replace old windows to both save on energy bills and increase the curb appeal of the home.
Choosing New Window Frames
One of the most inexpensive windows types are aluminum frame windows. These are easy on the budget, but leak air and come in very few style choices. Aluminum frame windows are easy to install, but are not often used in homes now because of energy conservation concerns. For people looking to replace old windows to save on energy bills, this type may not be the right choice.
Steel frame windows are occasionally used in homes, and they are efficient at energy conservation. Steel frame models are sturdy and are resistant to wear from extreme weather. But the main reason they are not used more often on homes is the price tag- they are more expensive than mot other window types. They also come in far fewer styles than many other types of windows. Homeowners seeking to replace old windows with the strongest window possible would probably benefit from this style.
Vinyl frame windows are mid-priced and come in a wide range of styles. They are also maintenance free, sturdy and last a long time. Vinyl frames are a popular choice to replace old windows for all of these reasons, and they are available at most home improvement stores.
Wood frame windows are popular for their large choice of styles, but tend to be more expensive than vinyl models, and require regular maintenance. A hybrid of the two is also available on the market, made of wood with vinyl or metal on the outside to make it more durable.
Single window panes were once used for most homes, but they are not currently used in new construction homes. Single pane windows are very easy to repair, and are easy to replace. They are usually held into an aluminum or wood window frame with glazing.
Replacing the pane is as easy as removing the glazing, taking out the glass, and scraping any remnants out of the window frame. A new pane can then be installed, and new glazing applied to hold it in place. But, most people wishing to replace old windows will not choose single panes because they are poor insulators.
The most commonly used windows panes are double paned. These have a gap of air, or another gas, in between two pieces of glass. The air in the gap is a vapor barrier that will protect the home from heat loss. For this reason, double paned windows are the most common type of window pane used on new construction buildings all over the world.
Because of the popularity of double pane windows, there are now triple pane windows on the market. Currently, triple pane windows are high priced and have limited availability, but may come down in cost in the future as they become more popular.
You will first need to measure your windows. It is important to have accurate measurements as a badly installed window, or one that does not fit right, will be as bad as the old windows you are trying to replace.
The two measurements that you will need are the width of the window and the height. The width of a window is measured by getting the distance between the inside of the left jamb and the inside of the right jamb. The height is measured by measuring between the window sill and the head jamb.
To be on the safe side, take three height measurements: from the left, the middle and the right side of the window. You may find that these measurements vary. Use the smallest measurement for the height of the window.
To begin your window replacement:
- 1. Remove the old sashes.
2. There should be two sets of stops if your current windows were traditionally installed. Pry the old stops off carefully. If you can, keep them in tact so that you can use them again.
NOTE: It is important that your new window fit correctly between the outside stops and the stool. If you find that there is too much space, nail a correctly sized piece of wood to the jamb to fill the gap.
3. Install the window supports according to the slope of your sill
4. Place the window in the center of the opening. Make sure that the window is square.
5. Secure the window in place using the side jambs
6. Replace the inside stop.
7. It is a good idea now to go inside and check that the window is working properly. If it is not, make the necessary adjustments.
8. Go back outside and seal the outside stop gap. Simply place a narrow bead of caulking all around the seal of the window.
You should install your windows from inside your home not from the outside.
Photo by bucklava, Creative Commons Attribution License