Home Window Replacement: How to Replace Old or Broken Windows in Your House

replacing windows

Replacing a worn-out window will enliven your home's appearance, make your rooms more comfortable, and ease heating and cooling costs all without having to cut any new holes in your walls. Most of these projects can be completed by a fairly handy person (perhaps with a helper) in a day or less. In fact installing a replacement window is sometimes easier than making some window repairs.

Projects in Window Replacement

Replacement window options
Are you a candidate for a replacement window? Before you buy a replacement window, consider these factors:

If the existing window frame is badly out of square, you will need to remove outside and inside trim, as well as the jamb, in order to straighten things. Otherwise the replacement window will appear misaligned -- and it may not fit.

If your existing jamb, exterior trim, or sill is rotted, cracked, or otherwise damaged, you could make repairs, but it may actually be less work to tear it all out and install a new window.

Replacement sashes will be the same size as your old sashes, and a replacement window will actually be a little smaller than the old window. If you want to let in more light, consider enlarging the opening in the wall and installing a new window.

Replacement windows are units designed to be installed into an existing opening. If you have an old wood window, you can likely leave the jambs and molding in place and remove only the sashes. (If you have a metal or vinyl window, you'll have to remove the entire unit.)

A replacement sash kit is the least expensive and simplest installation. However a complete replacement window (also called a pocket window replacement) is not much more difficult or costly. A garden window is the most complicated project and requires that you remove the entire window.

Replacement sashes are, of course, double- or single-hung windows, but replacement windows may be double-hung, single-hung, casement, or sliding.

Many replacement units have vinyl frames, but you can purchase wood and clad-wood varieties as well. After installing these windows you can reapply the existing interior and exterior trim or install new trim to better match the new window's style.

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