Window Installation Steps for Quick-And-Easy Replacement

Male industrial builder worker window installation building construction site

According to the latest estimates, electricity cost an average of 0.165 per kWh in April of 2023. That’s 0.010 more than what it cost in April of 2022.

Just like with everything else, electricity prices are slowly creeping up. You should do what you can to make your home more energy-efficient. Performing a window replacement or several is one way you can do this.

Read on to get some window installation steps.

Why You Should Replace Old Windows 

So how can a window replacement make your home more energy-efficient? To put it simply: a sealed-up home is a more energy-efficient home.

Escaping Air 

Most people control the temperatures in their homes with HVAC units. These will blow hot or cold air into homes to keep them warm or cool. But many homes have holes around or in the doors and windows through which air can escape.

When air escapes, HVAC systems have to work harder to change a home’s temperature. Even the most energy-efficient units will have this issue. So before you spend money on this type of unit, fix your windows first.

Windows Degrade 

Things degrade over time. This includes your windows and the caulking that should fill the space between your walls and windows.

If you have good-quality windows, the caulking should degrade before your windows do. You can easily replace that caulking. But if the frame of a window starts to fail, you need to replace the whole window.

Wood Vs Metal 

Metal frames typically last longer than wooden frames. Wood warps in certain temperatures and moisture conditions. Over time, this will cause holes to form between the glass and the frame.

Metal doesn’t last forever, but it can last longer. Many metals will rust away with time. This is how they develop holes.

Some treatments can help these frames resist their degradation. However, these only help for so long. You’ll probably need to replace your window before you know it.

Before You Replace Old Windows 

Keep in mind that a DIY window replacement will only go so far. Yes, a window installation tutorial can help you a lot. But unless you’re a professional window installer, the tutorial will only get you so far.

It’s better to get the best window company you can to install new windows. They will know all the mistakes you can make and then avoid them. They will also know where to get the best tools, windows, and supplies.

But you do have the right to choose. If you wish to go the cheaper but riskier route, use the window installation steps below.

Window Installation Steps 

Keep in mind that you have the choice between two different window types. If you’re replacing a window, you’ll probably want a remodel window. This will fit in with an existing finished opening rather than a rough opening.

Keeping this in mind, perform the following steps:

Step 1: Measure the Window 

You must measure the existing window correctly. If you don’t, you’ll end up purchasing the wrong size window. Take all of these measurements:

  • Across from jamb to jamb at the top, middle, and bottom
  • From sil to top jamb at the left, middle, and right
  • Diagonal from corner to corner

Note: if you notice any differences in the squareness of your window, you may need shims.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools 

After you purchase your new window, gather the necessary tools. But anything you need while you’re out. You will need the following:

  • Level
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicon caulk
  • Tape measure
  • Pair of pliers
  • Expanding foam
  • Weatherproofing tape

Step 3: Remove Inside Vertical Strips 

You’re now ready to begin removing the existing window. Use your utility knife to cut the paint between the inside casement and the sash stop.

After this, use your putty knife to pull the stop off the basement. Do not break the sash stops as you’re going to reuse them later.

Step 4: Remove Parting Stops 

The parting stops are wood or vinyl strips. They are around 1/2-inch square. You can find them at the top and bottom of your window frame.

Use your pliers to pull the parting stops away.

Step 5: Remove the Window 

Cut the window sash weights if it has them. Use a putty knife to separate any tracks from the casement.

Bring the top and lower sash together, grip them together, and tip the entire assembly toward yourself. When it’s halfway out, grip the sides and pull it away.

Step 6: Prepare the Empty Sill 

Remove any defects from the edge around the window. Put a small amount of caulking in each corner of the sill pan. Then roll your weatherproofing tape over this.

Also, test your new window to make sure it fits in the new frame.

Step 7: Install the New Window

Place the front bottom edge of your window into the frame. Then press the top of the window into place. Make sure your window is plumb and leveled.

Step 8: Finish the Window Installation

You’re not quite finished with installing your window yet. There are still some final steps you need to take:

  • Install any shims in the sides with mounting screws
  • Score the shims until they’re even against the rest of the frame
  • Seal your window with a thin bead of caulk around the edge
  • Re-install the stops from before
  • Use expanding foam to seal your window from the outside
  • Repaint any disturbed exterior features

Learn More About Home Improvement 

As you can see, these window installation steps are a bit more than just popping a window out and putting a new one in. If this seems too complex for you, you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Still, there’s no need to feel down on yourself. You’re sure to find other home improvement projects in our Real Estate and Home section. These may be easier for you to tackle.

Check them out!