Do you need to have a window replaced? Window replacement seems like a pretty straightforward process, but not many people look at what really happens other than “the old window comes out, the new window goes in.” Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to give you a more detailed look at how windows are replaced.
Step 1 – Taking measurements
Every window replacement project starts with making sure the new window will fit properly. Since there’s a good chance that the existing window frame doesn’t match the standard window sizes available today, it’s better to have a window specialist take measurements for a more customized replacement.
Step 2 – Arrival of the Crew
Once the custom replacement is ready, the crew arrives on site, carrying with them whatever tools and materials are needed to put up your custom replacement window. In some cases, the window unit for your replacement arrives even before the team that will put it up does.
Step 3 – Preparing the site
To minimize the risk of accidents or property damage, the area around the window will have to be prepared. This may include moving furniture out of the way, covering fixtures to protect them from dust, or securing things that might get hit or knocked down during the project.
Step 4 – Removing the old window
The existing window must be dismantled to make room for the new replacement. This may require the use of tools like saws and screwdrivers. Window experts can’t just yank out an old window because the remaining frame might get too damaged to accommodate the new one. Extra caution is also taken to avoid breaking the old window’s glass, which can cause injury or damage to property.
Step 5 – Preparing the frame
Depending on the condition of the window frame, window experts may have to perform repairs to it before installing the replacement. Otherwise, the new window may experience problems like improper alignment or could even become prone to drafts and leaks. Common frame repairs include leveling and removal of old nails or screws, applying caulk or sealant on visible cracks, and drilling holes at key points of the frame to accommodate the replacement.
Step 6 – Installing the replacement
Once the frame is prepared, installing the replacement window should be the easiest part of the entire process. To ensure an airtight seal, flashing tape or rubber weatherstripping may be added as you put the replacement in place.
Step 7 – Sealing the windows
Even with a snug fit, there’s still a chance that water and air can still leak through the gap between the replacement and the frame itself. This can be properly sealed with a final layer of sealant along the replacement window’s edge. These areas are concealed with trims to give the new window a clean look.
Step 8 – Wrapping up the project
After finishing the installation, the window crew should clean up the immediate area to get rid of glass shards, screws, or wood splinters that could cause injury or property damage. They may also take the old window with them so that its parts can be recycled into newer windows.
Alex Esler is the Marketing Manager of Renewal by Andersen, the window subsidiary of leading window and door company Andersen Corporation. She regularly shares her insights on window replacement and installation through online articles and blog posts.