10 Things to Know About Window Replacement

Get essential information on choosing and installing replacement windows.

Related To:

  1. Installing
  2. Windows

Check for Functionality

A good quality window will eliminate the need for storm windows, but you'll probably will still want screens. Many windows tilt in for easy cleaning making maintenance a breeze.

Check for Energy Efficiency

Look at the label that states the window's energy efficient. A salesperson can explain the different numbers.

Save Money With Extra Panes

Triple-paned windows provide significant energy savings and will pay for themselves quickly in the extra savings on heating and air conditioning. There is usually some kind of gas between the panes, such as argon or krypton, which helps with insulation.

Follow Safety Codes

For your own protection, use tempered glass in a window adjacent to a door or inside a shower or bath. Tempered glass shatters into small, blunt pieces when broken instead of dangerous glass chards.

Ask for Help

To avoid any major disasters installing new windows, have a friend help you out.

Get an Exact Fit

Even triple-paned windows won't save energy if not properly insulated. There should be just a little extra room for shimming and insulating. Make sure the existing trim work is secure and big enough to fit your replacement windows. Once the window is installed, fill every crevice with fiberglass insulation or expanding foam insulation. Check for drafts by holding a candle up to the window to see if it flickers.

Use a Tape Measure

Use a tape measure rather than a level to square off the window opening. Start by measuring from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, and again from the top right to the bottom left. If the measurements are the same, then your window is perfectly square.

Use Proper Flashing

One of the most common place a window will leak is on the top. If it is not properly flashed with a drip cap, your new windows could be ruined. Take the time to install the drip cap and then fit the siding over it.

Check the Shims

Every window needs to be shimmed to ensure a perfect fit so it will open and close properly. Double check the shims with a 2-foot level to make sure there are no bulges in the middle of the window.

Spring for New Trim

Spend the extra money to get new trim. The money spent in materials will go a long way. Your old window trim has a good chance of getting damaged as well as not matching your newly purchased windows.