Installing Replacement Windows
Is installing replacement windows that difficult? Not really, its not rocket science, but like most things it requires patience, preparation and experience.
Most homeowners have windows that are relatively simple to replace.
2 Methods of Installing Replacement Windows
There are two different approaches to installing replacement windows. The first method involves pulling out the old sash all the way back to the rough opening. This is the more difficult of the two methods, but it produces the best looking results. Its also the method that most window replacement companies will charge the most for.
Pulling out the old sash to the rough opening means, ripping out the old jambs, all the window sills and every part of the old window until all thats left is the exposed wooden framing of the house in the opening. Just the way it was when your house was constructed before the sashes were put in.
Its the most difficult method not because its that hard to remove the window, but that it is frequently difficult to measure how big a replacement window you need before you actually have everything ripped out.
At the very least you have to tear off the casing on the inside of the window to reveal where the sash begins and the house framing ends.
The other method is the one used most often by window replacement companies. It works because so many homeowners have "sashless slider" style sashes where your existing windows are often just sheets of glass that slide back and forth in slots cut in the sills.
Or you have vinyl framed sheets of glass that slide in tracks that are stapled to the existing wooden sills.
Its quite easy to measure from sill to sill and order a replacement sash that fits in the existing sills. Then when it arrives, all you have to do is pull the old glass, and any old plastic tracks to reveal the sills.
If the old sills are in good condition, you have a perfectly good opening to mount your window in. Quick and easy
But not always nice looking.
What happens when you do this is you still have the old sill to cap with aluminum on the outside and the new sash frame which is often at least as thick as the old sill.
This gives you a frame around the sash that is twice as thick as it used to be. If your windows were small to begin with, they will be even smaller using this replacement method.