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Replacing and Installing Windows


Replacing your windows can feel like a daunting task. Not sure what is involved? Are you concerned how long it will take? Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or prefer the red-carpet treatment or anywhere in between, we hope this information will help you make better informed decisions when you plan your window replacement project.

Measuring Methods

Installation plays a huge factor in the ultimate efficiency of your new windows. A quality installation will ensure your new windows will perform as expected, while poor installation can erase any of the benefits that caused you to replace your windows in the first place. Water is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to window installation.

Installation Methods:

The installer should follow the manufacturer's recommended installation procedures for their product. In general though, there are two methods used to replace old windows. The first method involves completely tearing out the old window frame The second method covers your existing window frames. Ask your dealer or installer how they plan to install your new windows. Be sure that you are comfortable with their preferred installation method before you purchase your new replacement windows.

Full Tear Out (Brick to Brick):

During a full tear out, the glass is removed from the old window frame. Next, the exterior material of the home around the window and the house wrap, or weather barrier, is removed or pulled back to expose the nail fin of the window frame. The type of exterior material your home is made of siding, stucco, brick or wood will determine how much is removed. The old frame is removed and the new window is installed using the nail fin. The house wrap, or weather barrier, is reapplied following building code guidelines and the siding of the home is replaced or repaired. While a new window can be installed in the opening and secured in about 2-3 hours, it depends on the exterior fade material as to how long the entire replacement process will take.

The benefit to this method is that the home's weather barrier is left intact as well as the exterior fade of the home The installation process is typically shorter than with a full tear out with the average window taking about 2-3 hours to install.

Covering the Existing Window Frame (Retrofit)

When the installation method uses the existing frame, the glass is first removed from the old window. At this point, the old window frame may be trimmed down with a reciprocating saw by removing the lips and tracks that held the existing sash or the frame may be left alone. In either case, the new window is set into place over the existing frame, sealed and secured to the home.

Clean Up

After all of the windows are installed for the day, the areas inside and outside the home are cleaned up removing all construction debris. Your old windows will be loaded up and ready to be hauled away to the installer's facility for recycling and disposal. At this point, your installer should provide you with the option to review and inspect their work and have you sign a customer satisfaction form prior to leaving your home.
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