Window Replacement: How to Get the Right Fit

Window replacement is one of the most beneficial home improvement projects that homeowners should consider- even prioritize – if they’d like to improve their home in terms of  efficiency and comfort, besides aesthetics. But for window replacement to be a success, several factors will come into play, and these are considerations that you absolutely need to get right. Among these is getting the right fit.

A proper fit ensures that the replacement window is properly installed and can be relied on to function as intended. In this post, we look at the ways to properly fit your windows and have a successful window replacement.

Getting accurate measurements for every window that will be replaced will ensure easier and precise installation, proper fit and maximum energy savings. You can do this by:

  • Measuring the window from inside the home.
  • Taking the smallest measurement to make sure that the replacement window will fit into the existing window frame or opening. If there be any gaps between the replacement window and the opening, this can be easily taken care of by the window contractor by applying caulk or insulation material.

Things to Measure

To get the right measurements, the right parts of the window and the frame must be properly measured.

First, measure the indoor width of the old frame or window opening. This is done by measuring across both jambs at the top, middle and bottom parts.

Next, measure the height of the frame. This is done by taking vertical measurements from the top of the sill to the underside of the bottom jamb: at the left jamb, middle of the window and right jamb.

Finally, check for the squareness of the frame. Do so by taking diagonal measurements from corner to corner.

When checking for the frame’s squareness, you should remember a few things. First, the two diagonal measurements ought to be the same; however, a variance of up to 1/4 of an inch is acceptable. Otherwise, make sure the installer shims the replacement window to prevent any significant gaps between the window and the frame or opening.

The Best and Proper Way to Do It: Hire a Window Contractor

Measuring windows in preparation for a window replacement seems easy enough, but there’s a single best and proper way to get it done is to hire a professional window contractor. Window replacement is a task that you should never consider doing yourself. While there are certainly minor DIY home improvement projects you can undertake without the help of a professional, window replacement is not one of them.

Further, if you are getting replacement windows from a certified window dealer or contractor, remember that a free in-home consultation and estimate is standard. Of course, they’ll have to take measurements of the windows to be replaced to give you the most accurate estimate possible!

Keep in mind that without the right measurements, the window contractor won’t be able to finalize your order for custom-manufactured replacement windows. You see, there is no better way to get your new windows, except have them made-to-order. While you can purchase cheap replacement windows at your local home store, they might not fit in your home due to many factors, such as structural discrepancies, among others.

While taking measurements, your contractor can also determine if the existing framing is in good condition and whether it is still suitable for a window upgrade. Otherwise, they may recommend some solutions, such as performing some repairs or constructing an altogether new frame.

When you let a window contractor measure your windows, they will also measure the existing opening for plumb, level, and square. Based on the measurements they get, they may apply necessary adjustments as they place the order for replacement windows. Non-professionals like you may not know how to properly consider and apply such adjustments.

Getting the measurements right is the first step towards getting the entire window replacement process correct; and that depends on choosing the right professional window contractor to hire in the first place.

Window replacement is often a significant investment, which, when done right, can bring various aspects of your home that you’d like to highlight to the fore. The best way to go about things is to consult with a professional who can provide you with their expert recommendations.

About the Author

Dawn Dewey is the marketing director for Renewal by Andersen (New Mexico, San Diego, Tucson, and Boise) and Dreamstyle Remodeling. One of Professional Remodeler magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2015, she’s responsible for spreading Renewal by Andersen San Diego’s name far and wide. Catch her updates through the company blog!

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