Old single pane windows are energy wasters. They may also not be fully protecting your home from water leakage. A professional contractor can remove the old ones and install new ones in a matter of hours. Want to know how it’s done? Here are the basics on how to replace a window.

Choosing a replacement that fits into an existing frame is relatively easy. There are many different styles and price points, and they can also be made to order. The most popular style is double-pane. These are designed to trap air or an inert gas between panes. This stops the transfer of temperature between inside and outside.

Choosing New Windows
The right windows are:

Energy efficient windows – Well-installed new panes can slash your heating and cooling bills by about 25 percent.

Easy to clean The edges are smooth and tight, and wipe clean. Double panes are sealed tight so dust and debris can’t get in between.

Simple to open and close They glide smoothly and without effort. This means the windows are straight, and the hardware and materials top quality.

Deciding how to replace a window begins with choosing the style. You can change out one model for another, such as going from awning to casement. Single hung styles can be replaced with double hung to let cool air in through the bottom opening and allow warm air to escape at the top.

A contractor can also turn a small, inefficient opening into a large picture window or a sliding glass door. Most agree this is not a DIY project as it usually involves load bearings.

How to Replace a Window – Removal
The basic principles are the same for all replacements.

If you’re simply replacing the same size, all you have to do is remove inside and outside sashes, inside stop and parting bead.

If the old window has weights, cut sash chains or cords. Let the weights simply fall into the wells. There is no need to retrieve them.

Do not remove the exterior stop from the jambs because these will hold the replacement window.

Clean surfaces well and caulk any holes in sill and jambs.

How to Replace a Window – Installation
You want to ensure that your new windows fit squarely in the frame, otherwise they will not operate properly or seal out water and air. A professional contractor has the experience and tools needed to do the job correctly. He or she will measure, adjust and plumb frequently to make sure the fit is perfect.

First, caulk the inside of the jambs’ outside stops. Mark, caulk and install the sill angle.

Next, center top and bottom sashes in the frame. Adjust bumper stops until the mounting holes are visible in the side jambs. Place the expander on the top surface and caulk on top.

After that, insert the window and make sure it is square. If not, shim it accordingly. Next, install mounting screws on bottom and top of the side jambs. Avoid screwing too tightly to avoid bowing.

Slide the header to seal the space between the old frame and the new window at the top. Then slide the sashes to check for smooth operation. Use the built-in adjusters in the side jambs, if needed.

The installation is finished off by laying a generous bead of caulk inside the window and reinstalling the inside stops.

Through skill and years of practice, an experienced contractor makes sure the window installation is perfectly square, measuring at the top, at the bottom and diagonally.

Preparation Guidelines
Your installer also knows the importance of waterproofing. Without it, your house becomes a magnet for pests, mold, rot and leaks. If frames or walls are damaged, a contractor will repair it before doing the replacement. He or she should use heavy felt along the bottom frame, and self-adhering waterproof membranes all around the opening. These may be finished off with flashing and generous applications of caulk. Layers of protection are the key to knowing how to replace a window properly.

Changing out inefficient, drafty windows with new ones pays off in so many ways. They protect your home from bad weather for years and years while letting the sun shine in.

Call the experts that know how to replace a window in Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Hoover, AL.