High-quality windows enhance the appearance and energy efficiency of your home. Installation is a challenging task. If you decide to turn it into a DIY project, weigh up the pros and cons carefully. A badly installed window is an example of cost-cutting to the detriment of aesthetics and performance.
So, how hard is it to replace a window? This depends on your own skills and experience. You will also need the necessary tools and hardware (the latter may come with the window). Remember that professionals can provide you with an installation guarantee. If you do everything yourself, there is no recourse. The money saved may not be worth the effort for everyone.
Tip 1. Decide If DIY Is a Good Idea
Obviously, you need at least some DIY experience to handle the task. If you are naturally handy and have enough time for the job, it could be a worthy undertaking. Installation without professional services is possible.
On the downside, the challenge is time-consuming, particularly if there is more than one window to put in place. Professional installers work more quickly than amateurs. They may get the job done in a couple of days, while you may need to allocate more time.
Finally, are you sure the forgoing guarantee is a good idea? You will only have yourself to blame in case of defects. The window may crack or break if you drop it. To conclude, make sure you have enough time and experience to accomplish the task.
Tip 2. Prepare the Opening Properly
Begin by removing the trim and casing (jamb extension) of the old window. This may be done with a pry bar. Next, unscrew the window from the jamb. If it is made up of several saches with moving tracks, you can take them apart one at a time.
The next step is to work with the opening. The jamb may be rotten due to leaks, so you may need to fix or replace it. The same applies to the window stop. Remember that the rough opening must be bigger than the new window, with a difference between ¼ and ⅜ inches.
Tip 3. Dry Fit First
You need to make sure the window fits into the opening perfectly. This is why dry fitting is so important. Afterward, you can apply silicone to the window edge and slide the window into the right position. Use a level to make it perfectly horizontal. You may need to place some cedar shims under the frame. Screw the frame to the jamb through its pre-drilled holes.
At this point, you can add molding and trim the jamb if necessary. Finally, conceal nail holes with putty and paint the molding. Voilà! As you can see, the process is quite complex. Think twice before trying to install a window yourself. You will save money, but only if you do everything correctly. Sometimes, the old saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is true.