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How to Install Vinyl Replacement Windows

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This Do It Yourself stuff starts to get addicting after a while. Once you learn to do small projects, larger ones don’t seem so intimidating anymore.  You become better known at your local hardware store. Asking for help or advice seems much less daunting since you are more familiar with fix-it terminology.  You have arrived.

Now it’s time to tackle the medium-sized projects, like learning to install vinyl replacement windows all by yourself. There is nothing that will give you a sense of accomplishment like the first time you do something that you thought only the experts could do. Oh!  That’s right. You are an expert now!

Installing Vinyl Replacement Windows Is As Simple As…

1, 2, 3, to about 10. But don’t worry.  Each one is just a small step in a very doable procedure.  Don’t forget to check out our blog on “How To Measure Windows For Replacement” so you can brush up on your window terminology.

Your window replacement process will go much smoother if you have all of the tools and things you need right beside you. 

Here is a list of things you will want to have close by:

  • Drop cloth – to protect your flooring on the interior side of the window
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Sand paper
  • Old rag
  • Warm, mildly soapy water
  • Wood filler/putty
  • Exterior-grade caulk
  • Level
  • Round head, rust protected screws
  • Drill – just in case

Steps To Install Vinyl Replacement Windows 

Step 1. Spruce Up Jamb Surfaces
Use your rag and warm water to clean the jambs, removing any dirt and debris that has accumulated over the years.  Use your sand paper to smooth the wood surfaces and then fill in any holes you see with wood filler or putty.

Step 2. Prepare the New Window For Installation
Give the window one more visual inspection to verify there are no manufacturer defects.  Place the window in the opening and double-check the fit.  Locate the four mounting holes by placing the sashes near the center and moving the bumper stops towards the middle.

Step 3. Caulk the Inside and the Outside
Caulk the inside of the outside stops.  Caulk and install the sill angle.  Put the header on top of the window, caulk it, and then screw it into place.

Step 4. Shim the Window To Make Sure Its Square, Plumb, and Level
You’ll want to shim the window every 24″ along the jambs and every 16″ along the sill.

Step 5. It’s Window Installation Time!
Install the window and verify that corners are completely square.  If not, tap shims accordingly until they are.  Fasten the window through the shims at the top and bottom jamb locations.  Adjust the header until there is no space between the window and frame and then screw into place.

Whew!  Congratulations.  You are almost there.

Step 6. Check Your Work
Make sure that the window sashes slide easily.  If not, make the necessary adjustments.

Step 7. Accessorize
Now you can put the finishing touches in place.  Use caulk inside the windows and install the inside stops.

Step 8. Get a Breath of Fresh Air
And while you’re out there, finish the exterior components of window installation. You want to use your high grade exterior caulk all around the window where it meets your brick or siding.  Make sure there are no gaps for pesky weather elements to penetrate.

Step 9. Got a Drip Cap?
Drip caps are required by building code and are installed above the heads of vinyl replacement windows. The back leg of the drip cap needs to extend at least 2″ up behind your building paper for maximum protection from the elements.

Step 10. Pat Yourself on the Back!
If you can still move your arms…

Congratulations! You’re an official installer of vinyl replacement windows.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Call us at 1.877.579.1994 or click here to price your project. Come and see us for a Dan Good Deal at 199 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 2C1.