How to Replace a Picture Window

A picture window is a great addition to a home, affording a grand view of the outdoors. It focuses on providing a room with a view more than anything else. Picture windows are typically large, so replacing them can be tricky job. You may want to replace a picture window for a number of reasons, such as for making something a little more economical, complete with double glazing to save on your heating bills. Damaged picture windows can also allow warm air to escape from the house, making the room draughty and uncomfortable. Follow the simple steps below to effectively remove a picture window and replace it with a new one.

Tools and Materials

  • New window
  • Measuring tape
  • Pry bar
  • Claw hammer
  • Spirit level
  • Caulking gun
  • Nails
  • Nail setter
  • Shims
  • Scraper

Step 1 – Choose the New Window

For the best results, it is a good idea to choose a replacement window that is very similar in design to the current one. This way, you will not need to make any structural changes. You will probably need to have one specially built for your home. If you do, you will need to take relevant measurements and have one made to meet your requirements.

Make sure that there is no rot or soft spots in the frame of the window. If there is any significant damage on the frame, it may also need replacing. You should then measure the window, measuring from side to side at the top, bottom and middle. You should also measure the left, right and center of the window between the bottom of the top. Present these measurements at your local building supplies door to get the new window.

Step 2 – Remove the Old Window

Before you do this, you need to have reliable weather forecast to be sure that there is minimal chance of any rain during the day.

Remove the stops inside of the original window frame. You can reuse these for the replacement window. Remove the window from the frame, first removing the sashes. Remove these using the pry bar, and remove the nails with the claw hammer. Remove any old caulk with the scraper, and thoroughly clean away all the debris. If there are any remaining nails, remove them as well.

Step 3 – Install the New Window

Place the new window in the frame, using the spirit level to ensure that it is plumb and level. Also, measure the diagonal from corner to corner of the window to make sure it is square with the frame. Place the shims on the site in the bottom of the window, holding it in its place while you fix it permanently. Replace the stops on the window frame using 1½-inch nails. Initially, leave the nails out a little allowing you to caulk the gaps. Finally, set the nails in place using a nail setter. Caulk any gaps between the window and the frame, including the edges where the stops meet the window. Also, seal the seam outside where the window catches the sill.