Installing Vinyl Windows Installing Vinyl Windows

Installing vinyl windows is a great do-it-yourself project if you are at all handy at carpentry and have some basic home remodeling under your belt. Even novices can tackle the project if you have the right tools and a can-do spirit.

Tools You Will Need for Installing Vinyl Windows

• Measuring tape (preferably steel)
• Pry bar
• Caulking and caulking gun
• Finish nails
• Hammer
• Carpenter’s square
• Straightedge
• Screwdriver
• Circular saw
• Level
• Vinyl replacement windows

Measuring the Windows

This is probably the most critical step for installing vinyl windows: your window will never fit right if you don’t measure correctly. This must be done before you consider installing vinyl windows. In fact, you need to measure before purchase your new windows. Since vinyl windows are custom-built, they can’t be returned. To measure width, measure the jamb-to-jamb width in three spots: the top, middle and bottom of the window. Measure the height from the head jamb to the sloped sill.

Installing Vinyl Windows

1. Remove the old sash first. Pry off inside stops so that they can also be removed, using care in case you need to re-use them. Cut any sash ropes and remove the lower sash, then pry out blind stops and remove the upper sash.

2. Position the vinyl window in the opening, making sure it fits nice and snug. If it is too narrow, you may need to fix a strip of wood to the jamb and nail it into place. You’ll find that some vinyl windows have sloped extrusions matching your sloped window sill, while others are flat. If, while installing, you find that your sill is flat, try using a door stop as a support for the window’s front edge. You may need to use an angled support instead.

3. Set the window in place in the opening, and then measure the gap between your old sloped sill and the window’s front lower edge.

4. Center the window in the opening using a carpenter’s square and shim window sides (behind the window’s pre-drilled screw holes) in the jamb.

5. Screw the window into place and then replace the inside window stop.

6. Check inside and outside to make sure the window operates correctly.

7. Finally, you’ll need to seal the window all around by running a thin bead of caulk.

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