How to Make Your Own Window Replacement

Installing new windows is an aesthetically pleasing and functional upgrade. New windows improve energy efficiency, reduce noise, and help with home resale.

Window Replacement

Window Replacement Massachusetts is designed to fit into existing window openings and is available in a range of standard sizes. Choose from vinyl, fiberglass, or wood-clad. Fill the gap between the window and frame with low-expansion foam insulation or fiberglass.

A rogue baseball or an icy winter storm can crack your window glass and leave you with an ugly gap that’s not only unsightly, but also unwelcoming to unwanted guests. Rather than pay an expert to replace the entire window or even worse, leave your home exposed, you can make this simple fix yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Single pane windows are easily fixed by removing the frame, cleaning and then replacing the broken glass. However, replacing a double pane is more complicated. Most are “sealed units” containing two separate panes of glass separated by an air space and sometimes filled with gases like argon to provide insulation. Replacing a double pane involves removing the existing frame, cleaning and desiccating the seal, then installing the new sealed unit glass and caulking and sealing the frame.

Whether or not a window replacement is needed can depend on the extent of the damage and your preference for an attractive or efficient window. Generally speaking, it’s best to replace a damaged window pane as soon as possible to prevent further damage, such as mold or mildew, and to maintain the integrity of the frame and seal.

It is important to note that window replacements aren’t just for looks – they can significantly impact the energy efficiency of your home, decreasing your heating and cooling bills as well as reducing condensation. While it may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a new window when the existing one is still functioning, consider that a cracked or poorly sealed window can easily shatter completely when bumped or struck and allow moisture to enter your home, leading to more expensive repairs and higher utility bills in the long run.

Before you remove the old pane, be sure to protect yourself by using safety goggles and a work hat and take it outside or over a table. Cover the area around the damaged glass with a grid of duct tape to keep any shards from falling out. Using a painter’s tool, pry the metal glazing points (two on each side for a total of four) out of their grooves in the sash frame. If the putty isn’t loose, use a heat gun to gradually soften it and then scrape and chisel out the remains of the old putty with a painter’s tool.

Repainting

Whether new or replacement, a good paint job will make the windows look refreshed and fantastic. Unlike doors, which usually have large surfaces that are easy to cover with paint, windows have many small areas that require a great deal of attention and detail. The first step in repainting your windows is to remove any existing paint. This can be done with a scraper or by washing the frames with water and soap. Once the window has been cleaned, you should let it dry thoroughly. Next, use a drop-cloth or old piece of fabric to protect the floor and walls from any splatters. Then, apply a few coats of high-quality exterior paint to the wood frame. It may be necessary to sand between each coat of paint to get a smooth finish. Be sure to protect the window tracks and weather stripping as well. It is also a good idea to put up some plastic sheeting with painters tape.

If you are replacing an existing window, there are two types of replacement windows available: full frame replacement windows and pocket replacement windows. A full frame replacement will involve removing the existing window and frame and installing a new window. It is more expensive than a pocket replacement, but it will provide a better view and more light.

When selecting a replacement window, you will need to decide on the size and style that best suits your needs. Double-hung windows are the most popular choice due to their energy efficiency and ease of cleaning. Sliding and casement windows are also a good choice as they offer a variety of opening options.

If you are replacing an existing window, it is a good idea to consider removing the latches and handles from the sash. This will make it easier to paint the windows. If you don’t, you should at least remove the hardware from the top of the sash and the left or right uprights of the frame. It is also a good idea to use a brush with angled bristles such as a sash brush, which will help you get the paint into all of the corners and tight spaces on the window.

Water Damage

Moisture is the enemy of wood and other materials around windows. Over time it can rot and cause structural damage. It can also cause mold, fungus and warping of the surrounding walls. If not dealt with in a timely fashion it can lead to costly repairs.

If you notice signs of moisture damage such as water marks, rotting wood or musty odors it is likely time to call in the experts. A window replacement specialist can complete a full evaluation of the issue and let you know whether it makes sense to repair or replace your windows.

Examine the cladding around your windows and check for gaps and cracks. These are prime spots for water leaks. Check the frame too – is it soft and spongy or does it have a crumbly texture? These are indicators of a long-term problem.

Water damage can have many causes including poor drainage around the windows, incorrect flashing and the lack of a proper sill slope. A good sill slope should direct water away from the window and into the gutter system or swale.

The best way to stop a leaking window is to prevent it from getting started in the first place. Make sure the flashing is properly installed and the sill pan and frame are constructed of a quality material that can stand up to weather elements. Also, a well-installed caulking can help to seal the gap. However, if the damage is extensive or if it has been ongoing for some time then full-frame window replacement may be the best solution. This is a more involved and costly process but will save you money in the long run. It involves removing the old drywall, assessing and correcting damage, replacing drywall, waterproofing, reinstalling a new window, retrimming and painting. It is best left to the experts!

Sealing

If you have drafty windows, it’s time to seal them. Air gaps let cold air in and heat escape, increasing your energy costs in winter. Besides being uncomfortable, drafty windows can also lead to condensation and mold inside your home. These problems can be easily fixed by sealing your windows with either a silicone caulk or foam sealant.

Silicone caulk is a good choice for both exterior and interior window sealing, as it is durable and moisture-resistant. For the best results, remove old caulk from around your windows before applying new caulk and clean the area well. A stiff brush or a wire whisk works well for this purpose. Afterward, choose the correct type of caulk for your needs. For example, latex caulk is suitable for many applications, but a polyurethane caulk provides better adhesion and is especially suited to colder weather.

Before you begin the caulking process, it’s important to know that many window frames need repair before they can be sealed. Check the frames for loose glazing, and fill any cracks with putty or caulk. When using a caulk gun, make sure that you have a steady hand and don’t apply the bead too thickly. If you’re unsure whether the cracks are big enough to seal, read the recommended maximum gap size on the caulk label.

Foam backer rod, cut to the length of your gap, is a useful tool for creating an even seal in a wide gap. It creates a flexible base for the bead of caulk that follows, and it can be smoothed with a wet finger to prevent the caulk from cracking or debonding. Alternatively, flashing tape is another effective way to seal small gaps in window framing without using a backer rod.

For larger gaps, you can use a bubble gasket seal or an E (electro) gasket to keep air and water out. These are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit most windows, and they provide a strong, long-lasting seal that can be easily replaced. In addition, they won’t bend the frame of your window or create any unsightly gaps or voids.