How to install a window in 8 easy steps

There’s a crack in the glass or a loss of insulation, and so you’ve decided it’s time to install a new window. Go ahead and get out your tools; you can do it yourself with this little guide on how to install a window in eight easy steps.
1. Take all the measurements

To take the indoor measurements, remove all mouldings, frame, and insulating material. Measure the height, width, and depth (between the drywall and the outer frame). Outdoors, measure the window from one edge of your exterior siding to the other, regardless of the material.

For each dimension, measure in three different places and use the shortest measurement as a guide to make sure the new window will fit into the opening.

2. Remove the existing window

When you remove the window to be replaced, be sure not to damage the existing structure and the trim pieces that you will be reusing. Unless the frame is too ruined to refurbish, remove it to check for potential problems such as mold.

3. Prepare the opening

Remove the outer siding to ensure that any structural parts and wall materials are not damaged or mouldy. Remove all nails, screws, and other remaining debris.

4. Position the window

Position the window from the warmest side of the wall to reduce the risk of condensation from the inside. In relationship to the outer wall, the window should be set in about a quarter of an inch to reduce heat loss.

5. Make adjustments

Once installed, the window has to be able to withstand structural movement without getting stuck open or closed. Ensure this won’t happen before you fix it in place with screws. Also, before installing the window, make sure its corners are all squared at 90 degrees. If you’re still unsure about how to install a window, consult a pro at your local home improvement centre or at a door and window retailer’s.

6. Insulate

For insulation, the two best options are either mineral wool or urethane foam. Urethane foam is not recommended for PVC windows because it adheres poorly. However, it is generally preferred for the basement, as mineral wool can absorb moisture from the concrete it comes into contact with and thus be rendered ineffective.

7. Finish the exterior

It is important to use caulking around the window. Ask a sales associate at your home improvement centre or hardware store for advice on which product you should use. Make sure you know the best thickness of caulking to lay down. If the caulking is too thin, it won’t stick; if it’s too thick, it will lack elasticity. Once you’ve caulked the window, you can install your molding and siding.

8. Finish the interior

All you have to do now is install your interior framing, and you’ll have finished learning how to install a window—or just about. Don’t forget to clean up your work area; a tidy view will let you enjoy looking out your new window!

How to install a window in 8 easy steps
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