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How to buy a vinyl replacement window

When it comes to a window replacement project, there are more difficult steps than the initial measurement and ordering of the windows, but not more important. Everything that happens with the project depends on getting those numbers right first. The openings for the old wood sash windows you are replacing have likely evolved over the years, so […]

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When it comes to a window replacement project, there are more difficult steps than the initial measurement and ordering of the windows, but not more important. Everything that happens with the project depends on getting those numbers right first. The openings for the old wood sash windows you are replacing have likely evolved over the years, so you can’t rely on an exact standard dimension, and it can be confusing to figure out which area to measure from which to. Old windows are still in place. 

 On top, tucking inside the track that the bottom frame uses when it is lifted. Note the measurement. Take another horizontal measurement in the center of the vinyl window, above the bottom frame, again on the inside of the track. Write it down.

Lift the bottom frame and take a horizontal measurement at the bottom, inside the track where you just lifted the window. Note the measurement. Take the smallest of the three horizontal measurements, and subtract 1/4 inch from it. This the width of the window you need.

Material is important

Consider the architecture of your home when choosing a window material.

  • Coated Wood – The low maintenance aluminum exterior siding is like armor that provides added protection from the elements. These windows showcase the natural beauty of wood inside your home with aluminum siding on the outside. The oven-baked finish is durable, easy to maintain, and available in a variety of popular colors.
  • Wood – With wood windows, you will get the beauty of natural wood interiors and exteriors without the worry of wood rotting. These windows are easy to maintain and you have the freedom to stain, clear varnish or paint them to achieve the finish you want.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl is known to be remarkably durable to give you years of energy efficiency. You also have plenty of design options to enhance the character of your home.

Measure from one vertical side of the inside of the top trench, where the bottom frame would stop if it was lifted all the way, to the bottom plate just in front of the sill. Take advantage of this measurement with the lower frame at half height. Repeat the measurement on the other vertical side. Take the smallest measurement and subtract 1/4 inch from it. This is your height number.

Browse the windows available at your window or home improvement store, and online. Consider your climatic conditions when deciding to pay extra money for double-glazed windows, which have an air space between two pieces of glass and are better insulated against the cold. Determine whether you want mullions, square or rectangular divisions in the glass. (They look great on older style homes, but a bit out-of-place modern.) Windows above the ground floor should be double-hung, with swivel capability on both sides of the glass in the house because you won’t be able to clean them from the outside. Take your style preferences and your width and height numbers when you order the windows. Do not tear off your old windows until the new ones arrive and you have checked their measurements to make sure they will fit.

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