Replacement Windows: Out with the Old, In with the New!

Two weeks ago (yep, it’s been that long ago which shows how far behind I am on the blog update!), our Pella replacement windows arrived from Lowes. Thirteen vinyl double hung windows with low E-glass and Argon gas filled for high energy savings awaited installation.

Last winter, I stood with my brother, Paul, in the fridge house inspecting the prospect of renovation. Paul said, “You’ll need to put replacement windows in here–these old wooden sashes are way beyond the point of restoration.” He continued to explain what these windows were and how they are installed. “Once you get the hang of installation,” he remarked, “you can do one window in about thirty minutes!”

“Humm,” I thought. “Thirteen windows at thirty minutes each would be six and one-half hours. Not bad!”

Now the time had finally arrived for me to get the work completed. I followed Paul’s instructions by completing these Six Easy Steps to Replacement Window Installation (no, that’s just my made-up check list, nothing official from Pella! Actually, I have ten steps in my list):

1. Remove the small trim around the inside of the window that holds the lower sash in place. Use a putty knife to gently pry the trim loose. Be careful not to break this trim as you will be replacing it after the new window is set in place.

2. Remove the lower window sash. If a rope counter weight is attached, cut the rope so that the window can come fully free. Set this sash aside for disposal or some other worthy project.

3. Remove the small trim between the lower and upper sash. This trim will be nailed in a groove along the sides and top of the window. Use a screw driver or chisel to pry the trim out. Don’t worry if the trim breaks. That’s okay because you will not be using these pieces.

4. Remove the upper window sash as in step #2.

5. Using a paint scraper, clean the outer stop trim of any paint chips. This outer trim is the piece that held the upper sash in place and kept it from falling out of the window! This trim will be the piece that holds your new replacement window in place.

6. String a bead of siliconized caulking around the inside edge of this outer trim.

7. Set the new window in the opening by placing the bottom of the window on the old window sill and pushing it against the outer stop trim coated with siliconized caulking.

8. Fasten the window in place with large screws on each side of the window. The window will have the screw holes bored. Screws come with the window.

9. Spray a small amount of foam insulation in the cavity between the new window and the old window frame. This will be critical in keeping winter winds from seeping into the house. Make sure the cracks are all filled with the right amount of insulation.

10. Re-nail the trim removed in step #1 tight against the new window. This adds another point of security to hold the new window in place and gives it a finished look.

Repeat these steps for however many windows you have.

What about the thirty minutes per window? Well, actually, I was about 10 hours installing the thirteen windows. I guess 45 minutes for my first effort at installing replacement windows is okay.

I am happy that task is competed. We will see how these windows perform later in the year when the winter winds begin howling down from Canada. Will the Argon gas, the low E-glass and the vinyl frames keep the cold out?

Remind me next April and I’ll let you know!


1 Response

  1. Donnie Pirtle July 12, 2011 / 4:01 pm

    Looks like a good job. It’s more important to get the work done than to keep us updated. Although I am always eager to see what you have accomplished.
    Looking forward to seeing you and your new home in a few days.

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