Installing Vinyl Replacement Windows

For those already considering replacing their windows with vinyl framed double paned thermal windows, the pros already outweigh the cons and the next step is to buy them and put them in.

Measuring the windows properly will save buying a window that can’t be used or customizing the opening. New windows are put into the rough opening and sometimes the most accurate measurement will require taking off the exterior trim to measure from stud to stud. The main thing is to do whatever is needed to get the right measurement.


When the new windows arrive, or when you go get them, take them to their assigned window and set them close by. While you remove the old windows, follow this procedure:

1. Use a flat bar and hammer to remove the old trim.
2. Remove all screws or nails in the wings of the old windows.
3. Try to pry the window out in increments so as not to drop it.
4. When you feel it free from the rough opening, get a secure grip. Get help if you have to. Pull it out and set it down.

If the window does not come free you may have to cut nails, or find additional screws. Removal of other peoples work is never an exact science. Try to remove only what you have to. Interior casings most times can be left alone. Preparation of the rough opening by removing old nails and debris will prevent blockage.

Now you must address insulation of your new window. There are several versions of an insulating tape that can be put down on the opening before install. Most serve different purposes for different applications. Put it under the wings of the new window, directly on the studs of the rough opening. Some tapes are made to wrap on the inside of the opening as well as outside under the screws. Now, take these steps:

1. Prepare a screw gun, screws and brace for holding the window.
2. Pick up window and place in the opening. Place the brace against the bottom of the window, hold the top.
3. Grab the screw gun, put an elbow up to the window to hold it in, and use both hands to hold and put in your first screw in the wing of the window at the top corner.
4. With your hands still on the window, move to the other top corner and put in another screw.
5. Put some screws in the corners of the bottom.
6. Continue putting screws in until you have fully secured the window.

Go from side to side as you put them in not all on one side. You should notice the window suck up to the insulation tape and the studs of the rough opening.

I think it’s best to use new exterior trim when replacing windows. If you use the old trim at least use new nails and new nail holes. Don’t forget to caulk the trim when you’re done.


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