Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 1/14/2014

Can I really replace my outdated (cracks and gaps) windows myself ??

I was looking over the internet to find a way / vendor to replace my windows with the new vinyl ones and I found this article here - which really makes me think that this looks really simple and I can do it myself. I just wanted to get some good suggestions regarding this article if this will do or do I need to do anything else for the same. If someone else has a better opinion suggestions are welcomed or else I think I might need to contact them on a personal level and get the confirmation, please I request everyone to give me some sensible suggestion / comments for the same. Thanks in advance :)
Looking forward to get it done by next 15 days.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

3 Answers


Install pock replacement windows is not that difficult. The difficult part is getting the proper measurements. If you are doing it yourself I would suggest to replace the entire window and frame.

Step 1. Remove casing around window - do this very gentle so you can reuse the casing and save some money.

Step 2. Measure to the 1/16th of an inch - width first then height example

48 1/16" X 59 1/4" ( this will be your united inches )

Step 3. Order windows - I suggest spending a little more on window getting the Lo E & Argon gas

Step 4. Once window arrives you can begin to install - Remove old window - there will be nails around the out side of the frame of the window that is holding it in place these nails can be pulled out or cut with a reciprocating saw - to make sure you don't break any glass take the sash out first, if you can't then tape an X in the window so if it does break hopefully the tape will keep most of the glass from falling out. You may also have to cut the caulking around the outside of the window where it's meeting the exeterior sheathing.

Step 5. Window is out (good job so far!) Now you should have the exsisting rough opening from when the house was built. Inspect the wood of the frame make sure it's still in good condition - basically no rot - make sure all nail heads are driven in or pulled. At this time you should also check to see if the sill is level and wrap the exsisting frame with a house wrap or moister barrier.

Step 6. Place window and secure leveling with shims. This will be a little tricky but not to difficult.

Step 7. fill gap between the window frame and the rough opening frame with an expanding foam - don't go crazy with the foam because it expands will

Step 8. Inspect the exterior of the window see how it meets up with the exsisting sheathing. If the gap is minimal you can silicon it with match color of the window. If the gap is large then you should install a brick molding around the window siliconing brick molding to window and exterior sheathing. Also try as hard as you can to install a drip cap above the window or the brick molding. You need to get this behind the house wrap it would extend up at least 1" then over the window and down about 1/4".

Step 9. If you didn't use to much expanding foam you can reinstall your casing

Step 10 You are done! Congradulations you just installed a window

Best of Luck on your project

Richard Jeziorski

Liberty Roofing & Siding Inc.

Answered 6 years ago by LibertyRoofing



The actual replacement is not that hard but the cladding and wrapping is not a DIY job for most folks.

Answered 6 years ago by Davidhughes


1) Did you REALLY expect it to be that easy ? Then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you - easy do it yourself fixer upper, with lots of customers to use it. His little how-to mixes up steps a lot and misses an awful lot - starts off talking about a sash replacement (only the moving part surrounding the glass, leaving the frame and jamb intact), but then ends up talking as if replacing the entire window unit - including entire frame and trim - is being replaced.

2) Yes you can do it yourself, either with a sash replacement (moving or equivalent fixed window part only), insert (leaves outer frame but replaces jambs and window unit), or a "prime" / "framed unit" / "total window unit" replacement, but there are a lot more steps than that shown - take a look at some videos at Hometime or This Old House or similar shows for an idea of the steps. Or even contractor submitted Youtube videos, just realize most of them have things done wrong in them, or missed steps, but will give you a good general idea of what is involved. BTW - google this search phrase for pictures of the parts of a window unit and what they are called - window parts image

2) The article you referenced referred to jambs, which are the grooves or slots the slider moves in - I guess he actually meant the trimmer studs alongside the window unit, the header over the top, and the sill blocking or rough sill under the window, all of which are roughly 1/2" bigger opening than the window unit itself, when he was talking insulation and caulking. (Google - window rough opening parts images - for terminology).

3) He totally left out the fact you have to tear off trim and molding to get accurate measurement of the current RO (rough opening) between the studs, header, and sill blocking. Then reweatherproof it till new windows arrive.

4) Get done in 15 days - only if you have a RO size to match someone's in-stock windows, or have a local manufacturer who is not too busy. Ordering and delivery time typically 20-30 days or more.

5) If you do decide to do this yourself, I would STRONGLY advise a small, out of view window (basement, garage, or such, with ground level not ladder access as a learning exercise.

6) For all but the smallest windows, unless you have about waist high access off a deck or ground, you will need two people. Even then you can lose control and drop a unit - almost always breaking the glass, at least, if not breaking the frame apart. I have several times seen 3-4 man crews drop large living room or bay units by accident - to the tune of $1000-10000 in damages. Speaking of tune - you can bet what you hear after that is not show tunes.

7) You will need to do a LOT of research on the proper way to seal in a window with housewrap and ice and water shield and flashing/J channel, then caulking, etc - the tough parts, after getting the RO measurement right, is nailing it in so it is square and the moveable parts still move freely, then getting the waterproofing elements matched up to the house configuration and siding type so it does not leak or let water in the walls.

8) One thing you will have to assess is if vinyl is best for you - a lot of people, myself included, consider this the bottom of the line material for windows, so you might want to do some research there.

9) When you say cracks and gaps, if around the frame rather than between the window sash unit and the jamb, this is no reason to replace the window - just caulk trim if needed, or if bad pull brick molding and interior trim and foam insulate the gap, then with proper caulking replace trim (outside brick mold or trim commonly needs replacement - tough to get it off intact if it was backside caulked right in the firt place).

9) Unless you are in a warm part of the country, this is sort of the wrong time of year to do this - should be above 50 and preferably above 60 degrees 24 hours a day for a week or so after install for proper caulk curing, plus putting in windows with cold hands makes for a poorer job quality.

Not advising not to do it - just don't figure it is a quarter as quick and easy as that article said.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy