Windows can make or break your home’s curb appeal, and they can also add a lot of value to your property. However, like all home improvements, window installation replacement can be costly. There are many factors that can influence the price of a new window, including frame material, size and energy efficiency. Before you make your final decision, learn what you can do to keep costs low.
If you are planning to replace windows in hard-to-reach areas of your house, you may need to hire a professional to do the job. These windows will likely cost more to install than those in easier-to-access locations. Also, the larger the window, the more it will cost to install.
Before your installation crew arrives, remove any items that would prevent them from accessing the window. If you have furniture, flowerpots, barbecue grills and children’s toys located in the vicinity of a window, move them. If you have a lot of hedges and vines that are blocking the windows, trim them back so they can be accessed. Inside, clear a pathway to each window by moving tables, lamps, throw rugs and wall hanging art and pictures.
Start by scoring the surrounding caulk with a utility knife and working it loose. Once the caulk has been removed, carefully remove the glass. Slide a putty knife between the glass and frame to release the adhesive on one side, then pry up on the other.
Once the old window is out, clean the opening thoroughly. Remove any nails, wood scraps and other debris from the window opening. Depending on the age of your home and the type of windows, some sheathing may need to be removed for the new window to fit properly.
Next, apply flashing tape to the perimeter of the window opening. This will shed water and keep the sheathing dry. Finally, remove the sash weight pockets from each side of the window. Then, bore 3/8-inch-diameter holes through the sill and head jambs and spray in foam insulation to fill the pockets. This will reduce heat loss and save on your heating bills.
The most common window frames are aluminum, vinyl and wood. Aluminum is the cheapest, but it is also less durable than other options and does not insulate as well. Vinyl is more expensive, but it offers superior durability and energy efficiency. Wood offers a traditional look and is more expensive, but it insulates better than vinyl.
With the new window centered in the opening, shim it with thin strips of wood to keep it level. When the shims are in place, drive screws through the shims and into the framing to secure them. If the window sash does not slide easily, try using a thinner shim.
Finish the job by reattaching any stop moldings around the frame, applying a fresh coat of caulk to the outside of the casings, and installing or repairing blind stops on the top and sides of the frame. Paint or stain the stops as needed.