How to Measure for Replacement Windows

By: Amy Nutt...


Buying a home can mean having to make upgrades to make it more economical, such as replacing worn out wooden frame windows with new vinyl windows. If you are a do-it-yourselfer who likes to save money on home repairs, you can easily replace the windows yourself. The most important thing is to be able to measure the window frames correctly so that you purchase the right size replacement windows for your home. Here are some tips to help you measure correctly and avoid any problems with the install.
Remember that windows are not one size fits all.
When your home was built, the builders who made the wooden frames may have used a standard size for the location and type of casement your home needed. However, since wood is a flexible material, there are variations to be expected in each window frame. You will want to take your time and create a "map" of the windows of your home both with both interior and exterior dimensions to get the best results. You may want to number each window individually and then create a list of the window measurements to take with you when you shop for the new ones.
Take all measurements from inside your home.
Thats right. Windows are gauged by the size of the frame inside your home. One of the biggest reasons for this is because during the install process, workers are inside the frame of the house placing the windows into each frame. Outside metal and wood pieces are then added later as the wall construction is completed. In addition, the exterior frame can warp and change over time due to weather and temperature changes. You will get a more accurate measurement of your frames by using the interior specs.
Know the parts of the window before taking measurements.
The general window structure of a home is made up of the exterior and interior sashes, the inside jambs, inside stops and the window sill. Then the panes of glass are inset into the interior sashes. The sash slides into the frame of the window, while the jambs and stops control the movement of the window when in use. So when you take the measurement, you will measure from the inside of the jamb on one side of the window to the inside of the jamb on the other side of the window, much as you would if you were trying to get the width to install blinds. Use the narrowest measurement for the width of your replacement frame. To find the height, measure from the top of the sill to the bottom of the window's head jamb. Use the shortest measurement for the height of your replacement casements.
If in doubt, find a trusted friend or contractor to take a second set of measurements to make sure that you have the right fit for your new windowpanes. Then take your list to the window shop to see if they can match them up with the standard replacement windows frame sizes. You will get plenty of helpful tips to make this an easy home improvement project for you that will repay you for years to come with lower utility bills.

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