Categories: Windows

How To Measure Replacement Windows

Replacement Windows

This weekend I helped my dad install some new replacement windows. Installing replacement windows isn’t really that hard and it’s certainly a great DIY project for anyone with moderate DIY and construction skills. We replaced five double hung windows in about six hours.

Replacement windows are installed in a way that doesn’t require the old window frame to be removed. Because of this most replacement windows do not require exterior siding to be removed which greatly simplifies the process. This makes replacement windows a great do-it-yourself project.

Ordering Replacement Windows

Installing replacement windows is an excellent way to upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient and better looking. Replacement windows are designed to be installed inside your existing windows frame. This eliminates the need for costly siding repairs and also makes it a rather simple and quick project.

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Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

View Comments

  • Not everyone agrees that replacement windows are necessarily more efficient. A properly sealed and maintained wood window with a properly installed storm can in some cases provide more protection. This is not to mention the fact that older wooden windows, when properly maintained or refurbished, will far outlast any window on the market today. Many of them have already weathered a century or more and if kept properly maintained will outlive their owners.

    • Mark - I don't disagree...however...there are very few people around today capable of maintaining them and frankly very few of those windows are able to meet the performance of today's windows. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    • I totally disagree, I have installed 1000's ow windows and none of the wood windows can even match the performance and quality of a higher grade vinyl window for energy savings, sealings and ease of use.

  • I work in a glass plant that produces loE window coatings. Old non coated windows are not nearly as good as new energy efficient windows. Anybody who tells you otherwise does not know what they are talking about.

  • DO THEY MAKE REPLACEMENT VINYL WINDOWS WITH A JAMB DEPTH OF 3-1/4 , I ORDERED SOME FOR MY HOUSE AND THE WINDOW WAS ABOUT 1/2 " SHORT , BECAUSE NEW WINDOW HAD A JAMB DEPTH OF 2-1/4, MAKING THE WINDOW SIT LOWER ON SLOPED SILL, I JUST HAD TO ADD A PIECE OF TRIM OUTSIDE TO FIX,PROBLEM.

    • It's not uncommon to have to make new jamb stops and trim. Replacement windows almost never match the original window dimensions.

    • To your direct question, yes there are windows that have a frame depth of 3.25". These windows are built to meet the requirement for most replacement projects. I am not suggesting you bought an inexpensive window, but if one shops strickly on price then it is highly possible that there was a less expensive window that looked great, but close examination, or explanation by the sales person selling the window, could show that the savings was accomplished by a lighter (both wall thickness and frame depth) window. This also results in thinner glass units which affects thermal properties as well as sound transmission. It is prehaps to late for this to help you as it sounds like this is an after the fact question, but possibly can help someone in the future.
      Bruce

  • I have searched far and wide and still cannot find a simple explanation of how to measure for replacement windows on a block house in florida every article seems to reference wood frame and none of the articles explain whether to measure from outside block to block or inside drywall to drywall ??

    • Rich - What you need is some sort of "wood" buck typically that's attached to the block, and then the window attaches to that. Best way is to expose the block on one window so you know for sure what's there.

  • Good evening, great article, but I have a question what is the proper way to measure for replacing an existing replacement window? since it is on solid plastic jam 3/8-1/2" thick. Do you add on both sides, subtract or combination of both.
    Thanks,

  • Best explanation I've seen in searching for 3 days on google and You tube. Thanks!

    By reading others comments, it's obvious you can't answer every possible scenario with one explanation, but with this page, you have covered most windows in America I believe!
    Thanks again!
    God bless!
    Chris

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