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How to Replace a Window Frame in a Vinyl Window

How to Replace a Window Frame in a Vinyl Window

Replacing your windows starts long before the installation. Before ordering the windows, you need to measure your existing window. Measuring more than once will improve accuracy and help avoid unnecessary work and costs.


Removing the Existing Windows

Step #1: Remove the Interior Trim and Molding 

To start, you’ll have to pull out the inside trim and molding from the windows. This can be done quickly using a pry bar to pull pieces away from the interior wall and the window. Put the pieces aside where they can not be damaged, as you will need them later when your new window is in place.

Step #2: Take out the Parting Stops

Once the window is removed, remove the parting stops at the sides and top of the window. You will also need the parting stops later to install the new window, so place them somewhere where they will be safe from damage.

Step #3: Take out the Window Sashes

Next, take out the top and bottom sashes. Start by pulling the lower lip away from the bottom sash and move it forward and out. Then draw the bottom sash toward your body using an upward and outward motion. You can dispose of both sashes when they’ve been removed.

Step #4: Fill the Sash, Gaps, and Pockets 

Your old window might have either a pocket or a sash liner. If it has sash liners, take out the cord and springs pulley system. If it has sash pockets, you need to remove the weights. Once it is removed, you will have to fill the empty holes and gaps with fiberglass.


Installing the New Vinyl Window

Step #1: Prepare the Opening

After taking out the old window and its pieces, you might have to scrape away any caulking, paint, or foam that’s left. You can do this by using a paint scraper along the inner and outer surfaces of the jamb.

Step #2: Check the Window Measurements

To check if the replacement window fits, put it inside of the frame. The new window should fit closely with no large gaps between the jamb and window. After confirming that the window fits, pull it out of the opening.

Step #3: Caulk the Opening

To prevent drafts and water damage, caulk the inner and outer edges of the stool. Do this by running a thin bead of caulk along the place where the stool, the window sill, and the window apron and drafts meet. Then put the exterior blind stops and caulk along with the opening’s header.

Step #4: Insert the Window

Put the new vinyl window back into the frame by placing the bottom on the window sill and moving it into place. Go inside and butt the exterior frame up to the opening blind stops to fix it into place. Next, verify that the window is level. If not, use shims on the sides and bottoms to secure it.

Step #5: Secure the Window

Add shims behind the screw holes to prevent the frame from bending while you are screwing the window in place. Then align the screws with the previous holes and fix the window to the frame. With a low-pressure expanding foam, fill the gaps between the opening and frame. In the end, replace trim pieces and interior molding.

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