How to Measure for Replacement Windows

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Replacing your windows can provide your home you with greater security while also lowering your energy costs. And, of course, they also dramatically update your home’s look and feel.

But before you jump into buying replacement windows, there are a few key details you need to know about measurements. After all, you don’t want to waste your money on windows that don’t fit properly. These handy window tips will help you get it right.

Essentials to remember before you start

Check the condition of the window frames

Replacement windows are different from new-construction windows because they fit within your existing frame. This is useful if you have an older home with character and integrity that you don’t want to change.

However, you must ensure that the frame is strong enough to support a new window. Any damage to wooden frames, like wood rot or water damage, and they won’t be able to hold the new window installation.

If you’re not sure whether the frame is strong enough, consider hiring a contractor to inspect it.

Think About Style Type

It’s easy to go for the exact same type of replacement window as the original. But this isn’t always the best option for the efficiency of your home.

For example, you may have a double-hung window with sashes that slide vertically up and down. But if you struggle to open it, you could opt for a casement window instead.

Ask a Sacramento window expert before making your decision. There may be more than one style to fit your frame.

Consider the price

As tempting as it is to go for the cheaper replacement windows, they may not always be the best. Windows are a lasting investment and not something you’ll change often. They play an essential role in keeping your home energy-efficient and secure.

Check for Square

When we look at windows, we generally assume they’re perfectly “square” in that all sides are straight. But for a window to be genuinely square, it needs every corner to be at a ninety-degree angle.

But if your frames are damaged, there’s a chance they’ll be lopsided, making a window installation tricky. In addition, uneven window frames make it difficult, if not impossible, to open the window.

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Measure for square by measuring diagonally across each pane of glass from the corner joint where the trim boards meet. If all four measurements are the same or nearly so (within a quarter of an inch), you have a square window.

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If the window isn’t square, you’ll need a new-construction window installation.

Measure Window Width

You need to take three different measurements for the width of the window – top, middle and bottom widths. In addition, all measurements need to be taken from jamb to jamb. (Jambs are the frame’s vertical parts surrounding the window.)

Start by sliding up the window and measuring along the bottom. Next, measure from jamb to jamb along the middle. Finally, take the width measurement of the top of the window, again from jamb to jamb. Remember to record the measurements!

Once you have all three figures, circle the shortest. That’s the one you’ll need when ordering your new replacement window.

Measure Window Height

Once again, you’ll need three measurements – from the top of the frame to the bottom. A top tip to remember is that the sill is NOT the window section that sticks out into the room. It may be called a windowsill, but you need to measure from the bottom of the horizontal board to the bottom of the window.

This time, measure from top to bottom at the right, the middle, and the left of the window.

Finally, circle or highlight the shortest measurement.

Measure Window Depth

Depth refers to the distance between the windowpane and the edge of the window frame. You can find this measurement by measuring from the inside edge of one side of your current window frame to its opposite side.

Most of the time, depth won’t be an issue with traditional houses. But if you live in a modular or mobile home, you may need to measure for accuracy. Occasionally, the space may be too narrow for a replacement window.

Round Your Numbers

Now you have all your figures, it’s time to finalize your measurements. The best way to do this is to round them down to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.

couple planningContact a Professional

Measuring windows may seem easy, but the slightest error can be a costly mistake. So the best way to ensure your new replacement window fits is to call in a professional. They’re fully trained in window installation, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing the new windows will be a perfect fit.

Contact the professionals at Bell Bros today for more information about replacement windows.