Some tips for do-it-yourself installation of replacement windows include allowing enough time, understanding instructional terminology, possessing the right tools, and choosing between full frame, sash kits or insert windows. Depending on the type of window, this task requires basic carpentry skills and a thorough understanding of the process.
Full frame window replacements on the ground floor require four to six hours, and those on upper floors take more. Inserts typically require less time. Installation guides contain terms such as frame, sash, jamb and casing, and an installer must know what these refer to. Installing a window requires basic tools such as a hammer, tape measure and screwdriver; other necessary tools include a level, a pry bar and a caulking gun. Manufacturers design full frame replacements to replace deteriorated frames and change the size or configuration of a window, and they make inserts that preserve the existing frame and trim.
Replacing a window begins with choosing the type of replacement and then measuring the dimensions of the window. A homeowner should measure the height along each side and in the middle, and then the width at the top, middle and bottom. The smallest of the three vertical and horizontal measurements is necessary when ordering a replacement. Two identical diagonal measurements from corner to corner ensure that the frame is square. An existing window that is more than approximately 1/4 inch out of alignment requires a full frame replacement.