If you want to improve your home's energy efficiency or update its look by installing new windows, drop-in window replacements are a good option. Since they sit comfortably in your current window frame, they spare you from the hassle of installing an entirely new frame. However, they aren't suitable for all types of windows; sliding windows and casement windows often won't accept them, and damage to the existing window frame means you will need to replace it regardless. A new window installation professional is more suited to full-frame replacement, as it requires specialized tools and expert knowledge to remove existing frames without damaging the siding of your home.
Make Sure Your Frame Accepts Drop-In Replacement Windows
Drop-in replacement windows are intended to fit into the frames of existing double-hung windows. These are the most common type of window, where the sashes move up and down. Sliding windows, where the sashes move from left to right, or casement windows, where the sashes are opened and closed by turning a crank, are not good candidates for drop-in window replacement. A professional can examine your current windows and determine if a drop-in replacement is possible, but these types of windows usually do not have stops in the correct locations, and you will need to replace the entire window frame.
The style of the trim on your existing frame may also make it difficult to find a drop-in replacement window that matches the exterior of your home. There are a number of different frame styles for drop-in replacement windows available so that you can find a window that best matches your current frame and trim, but it will be difficult to find a good match for unfinished wooden frames or trimless frames. In these cases, you'll also want to perform a full-frame replacement to ensure the exterior of your home is attractive.
Check The Existing Frame For Damage And Squareness
Since you'll need to keep your existing frame with a drop-in replacement, it's important to make sure the frame is in good condition. It's common for wooden window frames in older homes to suffer from damage caused by rot, erosion, water damage or problems with the home's foundation. Examine the frame carefully for signs of rot. Pay careful attention to areas near the side jambs and the sill, because water often collects in these areas. You don't want to discover that your wooden frame has rotted through in the middle of your new window installation!
You'll also need to check the existing frame for squareness. Whether by haphazard installation or by age, window frames can go out of square. You can either use a framing square or you can measure the diagonals on the existing frame using a tape measure. If you're using a tape measure, measure from the top-left corner of the frame to the bottom-right corner and compare that number to the measurement between the top-right corner and the bottom-left corner. Ideally, if the corners of the frame were all perfect ninety-degree angles, these measurements would be equal. If they differ by more than a quarter of an inch, your window isn't a good candidate for drop-in window replacement. When you're installing your new window, you will be squaring it and shimming it into place, but if the existing frame is not square then the drop-in frame will look crooked in comparison.
Contact a replacement company, like Fischer Window and Door Store, for more help.
When my wife and I were shopping for our first house a couple of years ago, one of the things that we were sure to pay a lot of attention to was the windows. Windows play an important role in the amount of energy your home uses to stay cool in the summer and warm during the winter. Window technology has come a long way in the last couple of decades and having the right windows can save you money on your monthly energy bills. This blog is here to enlighten you on what's out there and what's best for you and your home.