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Old 08-12-2011, 12:09 PM   #1
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Measuring for retrofit windows

Hi all! I'm hoping to get some advice about measuring for retrofit aluminum windows... I decided to have a handyman install my windows to save some money over the big box stores. That means I have to measure the windows and purchase them myself, and I'm on the hook if anything goes wrong with the measurements.

My handyman told me that I should be measuring the window from the inside and adding 1/2 inch to both the width and the height. At first he told me to subtract 1/4 inch, but then he said that trim would have to be added on the outside, and adding 1/2 inch instead would give a better-looking result. The thing is, everything I've read says that 1/4-1/2 inch should be subtracted from the measurements to make sure the windows fit, and that you're in big trouble if you get windows that are too big.

So, is this guy crazy?? Is it okay to have retrofit windows that are 1/2 inch larger than the inside opening? (Sorry if I'm using incorrect terms here - I'm not too knowledgeable about windows.)

Thanks for any advice. I've already ordered windows that are 1/2 inch larger than the inside measurements, so please save me if I'm about to waste a lot of money!!


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Old 08-12-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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You want to know for sure remove the inside moldings, you will then be able to measure the frame OD.



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Old 08-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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If you already ordered the windows you better put a stop on that order “immediately” until you know you have it right or you’ll be stuck.

As mentioned pop off the interior trim on a window and check the opening.

Post a picture here inside and out of what you have now if you can.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
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I've got a few hours left to cancel the order, so if I can't figure this out for sure by then, then I probably will... I'm not sweating bullets yet, but I'm concerned, 'cause wasting $800 on four windows isn't my idea of fun!! Here are pictures of one of the windows inside and out. When I measure the inside opening, I get 34" x 46.75". When I measure from the outside, from each visible edge of the metal frame, I get 34.5" x 47.5". The windows I ordered are 34.5" x 47.25"... so that's the exact size on the width and .25" smaller on the height. Do they fit as long as I don't exceed the measurements of the frame from the outside?? Thanks so much for any help.

Inside pic

Outside pic

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Old 08-12-2011, 04:13 PM   #5
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If you are paying someone to install these windows, have him measure them as well. Cancel the order, and have the installer measure them.... On that application there are a few different ways to install a new window, so it really depends on what he plans to do.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
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I would think if the handyman knew how to order the windows, he would have suggested it. I'd also be surprised if he would take on the responsibility.


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