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Old 01-01-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
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Replacing windows for DIY?


Just wondering if the average DIYer could replace the windows in his house or would he be way over his head? I'm just an HVAC contractor but can't afford to have my profusely leaking windows replaced by a contractor.

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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Replacing windows for DIY?


Depends on what windows you have now.
Old double hung wooden windows with the old window weights are simple to do.
Alumium or steel framed windows is a whole differant game and may not even be able to be done without using new constrution windows.
A picture may help give you some suggestions.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Replacing windows for DIY?


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Originally Posted by kirwinjd View Post
Just wondering if the average DIYer could replace the windows in his house or would he be way over his head? I'm just an HVAC contractor but can't afford to have my profusely leaking windows replaced by a contractor.
i am sure you could (idk your skill level, though).

for now, caulk the living crap out of your current leaking windows. then decide what windows you want. what kind of siding is on the house ?

i replaced mine. i cut a hole in the side of the house, reframed and installed the windows.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Replacing windows for DIY?


I recently replaced a window with a pair of French doors. This is a somewhat larger project than you discuss, but there may be similar issues. In my case, I had to install a new header (steel I beam in my case). If you replace your windows with an identical size, you probably will not have to do this, since the existing header is probably fine.

The hardest part about my installation was the flashing. The manufacturer (Marvin) provided detailed instructions on flashing procedure, which I followed, and have had no issues. In my experience, window flashing, while not rocket science, requires careful attention to detail, and seems to be the single most common error. Another common problem I have seen is inadequate drip cap installation. I made my drip caps from sheet copper, but you can purchase premanufactured Z flashing in a variety of materials, or your replacement window may have a built in drip cap.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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Replacing windows for DIY?


The nice thing about replacing windows is you don't have to commit to doing all of them at once. Just start with one or two windows in a small room and give it a try. You can do them at a nice leisurely pace (over years) and plan some to coincide with related projects (do the bathroom when you remodel the bathroom, etc).

I personally think a DIYer can potentially do a better job on a window replacement than contractor because they don't have to rush the process. Once the window is out you can use that opportunity to add insulation (maybe), caulk, get some oil-based primer on the old wood, replace or repair anything showing signs of rot (I use cedar for anything that will be exposed to weather). Some contractors will also do this, but many of the window guys will just pull out the old window and pop in the new one as quickly as possible.

A lot depends on the size, types, and locations of the windows though. If you don't like ladder work and you've got some 2nd story windows to do, you may want to hire someone for those. Small windows are definitely better candidates for the DIYer than big ones. You can pick and choose which ones you want to do, and hire out for the trickier ones.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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Replacing windows for DIY?


first. Doubt my wife would let me drag it out though.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Replacing windows for DIY?


i think pics are needed here.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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Replacing windows for DIY?


Ok. Thanks for the input. I'll see if I can upload some pics

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