October 28, 2014

Replacement Windows – Measure Right!

window measurementToday we’re going to discuss how to measure your existing windows in your home, so that if you want to replace them or get a quote on new windows, you could take those numbers to a supplier and quote them up.

Generally you’ve got two thicknesses of walls to start with. You usually have either a 2×4 framed wall or a 2×6 framed wall. So, if you have a 2×6 framed wall like we have in this home, you’ve got your 2×6 framing, which is actually five and a half inches wide, you are going to have in this age of home, you are going to have half inch plywood on the outside and you are going to have half inch drywall on the inside, for a total of six and a half inches in depth, so that actually be your wall thickness. That’s an important part that your windows supplier is going to want to know. So you are going to need that measurement.

Depending on the age of your home, this can vary a little bit because if you have a home that’s built before the 50s or even some of the 60s have three quarter inch shiplap on the outside, instead of half inch plywood. So you need to determine a little bit exactly how your home is constructed before you can make that decision. A little bit of investigation work, look at the year of your home, some of the products you used, there could be, if it’s an older home, lath and plaster on the inside, instead of half inch drywall. That could vary anywhere from half an inch to an inch, just depending how or who put it on. There is some variables you need to consider for the width.

Once you determine that, another way of doing would be, if you opened up your window, I got a window here, we’re going to pop the screen out. So, if you can determine a distance from the outside of your window frame to where your sheeting or your plywood should start and put a little mark here, then you should be able to measure from that mark into here where the back side of your trim is and that will also give you that same measurement. A little trick to do, but if you are a little bit uncertain, it might be the best way to go, just to double confirm what you think is going on there.

That pretty much is all you need to do from the inside. I am going to show you how to do it, measure everything from the outside. In this case, we are trying to fit in to an existing exterior finish, which here is a next ninety type wood-siding. The homeowner isn’t wanting to disturb that siding anymore than necessary, so we want to fit into that hole that we cut when we removed the window and that being said, that’s going to mean, we’ll probably have a little more space in here, where the insulation is behind the trim than there is right now, but we’d rather have that than have it not fit in the hole or have to cut excess siding or if you had stuck a wall, you don’t want to cut anymore than you have to of that.

Again, what we’re doing is we’re going to go outside, show you where to measure from and I’ll explaiwindow partsn a little bit the reasoning for that, once we are out there it might be easier to show you. Okay. One of the things to also have with you is a piece of paper to write down everything that you’re recording for measurements. It’s handy to have a little bit of information, maybe pre-written on their, what room you are measuring, how many of that particular size you need, and a spot where you can put the width and the height as well.

Something that can be helpful is drawing a little picture viewed from the outside, so that you know, who you are talking to, you know which side is going to open or how is going to open and it will help them visualize exactly what you are wanting. What we’ve got here is aluminum clad window from early nineties to middle nineties and this style window is installed with a nailing flange. That nailing flange is also aluminum and is actually behind the siding or stucco, whichever you’ve got on your home. So you can actually see it or get out of it to pull the nails or screws out.

What you would have to do to remove this window is set your saw blade depth on your circular saw and run it around the exterior of the window, so that you are cutting through the cocking, the siding or the stucco or whatever is there and through that aluminum flange.

You don’t want to cut too far in and cut the plywood wide open, but you got to kind of figure that out and run the saw around there, staying close to the window so you are not cutting the opening too large. Once you’ve done that, it’s a matter of removing the inside trim, blinds, all that stuff and the window should slide out relatively easy.

OK, we’re going to chop this process into a couple of articles, so stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.  But don’t rush us!  ;0)

Eric Gomez