DIY Replacement Windows

Many homeowners are replacing their old wooden windows with new, more energy efficient models. The cost of doing this, however, can be astronomical, sometimes up to $25,000 or more. One way to lower the cost of replacement windows is to do-it-yourself. This requires more preparation than anything, the job itself is fairly simple. There are many websites that give detailed instructions, including pictures and videos, on DIY replacement windows.


DIY replacement windows: Where to begin


The first and most important step in a DIY window replacement job is to measure the old windows. This has to be done as accurately as possible; it saves lots of headache in the long run. The best way to measure windows for height is to measure from the bottom to the top in three places-the middle and both sides. Then measure the width the same way, except horizontally; across the top, middle, and bottom.

Once you have your measurements, you should research the types of materials available for the window frames and glass, as there are several choices available. Frame materials can be made of vinyl, wood, and clad wood, among others. Vinyl is the most inexpensive of frame choices and is popular for its energy efficiency. The material you choose will depend on the purpose of the window, your energy requirements and your budget.

Once you've chosen the framing material for your new windows, you need to choose the glass options you want. All new replacement windows are double paned, which means they have two panes of glass stacked on top of one another, with a layer of air between. There is a triple pane option, which is more expensive than the double paned. This style of window is best for colder climates. Beyond that, there are choices in coatings applied to the glass. The purpose of these coatings is to reflect or retain heat, depending on individual needs. Low emissivity (low-e) coating is by far the most energy efficient and will qualify you for current energy tax credit, which can be up to $1500.