Install & Repair Windows

install andersen windows

So you want to install replacement windows on your own?  That is certainly an option.  The process is relatively straightforward, but there are several factors you should consider when deciding to install replacement windows.

We’ll discuss several factors including:

  • Evaluating the project before you commit
  • How to measure replacement windows
  • How to measure sliding patio doors
  • How to order replacement windows
  • Selecting replacement window options
  • Typical cost of replacement windows
  • Removing old wood windows
  • Removing old metal windows
  • Removing old vinyl windows
  • Removing sliding patio doors
  • Using foam insulation around the new windows
  • Installing windows into a wood frame
  • Installing windows into a drywall pocket
  • Installing sliding patio doors
  • Will your old blinds fit with your new windows?
  • Capping or exterior trim
  • Finishing details & adjustments
  • Replacement window warranty and manufacturer service

Some people think they’re going to save a fortune when they install replacement windows on their own.  The amount of money you may save on your project very much depends on how you value your time.  There is also a certain personal satisfaction that comes from completing a home improvement project and that has value as well.

It is not uncommon to find a solid company that will install efficient vinyl windows for around $300-$400 per window.  On your own you can probably purchase custom made energy efficient vinyl windows at a cost of $200-$300 so there certainly are savings to be had.  Replacement window prices can vary quite a bit, but you’ll find prices are often not directly related to quality.

When considering the options remember that a professional installation team can install 10-20 windows in a day complete with caulking and exterior trim or capping.  A typical do it yourself project will be much slower.

If your expected cost savings is about $100 per window, you can only install 2 windows per day and you only have time for the project on the weekends, you would take 5 weeks and 5 consecutive weekends to install 20 windows.  In addition you probably don’t have the equipment to install the exterior trim or capping.  WIth some bad weather or other delays the project could easily take 2 months.  A professional team could knock that project out in a day or two and you can spend your weekends on something else.

Should you install replacement windows on your own?  That’s completely up to you.  If you decide to go for it, we’ll be glad to help out.  Keep an eye on the posts linked above.  We’ll continue to add more information along with pictures and descriptions.  If you have any questions or if you’d like any more info just let us know.

I love spending my weekends taking things apart and figuring out how to put them back together.   If you decide to go for it we’ll do everything we can to help.

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

30 thoughts on “Install & Repair Windows”

  1. Informative post with good information on window replacement. Wood windows can sometimes be refurbished, but it’s a tough job to tackle and do correctly – new windows may be the best choice in most cases.

  2. I had no idea that it would take so long to do the window replacements yourself. I guess it would be the way to go if you’re looking for cost savings, but it sure would be hassle to do it. It makes sense to have an installation company come in to put the windows in so that it can be done quickly and correctly.

  3. Window replacement sounds like quite a long and detailed process. I’m looking to replace the old windows in my home and I’m a little nervous about doing it by myself. I’ll be sure to follow your instructions that you provided. If I feel like I’m not up to the task, I’ll hire a professional.

  4. My wife and I are looking to replace 8 windows in our recently bought home. 6 out of the 8 windows are 49″ x 49″ (+/- 1/8″). Problem is the previous owner just installed steel siding prior to selling. I am a carpenter by trade so I have the tools and some of the know-how to do these windows myself, but I fear the steel siding could give my wife and I some trouble. Any advice is very much appreciated. Sincerely, Soldierb

  5. I just bought a house with vinyl Windows (brand unknown). The upper sash of one of the Windows will not stay locked in the pocket header. I can’t seem to find any info on how to repair that on the web. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

  6. Thank you for the info. Maybe I missed it, but with my window it’s the top sash that won’t stay in place when pushed up into the pocket header. There is a lock on one side of the stile on the upper sash that seems to hold it in place, but the lock won’t stay locked. I wonder if the whole upper sash needs replacing.

  7. I am confused, at the top of this page, you say you will discuss 18 different technical aspects of window replacement, but the article only talks about why to hire someone than do it yourself (time-savings). I was really needing the info that was supposed to be discussed that’s hard to find elsewhere.

    1. Hi Chris, we just haven’t been able to complete all of the content yet. It’s been pretty busy around here and sometimes the site gets put on the back burner while we take care of our customers. If you have any specific questions I’ll be happy to help out.

    1. I don’t know of a good place to buy the glass units online. If you find one let me know as I’m sure you’re not the only person looking. I bought it from a local glass supplier. If you can’t find one try looking for a place that does custom shower doors and mirrors. They can often supply glass units as well.

  8. Live in S. Suburbs of Chicago. Was looking for cheaper replacement vinyl dbl hung to start refitting my house. Thought it would be easy, went to Menards and had some Jen Welds on a cart. Then pulled up reviews for da heck of it and WOW. real bad reviews. I had put several in at some rehabs I did and seemed good, but I was not around long to get real test.
    I am able to do quality installation, actually prefer it that way.
    Thing is I started looking around (much time) to local building supply and Home Depot
    etc and so far I got Jen Weld; Anderson SilverLine (Supply house)) and Anderson American Craftsman (h.D.) and they All have bad reviews. Then I am lost online (including here) seeking reviews etc till my brain can stand it no more.
    Getting only 3 windows now, do it area at a time. But may want to stick to same window throughout process once I start. Probably move in 2 years or less.
    Can someone wade thru all the noise and suggest 2-3 better econo windows that are better than above?

  9. Some if not most of my latches (the ones that you have to slide in to get the window to tilt) are broken. I have some new latches but I can’t get them to ‘snap’ in like I thought they would. Any suggestions as to how to get them to ‘snap’ in.?

    1. If you’re sure they’re the right latches, look for the little plastic clip on them and bend it out a little. Sometimes if that clip is pushed in it won’t catch on the sash. If you pull it out a little it will catch. Just be careful not to pull it out too far or it might snap. Luckily, they’re pretty inexpensive.

    I have a broken vent window clip. I had the window installed aprx 4 yrs. back. I have made 4 phone calls over a three week period. I was NEVER had a return call. I was transferred to corporate office. I was told there was a $99.00 service call they were not going to waive that fee. There warranty IS CRAP!!! I am not going to put another penny towards future windows. I am going to choose there direct competitor.

    1. What brand of windows are you talking about? If it’s a tilt latch that needs to be replaced you can pop it in in about 3 seconds. No need to pay someone to do it for you. Just have them mail you one and replace it. Not much harder than changing a light bulb.

  11. Are the american craftsman 70 series impact window a decent economy impact window? They are $356 at home depot. Planning to install myself. Got a qoute to install american craftsman impact window from HD install program and was quoted $3300 to install two american craftsman impact windows.

    1. $356 for an impact window does sound like a bargain. You’ll find the American Craftsman windows don’t always have the best reputation, but for the right project that price might make sense.

      $3300 for labor on 2 windows does feel a little speedy, but if you’re in FL the permit and inspection process can be a little onerous so that’s probably contributing to the labor cost.

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