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Window Replacement step-by-step

Window Replacement: Step-By-Step Guide To The Process

  1. Why Windows Replacement
  2. How to Measure Windows for Replacement
  3. Windows Replacement Process
  4. How to Choose a Window Replacement Contractor
  5. FAQs


Replacing windows in your home isn't just a matter of aesthetics—it's a critical step in improving your home's energy efficiency, reducing utility bills, and raising property value.

Whether you're a new homeowner or you're looking to update an older property, understanding the window replacement process is crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of window replacement—from determining when to replace your windows to choosing the right type of window glass and understanding how to measure for replacements accurately.

We'll provide a step-by-step look at the window replacement process, highlighting common questions and concerns such as disruption to daily life, potential damage to interior walls, and what exactly gets replaced during the process.

Additionally, we'll cover the benefits of green home windows, explaining how eco-friendly options can enhance energy efficiency and contribute to a healthier planet.

We also provide advice on choosing a green window replacement contractor, financing your window replacement, and maintaining your new modern windows post-installation.

image showing professional inspecting window

Whether you're just starting your window replacement journey or you're ready to take the next step, this guide is designed to provide you with the essential knowledge you need to make informed decisions.

And for other information about window replacement – for example about costs, read our full guide on window replacement!

If you want to replace your windows, you can obtain a free, no-obligation quote by submitting the form above this article.

And do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more insightful and informative pieces like this.

Let's take a closer look at the window replacement process and the many ways it can enhance your home.

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Why Window Replacement

What Gets Replaced When You Get New Windows?

When you decide to replace your windows, it's not just the glass that's being swapped out.

In full-frame window replacements, the entire window unit is replaced, including the frame and sash. This is often necessary when the existing window frame is old, warped, or damaged.

In some cases, a pocket or insert window replacement may be performed. This process involves replacing only the sash and leaving the original frame, trim, and casing in place.

This method is typically used when the existing frame and surrounding areas are still in good condition, and the window size remains the same.

Why Windows Glass Replacement is Crucial

As homeowners, it's vital to grasp the importance of window glass replacement in maintaining the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of our homes.

This understanding helps you keep a pulse on your home's state and anticipate window replacement needs before it's too late.

A variety of factors, including environmental conditions and frequent use, can cause even high-quality windows to degrade over time.

Recognizing the signs of window wear and tear is paramount in preserving your home's energy efficiency.

Windows Glass Replacement

Over time, even the best windows may lose their efficacy. This decay can result from various factors, ranging from natural wear and tear to accidental damage.

So, how do you ascertain the need for window glass replacement?

Some signs are more visible, such as cracks or chips in the glass, warped or rotting window frames, and difficulty in opening or closing the windows. However, some subtle indicators might go unnoticed.

These include a noticeable increase in your energy bills, uncomfortable drafts in certain parts of your house, or external noise becoming more apparent.

image showing window with condensation

Once you decide to replace the window glass, the question becomes: what glass to choose for your new windows?

Modern windows technologies offer a plethora of options, from double and triple glazing to low-emissivity (Low-E) glass and gas fill.

These choices go a long way in enhancing your window's energy efficiency, providing superior insulation, reducing noise pollution, and even protecting your home's interiors from harmful UV rays.

How to Measure Windows For Replacement

Whether you're replacing an old window or installing a new one in an existing wall opening, accurate measurement is paramount for a seamless installation.

A window that's too small leaves gaps, compromising the insulation and aesthetics. One that's too large just won't fit.

Here's a simple guide to measuring windows for replacement:

1. Measure the Width

Take three measurements for the width - at the top, middle, and bottom of the window. Use the smallest of these three measurements as the width.

2. Measure the Height

Similarly, measure the height at the left, middle, and right of the window. Use the smallest of these measurements as the height.

3. Measure the Depth

Your window must fit within the window frame. Hence, measure the depth of the window frame from the inside, excluding any obstructions like pulleys or trim. The standard depth should be at least 3-1/4 inches.

Keep in mind that it's always better to double-check your measurements before proceeding with the replacement. Remember, the goal is to ensure your new windows fit like a glove.

Do You Measure Inside or Outside for Replacement Windows?

When you're measuring for replacement windows, it's important to take the measurements from inside the home.

image showing two hands measuring a window from indoor

This is because the interior dimensions will ultimately determine the size of the window that will fit into the existing opening.

For width, measure across the top, middle, and bottom of the window. For height, measure at the left, middle, and right.

Always use the smallest of the three measurements to ensure the new window will fit into the opening. Depth should also be measured from the inside, and it's important to ensure there are no obstructions that will interfere with the installation of the replacement window.

These measurements are critical to getting a window that fits correctly, as a window that is too large won't fit, and one that is too small will leave gaps and compromise the insulation and aesthetics of your home.

Window Replacement Process

Window replacement is a meticulous process that requires careful planning and precise execution. Here is a step-by-step guide to a typical window replacement process:

Initial Consultation

image showing a windows contractor from behind

Start by discussing your requirements, preferences, and budget with your contractor. They may conduct an onsite inspection to assess the condition of your existing windows and take measurements.

Windows Selection

Once the initial assessment is complete, you'll choose the windows that best suit your needs. Consider factors such as window type, style, material, energy efficiency, and cost.


Before installation, ensure that the work area is clear of any furniture, decorations, or obstructions that may impede the process. Remove window treatments like blinds or curtains as well.


Skilled professionals will handle the installation process. They will carefully remove the old windows, prepare the window openings, and install the new windows.

image showing windows installer sealing new windows

Proper insulation and sealing will be done to enhance energy efficiency. The interior and exterior trim will also be installed, providing a polished finish.

Post-installation Cleanup

After the installation, the crew should clean up the work area, dispose of your old windows unless you choose to keep them and provide you with instructions for the care and maintenance of your new windows.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and efficient window replacement process that meets your needs and enhances the comfort and aesthetics of your home.


Different Types of Windows

In the world of windows, one size doesn't fit all. The diverse types of energy-efficient windows cater to various architectural styles, climates, and personal preferences. Let's explore some common options:

Double-Hung Windows

image showing double-hung windows

These windows have two sashes in the frame that move vertically. They provide excellent ventilation and are easy to clean.

Casement Windows

image showing casement windows

Hinged at the sides, these windows open outward, allowing for improved ventilation. When closed, they seal tightly, offering exceptional energy efficiency.

Picture Windows

image showing picture windows

These large, fixed windows are designed to offer expansive views. They're sealed around the edges, which boosts energy efficiency.

Slider Windows

image showing slider windows

These windows open by sliding horizontally. They have fewer parts that could break or wear out, making them a durable, low- maintenance choice.

Each window type has its advantages and can be fitted with energy-efficient glass options to maximize your home's energy savings.

Windows for a Green Home

Also referred to as energy-efficient windows, these marvels of modern engineering are designed to minimize your heated or cooled air from escaping your home.

Their secret lies in a combination of factors such as the design, choice of materials, and advanced technologies that lower energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Why opt for eco-friendly windows? The answer is multi-faceted. Apart from contributing to a healthier planet, these windows offer tangible benefits for homeowners.

They enhance thermal comfort indoors, and reduce reliance on artificial heating and cooling, thereby leading to significant energy savings.

For instance, research from the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that you can save between $126 to $465 a year by replacing single-pane windows in your home with energy-efficient ones.

The Environmental Impact of Window Replacement

It's no secret that home improvements, including window replacement, can generate waste. But what is the environmental impact, and how can you mitigate it?

Old windows that are replaced often end up in landfills. However, many parts of a window - glass, aluminum, and sometimes even wood - are recyclable. Therefore, when choosing a contractor, it's worth asking about their waste disposal policies.

Moreover, the energy savings from installing energy-efficient windows contribute to a reduction in carbon footprint. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, energy-efficient windows can save an average home up to 15% annually on energy bills, which equates to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Understanding Window Energy Efficiency Ratings

When you shop for eco friendly windows, you're likely to come across window energy efficiency ratings.

These ratings, provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), give you a snapshot of how well a window performs in terms of energy efficiency.

image showing hand closing window

Understanding these ratings can aid your decision-making process:

  1. U-Factor: This measures how well a window prevents heat from escaping. The lower the U-Factor, the better the window is at keeping heat in.
  2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This measures how well a window blocks heat caused by sunlight. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits.
  3. Visible Transmittance (VT): This measures how much light a window lets in. A higher VT means more natural light.
  4. Air Leakage (AL): This measures the rate at which air passes through a window's joints. A lower AL means less air leakage.

How to Choose a Window Replacement Contractor

Choosing the right contractor is just as essential as selecting the right windows. A knowledgeable, reliable, and skilled contractor can ensure a smooth and successful window replacement.

image showing a reliable window contractor smiling

Here's what to consider:

1. Experience

Window replacement is a significant investment, and you want it done right. Look for contractors with substantial experience in the industry and positive customer reviews.

2. Credentials

Check if the contractor is licensed, insured, and bonded. These credentials protect you in the event of unforeseen circumstances during the installation.

3. Green Commitment

If you're specifically interested in sustainable windows, look for contractors who demonstrate a clear commitment to eco-friendly practices. This commitment could be evident in their choice of products, their waste disposal methods, and the energy efficiency of their operations.

4. Communication

A good contractor will communicate effectively, keep you updated at every stage of the process, answer your questions, and address your concerns.

Financing Your Window Replacement

Window replacement is a significant investment, but it's one that pays off in the long run through energy savings and increased property value.

There are various ways you can finance this investment:

  1. Savings: Using your savings is the most cost-effective way to finance your window replacement, as it involves no interest payments or fees.
  2. Home Improvement Loans: Some banks and credit unions offer loans specifically for home improvement projects.
  3. Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs): These are loans for energy-efficient home improvements, backed by the federal government.

Remember, the cost should not be your only consideration when replacing your windows. Consider the long-term benefits and savings, as well as the positive impact on the environment.

After the Investment: Maintaining Your Green Home Windows

Having made the financial commitment and successfully replaced your windows, what's the next step on your journey?

The process doesn't conclude at the installation stage—consistent maintenance is fundamental to ensure your green home windows continue to function at their peak, offering substantial energy savings over time.

In this section, we emphasize the importance of regular window maintenance in protecting your investment and maximizing your energy savings.

image showing a young houseowner cleaning her new windows

We provide actionable tips to help you maintain your new windows, ensuring they serve your household effectively for many years to come.

Tips for Window Maintenance

Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your windows but also helps maintain their energy efficiency. Here are some tips:

  1. Cleaning: Regularly clean your windows, both inside and out. Use a soft brush or vacuum to remove dirt and debris from the sill and track areas.
  2. Inspection: Periodically inspect your windows for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or air leaks.
  3. Repair: If you notice any damage, get it repaired promptly. Small issues can turn into big problems if left unattended.


Investing in new windows – especially green home windows - is a smart move for homeowners who wish to carve out an efficient living space.

By recognizing when you need a window glass replacement, learning how to measure windows, and grasping the replacement process, you're well on your way to making an informed decision.

If you're considering a window replacement, remember to get your free, no-obligation quote by filling out the form above.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more insights and updates on transforming your home into an eco-friendly haven.

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How Disruptive is Replacing Windows?

Having new windows installed in your home can be a disruptive process, but with careful planning, the inconvenience can be significantly minimized.

Generally, professional contractors aim to disrupt your daily routine as little as possible. The timeline depends on several factors, including the number of windows being replaced, their type, and the existing conditions of the frames and sills.

MyGreenHome’s experienced professionals are equipped to handle the replacement efficiently, typically completing the installation within a day or two for standard projects.

They also take steps to protect your home during the process, covering furnishings and floors to minimize dust and debris. Additionally, our contractors also offer cleanup services post-installation, leaving your home neat and tidy.

Does Replacing Windows Damage Interior Walls?

A common concern among homeowners is whether the window replacement process will cause damage to the interior walls.

The answer is largely dependent on the care and expertise of the contractor. In the hands of a skilled professional, window replacement should not damage your interior walls.

Contractors are trained to carefully remove the old window and install the new one without causing unnecessary damage.

However, some minor touch-ups might be necessary after the installation, especially if the new windows are a different size or shape than the old ones. These could include repainting or patching small areas, but any significant wall repair is not typically part of the process.

Last update: 13 Jul 2024

Written by Anna

MyGreenHome editors Team is a professional team of copywriters and writes with dozens of years of experience covering consumers, financial and business products and services

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