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Sign up today for our FREE e-mail newsletters and get helpful tips and timely article links delivered to your e-mail inbox. Dozens of ideas, loads of how-tos, and the latest advice on the projects and products you need to improve your home today, plus special offers. From style to tile, find tons of inspirational photos, ideas, and how-tos for brand-new rooms, quick upgrades, and big and small fixes, plus special offers. Twice-monthly advice for bringing your home outdoors, from year-round yard upkeep and planning to the wonders of making your garden grow, plus special offers. Monthly advice on how to make your home eco-friendly, including energy and water saving tips, healthy home products, green remodeling, and more, plus special offer. Be the first to know about This Old House contests, sweepstakes, and events and receive special offers and promotions from your favorite home improvement brands. Fold out the window unit's nailing fins so they are perpendicular to the sides of the window frame.
Have an assistant stand inside and tell you when the gaps between the sides of the window and the jack studs are equal on both sides.
Here we provide best-practice details about flashing and sealing around windows to avoid air and water leaks. In this article series we discuss the selection and installation of windows and doors, following best construction and design practices for building lighting and ventilation, with attention to the impact on building heating and cooling costs, indoor air quality, and comfort of occupants. We review the proper installation details for windows and doors, and we compare the durability of different window and door materials and types.
This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons. Watch out: as our window photos above demonstrate, installing any window without proper flashing and sealing is likely to result in leaks into the building interior.

The owner of this new home was very unhappy that each time it rained water ran down the inside of her walls at this window. Continue reading at FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Please Select Username to appear on public areas of the site like community and recipe comments. If you have basic tools and skills you can install your own vinyl replacement windows and save hundreds of dollars in installation charges—for each window. Vinyl replacement windows come mounted in a new jamb, and are simply tilted into the old frame and fastened in place. Installing replacement windows looks complicated, but actually requires only basic tools and skill—despite the high prices charged by some window replacement companies. However, before deciding to tackle the job yourself, check the condition of your existing window frames. If the frames are sound, the next step is to measure the interior width and height of each window frame side to side and top to sill. Either remove the sash liners and springs or open the sash pockets and pull out the weights.
Push the new vinyl unit into place tight against the outside stop and drive the mounting screws in the sides. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Then set the window's sill into the bottom of the rough opening, and tip the frame into the opening until all the nailing fins are tight against the wall.

Tack the nailing fin to the sheathing at one upper corner with a 1 ½-inch roofing nail, but do not drive it all the way in.
The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. If they’re rotten or badly out of square, the whole unit, including the frame, may need replacing. Double-check these measurements to ensure their accuracy so you don't end up with a window that doesn't fit. This is a much bigger and more complicated job than installing a vinyl window insert and may require a pro. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order.
Then consider whether to copy the style (single or multiple glass panes) of the old windows or to change it.
Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.
Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.

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