How to Measure a Window for Replacement

How to Measure a Window for Replacement

Updated: 12.26.2023

By Nina Tsoy

In the world of home maintenance, older or historic homes often come with their unique charm and character. However, they also bring a fair share of upkeep challenges, particularly regarding windows. Older windows tend to be less energy-efficient, which can lead to higher energy bills and decreased home value.

If you find yourself in a historic or older home with inefficient windows, the solution is clear: replace them with newer, more efficient windows. But here’s the catch – you’ll need exact measuring for replacement windows. Whether you’re dealing with old wood windows, considering a full-frame replacement, or opting for inserts, our team at Apex Window Werks is here to guide you through the process with precision and care.

So, grab your measuring tape, and let’s embark on this journey to measure your tailor-made replacement windows to ensure efficiency, style, and a perfect fit for your home.

Choosing Between Replacement and Restoration

Choosing Between Replacement and Restoration

Before delving into the intricacies of measuring windows for replacement, you’ll want to consider the decision between window replacement and restoration. Historic homes often have distinctive window styles that hold a piece of bygone eras, making the prospect of their removal a challenging one.

While restoration may involve weatherstripping, new sashes, and even replacement panes, be sure to acknowledge that rejuvenating old windows can never match the efficiency of modern counterparts. Embracing energy-efficient windows offers a multitude of advantages.

Fortunately, contemporary replacement windows cater to the unique needs of historical homes and seamlessly blend old-world charm paired with the benefits of double-pane glass. The choice between replacement and restoration is a pivotal one, with lasting implications for comfort, energy efficiency, and aesthetics.

Comprehensive Window Glossary

Before you dive into the measuring process, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the various parts of a window. This knowledge will help you understand the terminology used in the following steps.

  • Frame: The window frame encompasses and provides support to the entire window system, comprising the head, jamb, and sill;
  • Window sash: The movable window component that holds the glass, facilitating opening and closing;
  • Window jamb: The primary vertical segments form the sides of the frame, contributing to its structural integrity;
  • Window screens: Protective mesh or material fitted over windows to keep insects out while allowing air and light to pass through;
  • Balance: Spring-loaded, mechanical devices frequently found in single- and double-hung windows, aiding in counterbalancing the weight of the sash during operation;
  • Head: The central horizontal section at the top of the window frame;
  • Jamb liner: A strip on each window side that helps secure the window sash;
  • Lift: The handle used for raising the lower sash;
  • Rails: For double-hung windows, three rails exist. The upper and lower rails make up the horizontal portions of the window sash, while the middle rail, or check rail, is where the lower part of the upper sash meets the upper part of the lower sash;
  • Sill: The central horizontal portion at the bottom of the frame.

How to Measure for Replacement Windows

How to Measure for Replacement Windows
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process, from measuring the width and height to determining the depth of your window openings.

Step 1: Measure Window Width

If you’re getting exact replacement window measurements, it all starts with measuring the width. This important step involves measuring between the window jambs, those vertical pieces that form the sturdy frame of your window. Take measurements at three distinct points: the top, the middle, and the bottom of the window opening. Make sure that you measure from the surface of the jambs, not accounting for trim strips or parting beads from the existing window opening. To guarantee accuracy, always select the smallest of these three measurements when ordering your replacement window.

Step 2: Measure Window Height

Moving on to the height of your replacement window, start by measuring from the high point of the windowsill — the surface closest to the inside of the window — to the top of the window opening. This measurement should be taken at three locations: the left side, the center, and the right side of the window. Just like with width, opt for the smallest of these three height measurements when placing your order. Remember to remove any range jamb liners if your existing window has them to make sure that you measure the inside height of the frame accurately.

Step 3: Measure Window Depth

The final dimension to consider is the depth of the window opening, a critical factor for a seamless replacement. Measure between the inside window trim and the outside blind stop strip — a rectangular molding that separates the window frame’s outer trim from the sash. To accommodate the replacement window frames effectively, there must be a minimum of 3 1/4 inches of opening depth between these two points. As you start taking this measurement, disregard any pulleys or parting strips present, as they’ll be removed during the installation process. Accurate measurement of window depth guarantees a perfect fit for your replacement window that improves both efficiency and aesthetics.

Enhance Your Home with Precision

Contact Apex Window Werks to measure windows accurately and ensure a seamless installation.

Schedule an Estimate

or call us (847)-443-5145

Measuring for Various Window Types

To guarantee precision, follow the specific measuring instructions:

How to Measure Awning or Casement Windows

  • Measure the width of your awning or casement window at the center, extending your tape measure horizontally from trim to trim;
  • Measure the height of your casement or awning window, extending your tape measure vertically from trim to trim.

How to Measure Single- or Double-Hung Windows

  • Measure the width of your single- or double-hung window from trim to trim in the middle. For sliding windows, measure from trim to trim at the center;
  • Measure the height of your single- or double-hung window. For a sliding window, measure the height in the middle, extending your tape measure vertically from trim to trim.

How to Measure Bay or Bow Windows

  • Measure the width of each window panel in the bay or bow window at the center. Note the width of the center window separately, as it may differ from the others. Extend your tape measure horizontally from jamb to jamb or trim to trim;
  • Measure the height of your bay or bow window at the center, extending your tape measure vertically from trim to trim.

The Challenge of DIY Window Measurements

The Challenge of DIY Window Measurements

So, you’ve meticulously measured your windows, selected the ideal window type, and are eager to start your upgrade journey. It’s tempting to place your order based on these measurements, but the margin for error is significant.

Picture this: your new construction windows arrive, and to your dismay, they don’t fit because of inaccuracies in your measurements. Now you’re left with unusable windows and the prospect of spending more to rectify the situation.

The issue with DIY measurements is the potential for errors if you lack experience. Before moving forward with any orders, it’s smart to contemplate having a certified window technician review and validate your measurements.

Consider requesting a consultation, sharing your measurements, and inviting them to conduct an assessment — a step that can ultimately save you time, money, and frustration.

Ready to Install Replacement Windows?

Apex Window Werks is a window and door repair company that serves Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. We specialize in the replacement and restoration of windows and our experienced team is equipped to handle every aspect of your window project. From measuring windows accurately to delivering a successful installation, we can do it all.

Don’t let measurement mishaps undermine your window upgrade. Contact Apex Window Werks today for a consultation and assessment, and let us help you achieve the perfect fit for your new construction window. Your home’s transformation is just a call away!

Nina Tsoy

Nina Tsoy

With over 15 years of experience in the window repair, replacement, and manufacturing business, Nina is in charge for strategic solutions and exceptional operational performance at Apex Window Werks. This allows her to offer innovative techniques and solutions to address any window-related problem, all while adhering to industry standards and best practices.

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