Replacing Windows Made Easy

Updating your home’s interior can greatly increase your property’s value and overall appeal. There are plenty of projects you can undertake…from renovating a kitchen to adding a fresh coat of paint. But, there’s only one upgrade that will not only increase your home’s value–but also save you a ton of money on your monthly energy bills.

Window Replacements

Believe me, there’s nothing fun about getting a draft through the house in the middle of winter! So, this is a project that gives back in spades.

I know, replacing your home’s windows sounds like a daunting and expensive project but–it doesn’t have to be. I replaced all the windows in my home in just two days. This project that should have cost me $20,000 ran me less than half that amount.

Saving Money on Window Replacements

A few years ago, after Cait and I were just married, I wanted to sell a rental property that I had owned for years. When I first purchased the home, I was gung-ho with update projects. As the years passed and other things in life took priority, I admittedly neglected the house. Now that I was looking to sell, I needed to replace the windows which were original from the 1970’s. I was looking at a $20,000+ project if I went with a professional installer.

I’m a do-it-yourself kind of guy so, I figured there was a way around that sticker price – and I was right.

A windows replacement project has two components:

1. Materials and,

2. Labor.

How to Save on Materials

The material list is short – just the replacement windows and caulk.

Name brand replacement windows can be very expensive. Granted, you are getting a good product and warranty but there are many alternative options and brands. Do your research online and you will find some high quality products for less than half the price of the name brand options. In my case, I researched windows online and spoke to some of my home-builder friends. I ultimately found a decent brand of double hung, double paned windows…and they were just one-third the cost of the name brand options.

How to Save On Labor

Next up is labor. Hiring a window replacement company to remove the old windows and install new ones can be 25% or more of the overall project cost.

But, the reality is removing and replacing windows is EXTREMELY easy.

Replacing Windows Yourself Is As Easy as 1-2-3

First you need to remove the old window.

  1. Locate the small moldings of the old window. (Inside of your home, at the windows, there will be small moldings, either screwed or nailed to the window frame. Usually, they are located on either side of the window.)

  1. Remove these moldings so that the window is free from the frame.

  2. Tilt the window towards you.. and lift. Removal is done.

To secure the new window in place: 

  1. Caulk around the frame where it will meet the window.

  2. Set the new window into the frame

  3. Replace the side moldings that keep it secure. DONE!

What if I Have Historic Windows?

Cait and I now own a home located in a historic district with restrictions on replacing windows. Our windows are original from the 1800’s and the individual window panes are held in with window glazing (putty). Over time, this putty peels and I need to fix it or we will have an occasional crack in a window. Rather than use a ladder to access them from the outside, I use the method described above to remove the window, repair it and then reinstall. The removal and installation process takes less than 5 minutes.

If you have tips or tricks on replacing windows, we would like to hear them. Please leave a comment below.


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