How difficult is to repalce windows myself?

sethrameshMay 19, 2011

Just wondering if I can do this myself? I can get simonton windows at good price and i am wondering if I can remove the old one and install it myself; Thanks.

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Depends, what kind of window are your replacing? What is your exterior like? How handy are you?

Good questions to start with.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 3:22PM
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Keep in mind you will be responsible for correct measurements. It's not like buying something from Walmart. You make a mistake, you eat the entire cost of the mismeasured window. If the window is too small, you have a large gap to fill that might allow water to penetrate. Measure it too large, it won't fit and you won't have any option other than to throw it away and order another one. If you have an issue with the window in the future that the factory determines was due to an improper installation such as over tightening the frames and bowing the sash, they will not honor the warranty. You will also be reponsible for the labor to repair any valid warranty issues such as a balance that needs to be replaced, glass seal failures etc.

Not trying to talk you out of it but we get calls occasionally from DIY'rs who get involved in their own install and suddenly realize it's more complicated than they thought. "IF" we decide to help them out at all, we then become their defacto warranty service provider. Since they didn't purchase the windows from us, we charge a premium to finish the job for them. It always ends up costing them more than if they had just purchased from us. Frankly, I think the installation fee most reputable contractors charge is very reasonable considering how expensive it can be if something goes wrong.

You need to evaluate your own skills. I would suggest ordering one window and seeing how you do. That way if it's more difficult than you thought, at least it will be a less expensive lesson.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:35PM
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Thank you both for the reply. The reason is........

I have a quote from a local installer- 525$ per window of 32"X72" simonton 5500. Also he quoted the same price for sunrise essential.(I have 14 windows to replace). I asked the split of material and labor. He said labor is 125$ per window. That works out to 400$ per simonton refection 5500.A local wholesaler of simonton has quoted me 285$ for the same reflection 5500.

So i was thinking may be i try myself. looks like key is to measure the opening and get an accurate dimension.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:35PM
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Not exactly. The degree of difficulty is proportionate to what type of construction your house is and what type of windows you have in there now. It also depends on whether your existing windows were installed and flashed correctly. I'd at least look at a few videos first.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:07AM
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Thanks Sky; I have one more question; How does sunrise compares with Softlite and simonton; The contractor who quoted sunrise said that other brands including softlite will fade (color) in 10 years but and sunrise will last longer. He also said that sunrise is better build compared to others.

Just trying to find if sunrise essential's quality is better compared to softlite imperial ls or simonton 5500

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:49AM
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Depends on which Softlite Imperial you are looking at. They make the Imperial L/S and the Imperial Pro. They also make the Classic which is an older Model but a lot of dealers and consumers still like it. That's why it's still around.

If you are looking at the L/S, it's the better window of the group. If it's the Pro, then I would call it a toss up between it and the Simonton with a slight edge to the Pro due to a little better U factor and a little lower air infiltration rate and sash reinforcements, standard.

Although I really like Sunrise windows, the Essentials is a little out of place in that group. The Essentials is Sunrises' bottom end window. I don't mean it's not a good window, it just lacks the refinement of the Pro or the Simonton. I would ask for a quote on the regular Sunrise Window for a fair comparison between the three. The regular Sunrise would be my pick at that point assuming everything else was equal in terms of price, installation quality and dealer reputation.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:32AM
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In the event that you do buy a window too large, can't you just change the size of the rough opening to accommodate the window versus ditching it?
I'm about to embark on a window job and adjusting the framing of the RO looks to be the simplest part of the job.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Sure anything can be done but you are opening up a can of worms that very few DIY'rs are capable of dealing with. If it's only off by less than an inch total, you could cut into the frame. Depends on whether the house has siding, brick, clapboard etc. If it's aluminum or vinyl siding, you will also have to trim that and run new J channel. As I said, just buy one window and see how you do with that.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:34PM
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Thanks Skydawggy. Our house is stucco and we're going with new construction / nail-on fin windows so we're planning on doing stucco work.
Also, our existing jack studs are broken by the saddle, so we're going to fix that while we're in the wall.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Then it's critical to have precise measurements. Are you planning on jumping the frame?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 2:21PM
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The details of flashing are what catches most DIY folks when dealing with retrofit windows.

Get it wrong and you will have water penetrating inside walls and the extensive damage it causes in short order.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:20PM
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