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Installing Vinyl Windows Right

Installing Vinyl Windows Right By Cameron Heffernan
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Installing a replacement window can be a good way to add value to your home prior to resale. Replacing the old window with a new vinyl window can not only serve to make your home more attractive, it can also save you money on energy costs, compared to older windows which allow a lot of air in and out.

Installing Your Replacement Window

Before beginning: In order to install a level window, frequently check that the window hasn't slipped and add shims as necessary. If you don't feel confident with do-it-yourself replacement window installation, consider one of the many window specialists available on this HIPhome site.
  1. Once you've removed the old window, and prepared the rough opening, you're ready to install the new vinyl window.
  2. Center the new vinyl window in the opening. Make sure that it is level by using a hand level tool, when necessary. Insert shims if your replacement window if not level.
  3. Drill pilot holes and tack the jamb in place.*
  4. When you are satisfied that the side is level, plumb, shim, and tack the other side of the window.
  5. After you shim the top jamb, you are ready to drill pilot holes and tack the top jamb in place. Double-check if your window is level and plumb as necessary before driving home all of the nails.
  6. Finally, insulate between the jamb and frame using foam insulation. While you're at it, you should extend the wall's vapor barrier all the way to the jamb frame. Now you are ready to finish the wall and then you can put the casing on.
*If your vinyl window comes with flanges around the frame, simply nail the flange to the sheathing and framing after leveling the replacement window. You may need to trim the flange after you are finished.

About the Author
Cameron Heffernan is a writer, editor, and journalist, who has worked for publications such as PC World and a variety of freelance Internet sites. Cam is currently Communications Manager at the University of California, San Francisco. In 2000, he was a founding employee of a company that developed project management software. That firm was later acquired by a technology firm near Sacramento. He has expertise in web content authoring, management of development and maintenance of web sites, and product and service reviews. Cam has a BA in Journalism from Syracuse University's Newhouse School.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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