Home Improvement

Tips on How to Measure for Window Replacements

Story Highlights

  • Types of windows
  • How to measure for windows
  • The Takeaway

It’s indisputable that window replacement yields greater returns to those homeowners who choose to consider investing in these overlooked but crucial parts of a home.

Other than lowering your energy costs, energy-efficient replacement windows also help reduce outside noise while also giving you an easy time and peace of mind when it comes to home maintenance.

Types of windows

Whether you need window replacement in Austin, Texas or Cape Town, South Africa, you’ll find the same basic types of windows around the globe.

And, these options include:

Vinyl windows – They’re the most popular among homeowners considering their affordability and the fact that they attract little to zero maintenance cost.

Aluminium windows – Though the least expensive and require nearly no maintenance costs, aluminium windows exhibit poor insulation properties, hence are less energy efficient.

Fiberglass windows –These are perhaps the most expensive but durable energy efficient replacement windows available. They’re strong, durable, and offer excellent thermal performance. However, fiberglass windows require more maintenance since you’ll have to repaint them in due time.

Composite windows –These are usually a combination of vinyl and wood or wood and aluminum; hence more energy efficient.

Wood –Wood-framed windows offer superior style and exhibit great insulation properties; thus, they are highly energy-efficient replacement windows. Their most significant disadvantage is that they’re prone to damage from water and mold, and also require regular maintenance.

However, before you make that window choice and place an order, first, you need to ascertain the right measurements for your new window(s) to ensure a perfect fit and an overall error-free window replacement project.

How to measure for windows

Below are the tips on how to measure for window replacements:


Take the height measurements from the high point on your window sill to the top part of your window opening.

Take at least three measurements; two on the left and right sides respectively, and the third one at the center of the window. Then use the smallest of the three measurements.


Similar to what you did with the height, take at least three measurements, and use the smallest number.

Measure between the jambs’ surface and not from the parting beads in the old window opening.

Note: Consider raising the window sash to get the right measurements as you’ll be measuring at the three points; bottom, middle, and top of the window opening.


This part is where the rough window opening dimensions come in handy. Ensure you take the depth measurements between the outside stop strip and the inside window trim, and the size must be at least 8 centimeters (or 3 ¼ inches) to accommodate the thickness of your replacement window.

After you’ve done all the measurements, you can come up with a sketch of how you’d like the windows to open or look like just in case you want fixed ones.

Ensure you’re well informed about window prices, and especially, the energy efficient replacement windows, before moving to the store to make the purchase.

And if you’re planning to do the actual window replacement part by yourself, here are a few steps to help you through:

Steps to your window replacement

  • Get the right type of window that suits your needs and specifications.
  • Measure your window space accurately to ensure that the new windows won’t be protruding from the frame opening.
  • Exercise caution when removing the trim and window stops. This is to avoid damaging the surrounding window materials.
  • Try out a rough install before finally fixing the window in place. This is to give you a picture and a feel of how it will fit, and in any case, you get to mark the points where the window shims will fit hence giving you easy time while installing.
  • Fix your window in place, but first, ensure the sill is caulked with a sealant. This should be done after removing the packing clips that usually come with the replacement windows.
  • Ensure the shims go into their marked positions to make the squaring out of the window easier.
  • Screw in the mounting screws–do not overtighten them.
  • Ensure all the gaps between the replacement window and the frame are closed by simply moving the header up.
  • Then test the window for smooth operation.

The Takeaway

Though measuring your windows by yourself is a good idea since you personally get to ascertain the measurements, it’s always good to involve the services of a window expert, and if possible, deal with a reputable window company.

This way, you’re able to return the window (and ask for a replacement at no extra cost) in case something goes amiss with the installation measurements.

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