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How To Measure A Window For Replacement

Posted on October 27, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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How To Measure A Window For Replacement

If you are considering installing new windows, you will first need to measure the existing ones. This will ensure a snug fit for your replacement windows. However homeowners are often confused about how to measure a window for replacement. Whether you’re looking to improve energy efficiency, enhance curb appeal, or simply update the look of your home, proper measurement is crucial to ensure a seamless and successful window replacement project. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step by step process of how to measure a window for replacement. We’ll cover everything from the tools and materials you’ll need to the benefits of hiring a professional window installer for your replacement project. 

Why Accurate Window Measurements Are Important

How To Measure A Window For Replacement

Before we begin, let’s take a moment to understand why accurate window measurements are so important. Properly measuring your windows is crucial for several reasons:

1. Ensuring a Proper Fit

Accurate measurements ensure that your replacement windows will fit snugly within the existing window openings, minimizing drafts and maximizing energy efficiency.

2. Simplifying the Shopping Process

Having precise measurements on hand will make your shopping experience easier, whether you’re visiting a store or looking online. Your measurements will help determine the right size and style of replacement windows for your home.

3. Getting Accurate Cost Estimates

By providing accurate measurements, the installer will be able to give you a more accurate cost estimate for your window replacement project.

Tools and Materials 

Before you begin measuring your windows, gather the following tools and materials:

  1. A Measuring Tape: A tape measure is an essential tool for accurately finding the dimensions of your windows.
  2. Paper or Notebook: Use paper or a notebook to record your measurements for reference.
  3. Pen or Pencil: Have a pen or pencil ready to jot down your measurements.
  4. Labeling Materials: If you’re measuring multiple windows in different rooms, use labels to keep track of each window’s measurements. This will make it easier to match the measurements with the corresponding windows during the replacement process.

Step 1: Determine Window Shape

The first step in measuring your windows is to determine if they are square, meaning each corner forms a 90-degree angle. This step is important because standard replacement windows typically require precise openings. Here’s how you can check if your windows are square:

  • To determine if your windows are square, two diagonal measurements are needed.
  • Position your tape measure at the top right corner of the window and extend it to the bottom left corner, measuring the diagonal of the window. Record this measurement.
  • Repeat the same measurement procedure for the other diagonal length of the window. Hold the tape measure at the top left corner, extend it to the bottom right corner, and record the measurement.
  • Compare the measurements of both the diagonals. If they are within 1/4 inch of each other, your window is square and can accommodate a standard replacement window. 
  • If the measurements differ by more than 1/4 inch, then, you may need to consider alternative options. You can look to replace the window frame or choose new construction windows.

Step 2: Measure the Width Of The Window

To measure the width of your window, follow these steps:

  • Measure the gap between the upper window jambs while keeping the window closed.
  • Open the window and measure the distance between the jambs closest to the window’s center.
  • At the bottom of the window, measure the space between the lower jambs with the window open.
  • Document each measurement and find the smallest one, which indicates the true width of the window opening.
  • Make a clear notation, circle, or highlight this measurement for future reference.

Step 3: Measure the Height Of Your Window

Here is how to find the height of your window:

  • Measure the distance from the top of the window’s head jamb, or header, to the bottom of the window sill. The head jamb is the top horizontal board that sits above the window.
  • Take three measurements: one on the left side, one in the middle, and one on the right side of the window.
  • Record each measurement and identify the smallest one. This measurement represents the window opening height.

Step 4: Measure the Window Depth

In most cases, window depth is not necessary for replacement window measurements. However, in some instances, such as with modular or mobile homes, the window depth may need to be considered. To measure the window depth, follow these steps:

  • Open the window.
  • Measure the distance from the back of the trim to the front of the sill.
  • Ensure that the sill is at least 3 1/4 inches deep to accommodate a replacement window.
  • Record the measurement for reference.

Step 5: Measure for Window Screens

If you need to replace or add window screens, follow these steps to measure for the correct size:

  • Replacing an existing screen: Measure the width and height of the existing screen.
  • Adding a new window screen: Measure the space between the horizontal screen channels within the window frame.
    • Subtract 1/8 inch from this measurement to determine the screen’s width. 
    • To determine the height, measure from the lip to the window sash and add 1/8 inch to the measurement.
Pro Tip – Always measure twice to ensure accuracy before ordering your replacement windows.

Finalize Your Window Measurements

After finishing the window measurements, it’s time to complete the project. If your measurements are already in 1/8-inch increments, no further adjustments are needed. If they are not, take the smallest measurements for both the width and height of each window and round them down to the nearest 1/8 inch. 

Utilize these finalized measurements when placing an order for your replacement windows. While ordering, ensure that you write down the correct measurements using the width by height format, as this is the typical order for replacement window measurements.

You can also consider the 10 Best Sliding Windows For Homes In Tulsa, OK.

DIY or Professional Window Replacement

Now that you have measured your windows, you may be wondering whether you should tackle the replacement process yourself or hire a professional. The answer depends on your level of expertise, available time, and comfort with home improvement projects.

If you are confident in your DIY skills and have the necessary tools and knowledge, you may choose to replace the windows yourself. However, keep in mind that window replacement can be a complex and time consuming process, especially if you have multiple windows to replace or if you encounter unexpected challenges during the installation. Since window replacement requires specialized knowledge and skills, it’s usually recommended to leave this task to professionals. 

Hire Professional Window Installers For Your Window Replacement In Tulsa, OK 

A window replacement leaves no room for errors. Therefore, it’s best to leave this project to the experts. To ensure the correct measurements and proper installation, hire a professional installer from A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing for your window replacement in Tulsa, OK. Our team has been providing roofing and exterior services for years, and can even provide you with window glazing services. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and speak with one of our experts about your window replacement.