handyman installing screen

Home Window Installation

Replacing older windows not only improves energy efficiency , but it also allows more light to shine into your home. Before you go the DIY route, though, seriously consider the level of skill required and how long the task will take.

Window Replacement Steps
To replace a window, you must first take out the sash of the existing window, which must be done carefully to not create more work for yourself when it comes time to install the new window. Once you remove the old window, you must remove the jamb liners and sash weights, then prep the frame. Prepping the interior frame involves scraping, patching, sanding and priming, as well as spraying in foam insulation and caulking around the opening. Finally, you can install the window and make any adjustments necessary before caulking, priming and painting again on the exterior.

The entire process takes four to six hours per ground-floor window, with windows on higher floors taking much more time, as you must do the work from a ladder. This estimate doesn't account for additional carpentry work required in the case of wood rot and other damage. Also, keep in mind that the estimate is per window. Multiply four to six hours by the number of windows in your home to see how long it would take you to complete the entire project during your free time.

Now do you understand why this task made Mr. Handyman's list of 11 projects not to do yourself? A professional handyman can complete the work in significantly less time, as he or she has the skill level required to perform the task quickly and efficiently.

Benefits of Replacing Older Windows
You can lower your household energy bills by up to 15 percent and reduce your home's carbon footprint if you replace older windows with Energy Star-qualified windows. To learn about how much you would save on your energy bill, based on where you live in the country, check out this cool map on the energystar.gov website. Lower energy consumption overall reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, as well.

Newer windows also let in more light than older ones, and if you opt for Energy Star-qualified windows you also don't need to worry about that additional light harming valuable items indoors. These windows come with a coating that keeps out summer heat and acts as a sunscreen for your house, reducing fading from ultraviolet light by up to 75 percent. You may also receive a tax credit if you purchase and install Energy Star-qualified windows.

If you do own an older home with original windows, have your professional handyman look at them. He or she can advise you as to whether or not you need replacement windows, as well as what your options are in terms of size, style and price. Refurbishing older windows may also be an option. Owners of older homes sometimes opt to refinish window frames and add new windows with the coatings that reduce the sun's heating and fading effects. Your professional handyman can help with that task, as well.

This article is part of our series on Doors and Windows.
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