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How To Measure For Replacement Impact Windows

The old saying is to measure twice and cut once. It’s solid advice for a lot of things, including getting replacement impact windows.

Getting the fitting job right the first time is important because impact windows keep your home safe during hurricane-force weather. When properly fitted, they will also better insulate your home and keep noise out.

Getting the measurements will also tell you if you should get replacement windows or need new construction ones.

The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows

Replacement windows are the more budget-friendly option of the two. They are designed to match the exact size of the openings they replace. 

New construction windows are exactly as they sound. They are windows that are manufactured at the same time the home is built. 

You may also have to order new construction windows when there is too much variance between your window measurements and the existing opening in the wall.

Measuring for replacement windows

Getting The Square

This involves measuring the diagonals of your current window. The square determines whether replacement windows should be installed in the first place.

Because replacement windows are inserted into the existing frame, if this measurement isn’t precise, there’s a chance your windows may not open.

To “square up” your windows, take your tape measure and place it from the upper left-hand corner of your window to the lower right-hand corner. Then repeat this move from the upper right-hand corner to the lower left.

If these measurements are within ¼ of an inch of each other, you can get replacement windows. If not, you may have to get new construction windows.

After this, there are three other main measurements you need to focus on for your replacement windows. The height, width, and depth of the current window. 

Like the square, window heights, widths, and depths must be measured as accurately as you can so that the right windows can be purchased and installed correctly. 

A simple measurement error can lead to costly mistakes and wasted time and money.

Taking Height Measurements

The window height is a measurement of the window’s vertical dimensions, from the window sill to the head. 

Window height is measured in three different places, the left side of the window, the middle of the window, and the right side of the window.

Take the shortest of these three measurements, and subtract ⅛ of an inch from that. This will be your window height.

Taking Width Measurements

The window width is a horizontal measurement of your window. Like with the height, you are going to take measurements at three different spots. 

This time you’re extending your tape measure across your window from jamb to jamb, at the top, middle, and bottom of the window.

Once you have these measurements, like with your window height, take the shortest measurement and subtract ⅛ of an inch. You now have the width of your window.

Taking Depth Measurements

Depth measurements aren’t often required. The existing space in most homes is set deep enough to accommodate most standard-sized replacement windows.

But for homes where that isn’t the case, to take a depth measurement, take your tape to your window sill. You are measuring from the front trim of your sill to the back.

If this measurement is at least 31/4 inches, you can get replacement windows. You’re subtracting ⅛ of an inch here as well. 

For all of these numbers, if the final measurement is already in an ⅛ increment then don’t do the subtraction. Even though you are only using one of the measurements, make sure you record all of them as well as the window you got them from.

Replacement Windows Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

This is a job you can do yourself. It will save you money. But it will require that you take exact measurements and proper records.

If you think this one might be a bit too much for you, you can outsource the job to a local contractor you trust. This lowers the chances of measurements being taken incorrectly.

We know our windows at G&R Impact Window and Doors. Talk to us and arrange a free consultation. Contact us at 1 305 925 0818. 

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