How Do You Retrofit a Window?


Window ReplacementRetrofitting a window is a process that can easily be done provided the right procedure is followed. The major advantage of this is that the home will be made to be more energy efficient through the use of the new and improved retrofit windows.

The retrofit windows can be introduced with the primary objective of making the home more energy efficient as well as improving the general look of the windows. The fitting of the retrofit windows is an easy and simple process. It is worth noting that the retrofit windows make it possible for the fitting of vinyl windows in the previously older frames that were made of aluminum.

Measure the Window

According to Do It Yourself, the first procedure generally involves measuring the size of the window frame. This has to be accurate with only a few margin of error since the aluminum frame will be left in place. As a result of this, the entire window does not need to be measured. In taking out the width of the window, it is critical to take half an inch in order to accommodate for this. The measurement is to be made from the top to the bottom in the exact same way and this time you take off a quarter of an inch from the edges. In the event that the retrofit windows are being installed when the existing window frame has been left in place, there is a significant reduction of the size of the clear opening. This is normally by as much as two inches in height and approximately three inches in the width.

Taking Off the Panels

The second step involves taking off the panels. All the old window panels are to be removed and this is for both the stationery and the sliding ones. It is advisable to have gloves on at this stage due to the chances of injuries that may result from the shattering of the glasses. However, in order to mitigate the effects of this, careful attention is to be made. The major difference that has been documented between a newly constructed frame and a retrofit window is in the way that the frame has been attached on to the house in either case. A retrofit window offers more guarantee against leak.


The next step on retrofitting a window involves caulking. After the panes have all been successfully removed, a large amount of caulk is to be run around the window frame. This has to be done on the outside part of the building. The importance of this is that it provides the foundation for where the retrofit window will be fit in order to stick to the window frame.

Fitting the Window

The next step involves fitting the window. The retrofit window is to be placed into the opening and this procedure should be done from the inside of the window. In order to ascertain that the window fits squarely and perfectly, a spirit level is to be used. While this can normally be adjusted, the process is made more difficult when the caulk has already stuck onto the window. After the windows have been fitted, they are to be screwed on to the surface. A balance has to be struck in this stage so as to ensure that the screw is not as tight as to cause damage on either part of the window or the house. After the screws have been fitted, caulk is to be added between the screw heads and the window in order to ensure that the frame of the window is completely weather proof.

Finishing Touches

The last step on window retrofitting will ideally be the finishing touches and these should be made to fit the preferences of the owner of the house. In order to prevent water from getting inside the house, a thin layer of caulk is to be run around the frames between the places it meets with the brick that has been used in the construction of the house. An insulation material is to be used to fill the inside of the frame in order to cover for the void that may have been left. This is also to prevent wind from blowing into the house once the window has been shut. The insulation should then be concealed by properly cut and trimmed wood although this is not a requirement. Caulking should further be used in order to fill the gap that was left between the wall and the trim used.


Related Resource: Fiberglass Windows