By Sam Wasson
Updated Dec 9, 2022
Windows can have a long shelf life, and most last between 15 and 30 years. However, you may need a replacement if you’ve bought an older home or a window was damaged. To replace them correctly, you’ll need to know the exact dimensions of your existing windows. While measuring windows might seem easy, there are numerous pitfalls you can fall into, especially if you’re new to home improvement. This article will make getting replacement windows a breeze by reviewing everything you need to know about finding the exact window sizes.
Getting accurate measurements for your old window ensures your replacement fits correctly. If even the smallest measurement is too short, the new window will be too small, creating drafts leading to higher electrical bills. Conversely, if you overmeasure, your new window will be too large for the existing window frame. If this happens, you’ll need to remeasure the space, return the ill-fitting window, and then purchase a new one, wasting time and money.
The first and easiest measurement you’ll want to get is the window’s width. To do this, you’ll need to check the window’s width in three places, the top, middle, and bottom.
Remember the following tips when measuring window widths:
Next, you’ll need to find the height of the window. Like when measuring the width of a window, you’ll want to measure its length three times, on the left, center, and right. To do this, follow these steps:
Keep the following tips in mind when measuring the height of a window:
Measuring a double-hung window’s depth is not always required for installing replacements. However, it can be needed if your walls are abnormally thin – trailer homes often run into this problem. To measure a window’s depth, you must:
Tip for finding window depth measurements:
The final step in checking your window’s measurements is to ensure that the frame is square. While you could use an equation to check and see if the existing measurements of the window square up, there is a much faster and easier way to do this.
When measuring standard windows, if you’re getting complex measurements, round down to the nearest one-eighth of an inch. For example, if you measure a side as 36 and 24/32 of an inch, round it down to 36 and six-eighths of an inch.
Even though windows in the same room can appear to be a similar size, they’re often different enough to require individual measurements. Always measure each room window individually to ensure all replacement windows fit properly.
There is rarely a need to measure outside a window. It is almost always easier and safer to measure a window from indoors.
If you’re Installing a window DIY style, it always pays off to make sure the new window is
square. Measure it by using the same method described above. An off-square window can lead to structural problems like broken seals and drafts.
Keeping your windows in tip-top shape is essential to being a responsible homeowner. Run-down windows can lead to problems like drafts, reduced energy efficiency, and water damage. A good window installation or repair ensures your home is comfortable and resistant to further damage.
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