How to Install Replacement Windows
Ready-to-install replacement units give you high performance and good looks with a minimum of fuss
When Maddy Krauss and her husband, Paul Friedberg, first laid eyes on their 1897 Shingle-style home, they fell in love with its handcrafted turn-of-the-century construction, wide front porch, and massive entry-hall staircase. They were also delighted to find that many of the original architectural details were still intact, including wood paneling, exquisite carvings, stained-glass windows, and an ornate cast-bronze fireplace.
The windows were another story. The originals had been swapped out a decade earlier for low-quality sash kits that were drafty, ugly, and completely inappropriate for the graceful Victorian-era home, This Old House TV's fall 2007 project in Newton, Massachusetts. The solution: Call in TOH general contractor Tom Silva and his crew to install energy-efficient replacements.
Because the existing window frames were sound and square, Tom could use insert replacement units—in this case, Andersen's Woodwright Insert Replacement Windows, vinyl-clad wood units fitted with energy-saving, low-e insulated glass. These fully assembled, ready-to-install windows slip right into the existing openings. When the job was done, the house had beautiful new double-hungs that looked right, worked smoothly, and gave Maddy and Paul one more thing to love about their old house. Here's a look at how Tom made the switch, with tips for choosing and installing replacement windows.