Replacing a window frame is a DIY project that most homeowners can complete without previous experience or training. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to safely and effectively replace a window frame.
Remove the Old Window Frame
Replacing old windows is a great way to improve air quality and insulation. Window frame installation is included in any building inspection so it is important that the correct steps are followed when you replace a window frame.
The first stage involves stripping the walls of studs. A hammer and pry bar are used to remove old plaster. Before you begin, use an electrical cable detector to identify any electrical wires and boxes. Once the old plaster is removed, the narrow timber (lathe) can be pried away and old nails removed. You will want to keep some of the old narrow timbers in case you need to expand the thickness of the wall, which is known as “furring out the studs.”
Next, you should use a hammer and pry bar to remove the old window. Remove the beading, taking care not to damage the external cladding. You should also keep beading for reuse when replacing the window frame. Make sure that the nails holding the window in place are exposed. From inside the property, a reciprocating saw is used to cut these nails when the blade is inserted into the gap. This part of the job requires two people: One person sawing while the other secures the window.
Replacing Old Windows
A rough opening when replacing a window frame should be large enough for the new window and false frame to fit. An additional 20mm on every side will ensure that the window is plumb and level. A hammer and chisel are the best tools for removing an old sill. You should also mark the centre of the old sill to ensure that the new window is centred.
You can now use a timber frame nail gun to reinforce the old sill, followed by nailing a 2” x 2” into place to create a new sill. With the help of a tape measure, you can mark the centre line for the new sill. This allows you to create markings for the replacement window.
The New Window Frame – How to Install a Window Frame
With your measurements ready, you can now install new 2” x 4” frames. This step involves nailing the frames on both sides and the top. To ensure that framing is secure it is important to silicone the edges or butt joints between the old and new sill, as well as the joints of the framing. A nail gun is then used to nail your false frame at the bottom and top. You can now place the new frame into the rough opening.
Proper Window Frame Construction
If you are concerned about the proper installation of window frames during renovation, you should consider having the work inspected by a professional builder. A renovation inspection is designed to help you ensure that DIY projects such as replacing an old window frame conform to the National Construction Code (NCC) and Australian Standards.
Poor window frame installation can affect any plans to sell a home. A renovation inspection report could save you a lot of stress and additional costs in the future. As well as identifying defects that will impact the project, a qualified building inspector can provide additional advice and guidance on proper construction and standards. If you live in New South Wales, Houspect can meet all your construction inspection needs.
Call our offices today if you would like to book an inspection with one of our qualified builder inspectors.