Steps
Step 1:
Measuring Window Width
Step 2:
Measuring Lining Around the Window
Step 3:
Measure the Height of the Replacement Windows
Step 4:
Measure the Depth of the Window
Step 5:
How to Measure a Window that Does Not Open
Step 6:
Check if the Window Opening is Rectangular
Step 7:
When Ordering, be Clear about Where You Were Measuring Windows

How to Measure for Replacement Windows

The weekend fixer-upper in you has always wanted to start the process of replacing those aging windows, but where do you start? Do you take a quick gander over to Home Depot or Lowe’s to take a look at the window offerings or do you start punching out those old window sills? Well, if you are asking these questions, luckily, we are here. The first step in any window replacement or window installation project is to measure the windows. But, you may be asking yourself, how do you measure windows? That is why we are here, and have brought together a handy seven step guide on how to measure for replacement windows and will ensure that by the end of this article you will be able to answer the age-old question, how do you measure windows?

how to measure windows

In this article, we are going to look at the seven steps on how to install vinyl replacement windows. These are all necessary steps to ensure that you are able to order, replace or install windows that will fit right the first time and most importantly will help you when you are measuring house windows on site.

What a professional can offer when it comes to vinyl replacement windows

You have to consider few things before diving into window replacement, have you ever had to google, how to measure vinyl windows or how to measure my windows for replacement? If you have, it might be time to give a call to one of the many window professionals in your area. When you consider the specifics on how to measure replacement window size or simply measuring for vinyl window replacement, it should be no surprise that you should leave it to the professionals. Window installers know there way around, and with their ability to accurately complete window measurements and installation, it is almost always worth your time and money to invest in a seasoned professional. Plus, with some of the factory direct pricing that window installers can get you and your project, it is often worth the cost of a few hours of labour to ensure your windows are installed at a great price the first time.

A quick note before we begin diving into vinyl replacement windows

Before we start the list, it is essential that you know what you are getting into. Window installation or replacement is one of the toughest jobs to complete, even for seasoned professionals. Vinyl Windows, and especially replacement windows need to have proper seals and can fit into the space provided perfectly. If you are not a seasoned veteran of replacing windows or have never asked yourself how to do a measure for replacement windows, it might be time to call a professional. Otherwise, on with the list!

Tools you will need when measuring for vinyl replacement windows

If you are still ready and rearing to go, you might start asking yourself what tools do I need when it comes to completing house window measurements? Well according to numerous replacement window measuring guides you will need five essential tools to complete the job.

tools to measure windows

That is right, you will only need five tools to measure windows for replacementе. So, with that taken care of, we can move on to the bulk of this article and the seven steps to answer how do you measure for a replacement windows?

Step One: Measuring Window Width

The first step in determining how to measure windows for replacement windows is an addition to the adage of measure twice, cut once. This step is the same if you are looking at how to measure for new windows or how to measure for replacement vinyl windows. You will use the tape measure or slide to measure the width of the window at the top of the window, the middle of the window and the bottom of the window. Make sure to note each measurement, and account for the width of the tape measure itself. As well, you need to ensure you are measuring from the surface of the jambs or the frame, not from the extensions that are holding the window in place. Nothing is worse than missing out on a measurement by a 1/8 of an inch and having to reorder windows!

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Step Two: Measuring Lining Around the Window (if present)

Naturally, when you are trying to figure out how to measure a window size you need to make sure to account for the lining around the window. Typically, windows will have a plastic or aluminum jam liner that is able to slot in around the vertical side of the windows. If you are measuring and installing replacement windows you will need to ensure that its width is accounted for in the measurement. If you are unable to access the liner, you can utilise the industry standard which is ½ an inch as an approximation. If you are looking at how to measure windows for new windows, you can either simply add a ½ inch to the measurement, or utilise the existing hole and measure according to the instructions in step one.

how to measure lining around the window
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Step Three: Measure the Height of the Replacement Windows

No matter if you are looking at how do you measure for vinyl replacement windows, or how to measure old windows for replacement, you always need to measure the height of the windows! Much like step one, you will need to understand a how to measure vertically if you are able to answer how to measure existing windows for replacement. The key is to measure three times, once on the left, once in the middle and one on the right. Record the smallest result and ensure that you are measuring the highest angle. This is especially important if you are wondering how to measure windows to replace a high vaulted window, make sure to measure from the tallest point!

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Step Four: Measure the Depth of the Window

One of the most important steps, especially if you are dealing with measuring for replacement windows, is to measure the depth of the window. This means that you will need to measure the depth between the stops that extend in front of the window frame. While you should measure a few times, you need to try to measure at the shortest point. It is not as essential as the width or height measurements in step one or three, but when you are looking at how to measure window sizes for replacement windows it never hurts to double measure!

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Step Five: How to Measure a Window that Does Not Open

As a note, if you are unable to open your window to measure, there are a couple of great ways to estimate when trying to figure out how to measure window size for replacement. The first is to measure the depth on each side and add them together, it seems simple, but often simple math is your best friend are dealing with window measurements for replacement windows. The other way you can do this is by measuring the depth on the interior side and simply multiply by two. No matter what method you choose, you will always need to add the thickness of your glass pane. If you do not know the thickness of your glass pane, you can utilise the industry standard which is 3 mm for a single pane. These are simply estimations, but to get the exact measurement you will need proper window measuring tools or at the very least a window measuring guide for vinyl replacement windows.

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Step Six: Check if the Window Opening is Rectangular

We are almost there, and no matter if you are looking to answer the question of how do you measure for new windows or how to measure house windows for replacement, you need to check if your window opening is rectangular. When you need to start measuring for new windows or for replacement with vinyl windows you start measuring from the top left corner to the bottom right corner and write it down. Then, you will measure the top right corner to the bottom left corner and compare. If these lengths are not equal, then you are dealing with a window opening that is not square or rectangle. This is important as no matter if you are measuring for a new window or measuring window size for a replacement knowing if your window is ‘racked’ will help when you are ordering from the manufacture!

how to measure home window size
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Step Seven: When Ordering, be Clear about Where You Were Measuring Windows

We have dealt with six steps when you are considering how to measure window replacement size or simply how to measure home windows, but when it comes to ordering, it all comes down to working with the supplier. You have two choices, you can either go by the manufacturers estimates, which are generally on the smaller side, or you can give exact measurement and request it to be built to those specifications. The one to remember is that when it comes to measuring and installing replacement windows or vinyl windows, you will need to know what method you are going to be going with when you send along the order to the manufacturer.

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A quick review for those who are measuring vinyl replacement windows

As you can see, when it comes to how to measure vinyl windows or how to measure my windows for a replacement there is no really simple way to do it. You will need to measure the horizontal plain and the lining, you will need to measure the height of the window, and then measure the depth of the window. Finally, you will need to measure the shape of the window and finally, decide if you are ordering to manufactures specifications or your own measurements. Therefore, we often suggest to homeowners that they hire professionals for this job! Professionals can tackle some of the tougher questions you may have, such as:

  • how do you measure for a replacement window?
  • how to measure window size
  • how to measure house windows

This is a lifesaver, and we are all about making things a littler easier for our clients!

Final thoughts on window replacement and vinyl window installation

We have provided you with the tools and steps on how to measure vinyl windows and of course the age-old question of how to measure my windows for replacement. As you may have seen it all comes down to a bit of a science, but truly the art of installers comes down to how to best measure windows for replacement sizes. This is especially true when it comes to older homes and most replacement windows. You need to be able to order a window that will fit, and much of this comes down to experience and expertise. When you ask a professional how to measure windows to replace, they will often start with the math but then move into a discussion about how to best order and install a window that is irregular. This is because window sittings often warp over time, and even though you were originally dealing with a square hole, in a few decades that square becomes a little more obtuse. Thus, when it comes to your home, and your windows, it is often best to hire a professional window installer. This decision to hire for your vinyl replacement windows will not only save you time, but money, and that is something we can all rally behind.

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