8 Steps to Measure a Window for Replacement

Before replacing an old window, you should confirm the size. Apart from choosing the type you want for the replacement, knowing the dimensions of this fitting helps the contractor make a quote for the project.

Getting the measurement correctly erases any issues when installing the windowpane. In other words, if you record the wrong size, you might end up with an ill-fitting replacement.

For this reason, you need to know how to measure a window for replacement properly? To get this, read on as we show you great steps to get the correct measurement of your window.

Steps on How to Measure a Window for Replacement

1. Gather the Tools Needed to Measure a Window for Replacement

If you want to know how to measure for new construction windows, you will to use the right set of tools. Luckily, many homeowners have these items locked up in their homes. But if you don’t have them already, head to a local home repair store to get the following tools:

  • Tape Level
  • Jotter
  • Tape Rule
  • Pencil

Even if these tools look simple, they play essential roles if you want to know how to measure a window for replacement. However, a correct measurement depends on a keen sense of observation.

2. Prepare Your Tool Kit and Make Some Findings

Even if you want to know how to measure for full-frame replacement windows, you will need to keep your supplies within reach. Besides, updating your woodwork knowledge will help you to understand the task ahead. To get the best tips, check out Youtube videos, blog posts (like this one), and then visit a local hardware store.

Typically, most sources advised that you should not measure the window by yourself except you have a great experience with it. Instead, contact a contractor to help with this task.

Measuring a window requires an experienced hand. The reason is that if you make any errors, you will get the wrong size of the window for replacement, thereby wasting money and time as well.

However, if you feel confident enough, and trust your measuring skills, bring out your tools. Now get ready to move to the next stage of this project.

3. Finding the Height of the Window

Finding the Height of the Window

To get an accurate reading, start by finding the height of the window. You will need the tape pencil, jotter, and level to get this done. Use the tape to take the measurements from the upper part of the window to the highest point of the window sill.

Ensure to look for the top spots of both areas just as if you want to carry out replacement for vinyl windows with older frames. The reason you need to do this is that, structures lose their original shape. Usually, they tend to become bent and twisted and cannot offer the previous straight look.

Thanks to the level, you can find the spots of the sill and head. Once you get this, you could measure from these areas so the replacement windows can match the frame perfectly. But to measure a new window, you might not need a Level since the frame will be straight.

Make the measurements of the window height and pen down the smallest value on the notepad. Then, choose the lesser figures and cut down the number by 1/8 inches. At this stage of the process on how to measure a window for replacement, use imperial measurements for this job.

When you cut about 1/8 inch, you will get the actual size of the window. Consider making a simple drawing of the window itself and write down the height on one end because this detail will surely be useful. Now, you need to get the width.

4. Measure the Width of the Window

Measure the Width of the Window

If your space uses vinyl windows, finding the correct spot to measure the width stands as the most complex part of this task. You can use many ways to handle this problem, but every method requires the same equipment – a notepad, pencil, and tape rule. If you are working on window frames of older styled buildings, consider raising the window sash to get correct measurements.

To get the size of the window, find the distance between the jambs on both frames. Like other measurements, take up to three readings and place them down on paper. From this list, pick the least figure and cut it by 1/8 of an inch. Ensure to write the results of the top or bottom of the window.

5. Measure the Depth of Window

Measure the Depth of Window

Like the width, getting the measurement of the window depth can be difficult. But this is very necessary because finding the depth dimension makes it easy for the contractor fit the frame on the window perfectly. Without these details, you might end up with a fitting that looks out of place.

When you are dealing with vinyl windows or any replacement windows, you will need to ensure the measurements are accurate, especially the depth. The same thing applies to sliding window or any other type. To get the correct measurement, you will need a pen, paper, and a measuring tape.

Since you want to get actual value for the depth, you will have to determine the full size of the window opening. Hence, measure the space between the inner and outer stops. Typically, the minimal measurement should fall to 3 1/4 inches.

Ensure you have the right measurement by repeating the process. By taking this step, you will avoid spending cash on ill-fitted fittings. After getting the correct dimensions, jot the numbers on the window drawing you have made.

Surely, you have gotten up to three measurements on your paper. You can decide to repeat the process to correct any mistakes.

6. Look at the Room and Quantity

How to measure for new construction windows or replacement models requires you to focus on both frames. Now find the size of each frame by using steps 2 to 4. You should record your findings on the drawing.

To avoid any errors, add labels – that have the corresponding sizes- to all the windows. Take note of any unusual sizes, as this will help you prepare for any issues.

7. Get the Measurement of the Window Opening

Get the Measurement of the Window Opening

Starting from the top left corner to the bottom-right edge, measure the window opening and then record your findings on paper. Afterward, find the distance between the upper-right edge and the lower left edge. After getting the value, check it against the first value.

Do you have unequal lengths or an irregular shaped window? If yes, contact the maker of the new window. Tell them that the window has a “racked opening and then provide your recorded measurements.

Round up by writing the values on the drawing you have made. Now you can call the contractor and get a quote from the expert.

8. Make a Rough Sketch

Make diagrams for the windows in each room of your home and record the correct measurements on them. The final step is to add the direction it will open, or if you prefer the fixed type.

A legend like this below will be useful:

  • F represents Fixed
  • OL stands for Open Left
  • OR means Open Right
  • OU goes for Opens/Slides Up
  • OD means Opens/Slides Down

After labeling the drawings, you will have to ring up the contractor. How to measure for replacement windows in brick buildings or other structures, are quite the same. Once you have gotten and record all measurement, it’s time to request for a quote from the repair company.

Wrap Up

As a homeowner, it’s good if you know how to measure a window for replacement. This reduces your cost since you need to call a contractor to come take it. The only thing will just to provide the recorded measurement and get a quote from the window company.

Start by getting the perfect tools for the job. These items include a pencil and tape rule. But instead of using a replacement window measurement worksheet to record the findings, use a notepad since it is cheaper.

Now measure the height, width, depth, and opening of the window. ‘

Many tend to ask the question “Do you measure windows from the inside or outside to get it right?” Well, you shouldn’t bother about that, all you need is to ensure you get the accurate measurement from every inch of the fitting.

Before you start, you can create a window measurement template to record your findings.

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