Family Handyman Window Repair and Replacements

Generally speaking, window repair for broken, leaky, or foggy windows is relatively simple, but can become time consuming depending on the problem.

If you're getting ready to replace a window, be sure to read the tips below before you begin. You never know which tip could save you time and/or money!

Tools the family handyman can't do without to complete window repairs:

  • Utility knife
  • Glass cutter
  • Paint brush (for wooden framed windows)
  • Flat-head screw driver
  • Paint scraper
  • Gloves (for handling glass)
  • Safety glasses (for cutting glass)
  • Caulking gun

Window repair materials the family handyman can't do without:

  • Weather stripping
  • Double-sided tape
  • Exterior caulking / silicone
  • Small putty knife
  • Paint or stain (for wooden framed windows)
  • Spare glass
  • Cedar shingles (or similar material) to use as shims
  • Construction tape (house wrap tape)

General repair tips:

  • Always install a drip cap over windows that don't have their own J-trim and siding installed over top of it.

  • When installing new windows, level the bottom of the window first, tack it in place, and then plumb (or square) one side of the window. This will ensure the window opens and closes properly.

  • Make sure the window is plumb inside to outside as well. Believe it or not, some outside walls are not plumb!

  • After the window is installed, install construction tape around the window to seal around it.

  • Wood is a natural insulator. Scraping the frame of an old window and applying a fresh coat of caulking (silicone) and paint will prolong the life of a wooden-framed window.

  • To prevent air flow around a window, make sure to completely insulate, trim, and caulk around the inside frame of the window.

  • When cutting glass, make sure you have a flat surface with no noticeable warping. Cutting glass on a sheet of white melamine on your kitchen counter-top offers a sturdy, flat surface.

  • Try to minimize the size of your bead of caulking. Running your finger gently over the bead of caulking is a good way to ensure the seal and keep the job clean and tidy.

Recently, my wife and I had to replace the double-pain inserts in our vinyl windows because may of them were fogging up, which continually obstructed our view.

We found it difficult at first, because we didn't want to break any of the inserts, but we soon caught on. What a difference it makes in our kitchen first thing in the morning with the sun shining in!

Replacing any windows with an upgrade is sure to improve the energy efficientiency of any home. The Green Homes Consultant can dispel some of the confusion and guide you on how to choose windows to best fit your situation.

Thanks for the window repair tips. Take me home.