DIY: Bay Window Replacement

Written by carson barrett
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DIY: Bay Window Replacement
Bay windows can provide a room with more natural light than standard windows. (windows image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)

One thing that can help give your home a different look and feel is a bay window. Bay windows provide your home with more natural light, brightening up the interior of your home, as well as giving you a more expansive view of the outside world. Like everything else, however, eventually your bay window will need to be replaced. While it's normally a project that homeowners hire someone else to do, you can do it yourself with some help.

Planning

The first thing you'll need to do is to take measurements for your replacement windows. If you can find stock windows that will fit, you can save yourself some money; if not, then you'll have to get custom windows made. Try to get the most energy-efficient windows you can afford (not only will you save energy costs long-term, you also might be eligible for a tax credit from the government). Inspect the area around the window to see if there are any potential problems like dry rot or mould. Also decide which material you want the windows to be made of. Wood windows are fairly cheap, but you'll need to scrape and repaint them every couple of years to maintain their appearance and prevent rot. If you want cheap, no-maintenance windows, vinyl would be the choice for you.

Removing the old window

The first thing you'll need to do to remove the windows is to take out the sash stops (these hold the windows in place) and sash tracks (these are the tracks the windows slide up and down on). Use a pry bar and hammer to remove these, and bend them around the frame of the window, and remove it all at once. Take the storm windows out, then remove large window in the centre by tapping on the frame from the outside and tipping it in. After you've done that, you'll have to remove the trim on both the interior and exterior, and then lift the window frame out.

Installing the new window

Now that the old window has been removed, you're ready to install the replacement. The first thing you'll need to do will be to install a one-by-four board to support it. The one-by-four needs to be level, so add shims between the board and the wall of the house if necessary. To make sure that the window is watertight, add aluminium flashing tape to the bottom of the window opening, and run it about six inches up the sides of the window. Put the frame of the new bay window into place, and screw it into place temporarily. To support the window, attach cable clamps (one on each side) to the top of the window opening, and thread a cable through the clamps, tightening it until the window is level. Starting with the large centre window, put the windows into place. Add the wooden support pieces underneath the window frame, install the trim, and you're done.

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