The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Remove a Window

Before starting the steps for how to remove a window, you should have a new window ready to go in. You can measure your window opening and order a replacement window prior to window removal. If the window that you’re working on is large, you may need an extra set of hands.

Window Frame Anatomy

Knowing the terms for window frame parts will help you follow the directions for how to remove a window.

  • The head is the top horizontal board of the window opening.
  • Jambs are the vertical boards on each side of the window opening.
  • Jamb liners are thin pieces that go along the sides of window sashes.
  • The sill is the horizontal board across the bottom of the window opening.
  • Casing pieces are boards that cover the edges of the window and frame.

How to Remove a Window Step by Step

  1. Have your new window on site for installation once the old window is out. This way you avoid leaving an open hole on the side of your house for a long period of time.
  2. Before taking anything off, check the window opening to see if it is square. Square means that it is not tilting away from 90 degrees at the corners. An opening that is askew makes the window drafty and difficult to open and shut.
  3. Measure diagonally from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.
  4. Take a second diagonal measurement from the upper right to lower left corners.
  5. The two measurements need to be the same or within 1/8 inch of each other. If the discrepancy is larger, the frame needs adjusting. The window installers at PJ Fitzpatrick can prepare the frame for successful installation.
  6. If the opening is square, proceed with how to remove a window.
  7. Score paint on the edges of the casing pieces alongside the window head, jambs, and sill with a utility knife. This step makes it a little easier to pry off the parts.
  8. Start prying off the casing covering the window edges within the frame.
  9. If you are careful, you can reuse the casing after installing a new window.
  10. Open the bottom sash about halfway and locate the jamb liners on each side.
  11. Pry the jamb liners away from the frame and bend them up against the open sash.
  12. Now lower the top sash halfway and remove the jamb liners up there. Bend them down over the top sash.
  13. The sashes of the window are now ready to pull free. Ask someone to stand outside the window.
  14. Working with the pry bar again, apply force to move the window sashes and liners outward.
  15. If needed, bang the jamb liners with a hammer to force them entirely free.
  16. Have your assistant grab the window from the outside. It’s best to not let it fall because glass could break all over the place.
  17. Clean up the interior edges of the frame. Scrape away caulk or old paint. Pull out any nails or screws that remain.
  18. The opening is now ready for a new window.

Tools & Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife or scraper
  • Pliers

Professional Window Installation

Replacing one window on your own could be a satisfying project. However, most people redo multiple windows at once, and that multiplies the workload significantly. The window installers at PJ Fitzpatrick can finish the job quickly for residents in the mid-Atlantic. We can tear out old windows and install the new ones all at once. We have a great variety of stylish new windows to choose from. Reach out to us today for a window replacement estimate.

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