Since windows don’t need to be replaced very often, not many people know how to go about getting new ones when the time comes. That is why there are so many companies ready to help with the process, from ordering replacement windows to actually installing them. However, one thing you should know how to do is measure your existing windows. It may sound like a simple task, but there are some important things you need to know to make sure that you have all of the right measurements when you measure for new windows.

Width, Height, Depth and Rectangle

When measuring for new windows, the three most important measurements are the width, height and depth of your existing windows. A lot of people may only think to measure the width and height, but the depth can vary with different styles of windows, so it is important to measure that as well. Another important measurement that should be taken is for the rectangle shape of your window opening.

For the width, use a tape measure or extendable slide to measure the window opening from each side post of the window. Be sure to measure from the surface of the jambs or frame, not from the short extensions that hold the window in place. You don’t want to measure from the trim strips because that won’t give you the exact number that you need. Measure the top, middle and bottom of the window opening. Use the smallest measurement as your width.

For the height, make sure to measure from the top of the sill, closest to the inside of the window, to the top of the window opening. Again, take three measurements: one at the left side, one at the center and one at the right side of the window. Use the smallest of these three height measurements to order the window.

For the depth, measure the depth between the two stops that extend in front of the window frame. You need to make sure that there is at least 3 ¼ inches of an opening between the inside of the window trim and the outside blind stop strip. If there is less depth, let the company you are ordering from know in case you need to special order your windows. Try to measure at the shortest point, but you do not need to measure in three places as you did for the width and height.

Check whether or not the window opening is rectangular. Measure the window opening from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Then measure the distance from the opposite corners, top right to bottom left, and compare with the first measurement. If these lengths are not equal, your window opening is not square or rectangular. If this happens, you should let the manufacturer of the new windows know that the opening is “racked” and give them these measurements.

Third Time is the Charm

A lot of movement can happen in the structure of your home due to the regular occurrences of nature. This is why it is very important to make three different measurements for the width and height. If you don’t measure on each side and in the middle for the width and height, you may get a window that is too large for the space available. After taking all the measurements, be sure to use the smallest of all these measurements, because it is easier to fill in extra space than to take out part of the wall.

Measuring your windows can be an important task and, even if you have someone else doing it, you can make sure it’s done correctly. Having the right size windows can make a huge difference in keeping out the summer heat and winter’s cold weather, as well as reducing your energy bill. Be sure to contact a professional contractor experienced in replacing windows, like All Weather Tite, when you decide to install new windows.