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Measuring Vinyl Windows | Measure Your Replacement Vinyl Windows Print Bookmark and Share

It's every DIYer's worst nightmare: Measuring wrong. The wrong measurements mean wasted time and effort, and worst of all, wasted money. Replacing windows is no exception. Whether you're installing them yourself or hiring a professional to do it for you, the first and most crucial step is to get the measurements right before you buy your windows.

Vinyl replacement windows are typically custom-built, although off-the-shelf windows are available in the most standard sizes at some retailers. Due to the customization, however (including color), they can't be returned if they don't fit.

Measuring Your Replacement Vinyl Windows

Most manufacturers produce windows in 1/4-inch increments, and you want to get the closest fit possible. Measuring instructions vary from manufacturer to manufacturer (of course!), but there are some basic procedures common to all.

To get the correct width of your window, raise the lower sash and measure the width jamb-to-jamb in three locations near the top, across the middle, and near the bottom. If there are different measurements, take the smallest one. Next, measure the height by measuring from the head jamb to the sloped sill, just past where the sill meets the inside window stool.

Note: Don't assume that your similar-sized windows are the exact same size! There might be minor variations, and a 1/4-inch is small enough that you might not notice just by eyeballing it. Make sure you measure each replacement window separately!

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Here's a tip to help you keep yourself (and your measurements) organized: Draw a rough sketch of your house, and number all the windows that you plan to replace. Then, measure each window and note the measurements on your sketch next to the appropriately numbered window.

Be sure to tell the window manufacturer that you are providing the actual measurements, and list the width first and height second.

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