Replacing Exterior Windows
If quick-fix repairs to your windows aren't doing the job, it's time
to consider putting in replacements.
If the frame on one of your exterior windows is warped or severely
weather damaged, replace it. Even if the frames aren't warped or
damaged, windows that seem to constantly need repair or adjustment
should be replaced. A new, efficient window keeps cold drafts out of
your manufactured home and saves you energy dollars in the long run.
Before you buy a replacement for an old window, think about the
style and size of the new window you'd like. Things to consider are
the window's location, whether you want a smaller or larger
replacement, and the way the original window was mounted on your
home. Don't assume that you must replace your old window with an
exact duplicate. Many new energy-efficient windows, in a variety of
styles, are made for manufactured homes.
Before you go shopping, determine the size of your existing window
and check if the window is flush-mounted or mounted for lap siding.
A flush-mounted window frame screws on over the siding. If the
window has a lap-siding mount, the siding covers the window frame
screws. Your new window should have the same type of mount as your
current window, for appearance and ease of installation.
Before you order a new window, you may want to remove your old
window and check that the opening is square. To do that, remove your
window, and measure the opening diagonals corner to corner or use a
framing square to measure the opening.
If the window opening is slightly off-square, you can use shims to
fit in a new window. If the opening is significantly off-square, you
can reduce the window opening by roughing a new, square frame for a
smaller window or you can enlarge the opening for a larger window.
It's usually easier to reduce the opening and install a smaller
If you are replacing a bedroom window, and it's the only exit from
the bedroom to the outside, you probably won't be able to make the
opening smaller. Bedroom windows that serve as egress windows in
case of fire must meet minimum code requirements.
To replace your window, you'll need screws, putty tape, silicone
sealant, and a screwdriver and/or replaceable drill with screwhead
bits. When you purchase your new window, check with the window
supplier about any special tools or screwhead bits you'll need.
STEP 1: Remove siding
You can skip this step if your frame is mounted over vertical
siding. If your frame is mounted under lap siding, remove the siding
around the window. Be careful - if you bend aluminum siding, you
will not be able to get rid of the resulting crease.
STEP 2: Remove window
Using a reversible drill and proper screwhead bit, remove the screws
around the edges of the frame. Note the size and type of screw. It's
best not to reuse these screws. Instead, use new screws the same
diameter and slightly longer than the originals. Once all the screws
are out, remove the old window and frame.
STEP 3: Apply putty
Scrape off all the old putty tape from the opening and frame. Apply
new putty tape around the window frame. For extra moisture
protection, apply two thicknesses of putty tape at the top of the
opening. Applying putty tape is very important, especially if you
have vertical siding. The tape fills any gaps between the window
frame and the siding.
STEP 4: Replace window
Start by inserting one screw in the middle of all four sides. Be
sure the screws go in straight. Do not tighten screws. Check to make
sure the window is square before inserting more screws. After you
have used about half the screws, open and close the window a few
times to see that it is square and does not bind. Put in the
remaining screws and tighten.
STEP 5: Seal
Run a bead of clear silicone sealant along the top of the window
where it meets the siding. Replace any siding that was removed.