Measurements for retrofit windows

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Hi all! I'm hoping to get some advice about measuring for retrofit windows... I decided to have a handyman install my windows to save some money over the big box stores. That means I have to measure the windows and purchase them myself, and I'm on the hook if anything goes wrong with the measurements.
My handyman told me that I should be measuring the window from the inside and adding 1/2 inch to both the width and the height. At first he told me to subtract 1/4 inch, but then he said that trim would have to be added on the outside, and adding 1/2 inch instead would give a better-looking result. The thing is, everything I've read says that 1/4-1/2 inch should be subtracted from the measurements to make sure the windows fit, and that you're in big trouble if you get windows that are too big.
So, is this guy crazy?? Is it okay to have retrofit windows that are 1/2 inch larger than the inside opening? (Sorry if I'm using incorrect terms here - I'm not too knowledgeable about windows.)
Thanks for any advice. I've already ordered windows that are 1/2 inch larger than the inside measurements, so please save me if I'm about to waste a lot of money!!
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Hi all! I'm hoping to get some advice about measuring for retrofit windows... I decided to have a handyman install my windows to save some money over the big box stores. That means I have to measure the windows and purchase them myself, and I'm on the hook if anything goes wrong with the measurements.
My handyman told me that I should be measuring the window from the inside and adding 1/2 inch to both the width and the height. At first he told me to subtract 1/4 inch, but then he said that trim would have to be added on the outside, and adding 1/2 inch instead would give a better-looking result. The thing is, everything I've read says that 1/4-1/2 inch should be subtracted from the measurements to make sure the windows fit, and that you're in big trouble if you get windows that are too big.
So, is this guy crazy?? Is it okay to have retrofit windows that are 1/2 inch larger than the inside opening? (Sorry if I'm using incorrect terms here - I'm not too knowledgeable about windows.)
Thanks for any advice. I've already ordered windows that are 1/2 inch larger than the inside measurements, so please save me if I'm about to waste a lot of money!!
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If you already ordered them, it's a little late to be asking now, isn't it? I would have asked the manufacturer the proper way to measure your openings. I think they would know more than the handyman
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Measurements-for-retrofit-windows-645518-.htm mday83 wrote: Hmm, not really, because I have until this afternoon to cancel the order if I need to. This isn't an uncorrectable mistake, otherwise I wouldn't be posting here for advice...
ChairMan wrote:

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On 8/12/2011 2:09 PM, mday83 wrote:

http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Measurements-for-retrofit-windows-645518-.htm
Cancel them now. Ask them how to measure.

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Tony Miklos wrote:

I agree. First cancel the order. Tell them you need to re-measure the windows and that you will place the order again after doing that.
I belong to a real estate investor group and I participate in what they call a "subgroup" on doing rehabs -- which of course means installing replacement windows, etc. One of the big rules of thumb that they talk about is when doing jobs like replacement windows, kitchen cabinets, countertops, etc., ALWAYS have the person who is going to do the work do their own measurements and place the order for the materials (even if you are the one who will be paying for the materials directly).
It makes sense. It is way too easy to have a miscommunication about the measurements if you do the measuring and someone else does the install.
If the handyman you plan on using has done other replacement windows and knows what he is doing, he should have no problem coming out to your house first and doing the measurements himself. Paying him to do the measurement shouldn't cost more than an hour or two of his time at most.
Good luck.
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mday83 wrote:

I think you're already wasting money - paying a store for windows, then paying a handyman too.
Especially by ordering too-large windows that won't fit any of your openings (Unless he told you to measure between stops and add that 1/2").
You buy your own windows for a DIY project only. You get installed windows if that's what you need.
There must be a local outfit who can sell you installed windows for less than you're paying - AND they guarantee the fit too.
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Play it safe and do one first. Are they all the same? The way I had to do it was rip the outside trim off two of different heights. Got to see what your dealing with, stud spacing is what I was after, and height cross members. You either give actual space, or actual window size.
Greg
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LOL!!!!!!!! Please post pictures when he's done on a site. As if your post wasn't funny enough, I'm ready for another good laugh.
P.S. What is his drink of choice? Whatever it is, it must be good.
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There is confusion here. First is to find out what the manufacturer recommends. I used to sell and install replacement windows years ago and every manufacturer had an instruction sheet on how to measure and how to order.
What the handy guy told you is probably correct if you are measuring inside the stops. If you are measuring inside the casing, he is wrong.
If you have typical double hung sash windows, there is a trim strip around the inside. that will be removed, the sashes taken out, the new window put in place. It must fit inside that opening. The window must be order with a dimension less than the opening, of course. Then the trim strip can be put back and everything looks pretty.
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2011 16:50:48 +0000, mday83

If so, remove the inside trim from one window. Measure the OUTSIDE dimensions of the window from inside the house, and compare them to the INSIDE dimensions of the same window. If the outside dimension is 34 X 60 inches and the inside is 32X57 (WxH), you need to add 2 inches to the inside width measurement, and 3" to the inside height measurement, and give that measurement to the window company, requesting a window "of that external size" - NOT for that "rough opening" - and order "new construction" or "frame out" windows. Determine what jam width you need - what the measurement from the external siding to the inside finish plaster is, and whether you need a "brick mold" or not. You may also have an option of having the "j mold" I think it is called - that normally nails to the sheathing before the siding is installed or not. If they only come "with" they are not hard to remove.. If you cannot get the proper jam size. wood jams are easy to add/adjust
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This adds to the confusion. You are correct about new windows, but he is talking about retrofit widows. I take that as the ones that replace the sashes, but the original frame remains in place. Everything is done from inside, you never even touch the storm window unless that is replaced also, or insulated windows used for replacement.
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On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 08:30:41 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

the years, I wouldn't even CONSIDER those retrofit windows.You still need to paint all the exterior framing, the windows are smaller than you would get with frame out, the installation labour can be a small savings - but in my opinion not worth it - you still have the leaky old window frames you had to start with, half the time the jams are rotting (or rotten)
All in all, a Half Assed job when you are done.
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On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 16:06:25 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Depends on how you do it, I had every window in my house replaced about 5 years ago. 24 I think. $4400. Replaced the wood double-hungs with vinyl retrofits. Those windows were nagging me for glazing and paint for years. Glad I put it off working on them. Now I don't even think about them except good thoughts. No maintenance at all. Haven't even washed them yet. You're right about ending with a smaller window unless you change the window type. You lose a few inches in the rail slides with double-hung. At my wife's insistence we went with crank-outs. I wanted dougle-hungs. She was right. Ended up with much more light and much less dirt collection surface. Basement swing-ups were replaced with sliders. All are MUCH better at insulating and the drafts are gone. No more jamming triple track storms either. Gone. The 2 guys who did the job worked in the window plant and got them cheap. And other family had used them. That's a big deal. You don't want a crap shoot like the OP is doing. They sheathed all jambs and outside wood with aluminum. Best $4400 I ever spent. If you DIY you need a press for the sheathing unless you're still painting frames. This is something that deserves serious thought. I didn't jump in until I had all the facts.
--Vic
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On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 19:18:38 -0500, Vic Smith

pulled them and done a "frame out" for the same price - no aluminum capping required. And a better job when it was all done.
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 17:26:49 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's nonsense. You know nothing about my house, condition of my window frames/sills, the work quality of the installers, retrofit versus new construction window costs here, final appearance etc. And "frame out" for the same price is just ridiculous. Silly too, like pulling a car engine because the tires are flat. Not saying which way to go for everyone, as you are, just what worked for me. BTW, my house is brick and all the window frames and sills were solid. And the retrofits look real good to us. Double-hung retros wouldn't look right and would have reduced light, the crank-outs increased it. I scoped all this out when I did it. That's what anybody should do. No regrets at all.
--Vic
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I see the typical installer doing a fast job. By retrofit in my case, I gutted everything. I also extend most outward so I would have large windowsills for the cats. And room to put things on. I had a cheap job done at the old house, and they covered my marble sills too much. Could not even sit a fan on sill. Extending the window outward on my brick house required me using side panels and foam insulation, each window is at least a 4 hour job. I installed 6 double hung and so far 3 sliders. Well one slider was a new installation, cinder block, dust, dust, dust. That was more than 4 hours!!
I have to order full sized screens, especially the sliders, because stink bugs crawl in on an open window.
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Another thing, I get very annoyed at my double hung half screens. What good is double hung if you can't open both top and bottom to get that flow going on.
Greg
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Is that why my wife always says "I wish you were double hung?"
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 11:54:10 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

Single hungs too.
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