I need to replace two windows in the early Spring. I have measured
the approximate rough opening size for the replacements, and I think
the windows are a "standard" size, but need some way to find out what
the various "standard" rough opening sizes are. I don't want to
remove all of the trim until I am ready to put the new windows in so I
am hoping there is someplace I can get "rough opening" information.
Searching the web gets me to a lot ofcompanies that want to provide me
with full service, all I want is "standard" opening sizes. Even HD
and Lowes don't have lists of standard sizes that i could find. I
can hit the big box stores tomorrow, but was hoping to find something
You can't get there from here. That is the wonderful thing about
standards, there are so many to choose from. If you don't pull the
interior casing of at least one window of each size fitted to your house
and get a good measurement, you are taking a gamble that the expen$ive
new windows you order won't fit. Why is pulling the interior trim such a
show-stopper for you? Go around the outside and inside edges of the
casing with a utility knife to break the paint seal, and use a putty
knife and mini-prybar to gently pull it off. Do it carefully, and it
should pop right off. Not a big deal, and you can put it back as soon as
you take the measurements, with little trouble. The only sign will be
the fresh nail heads.
Having said all that- you can at least get an idea of what is currently
available in 'standard' sizes, by measuring the jamb openings on the
outside. Find the one at the big-box that is closest to that, and that
will tell you what you are looking at cost-wise.
There is no such thing as *standard sizes* for windows thus the need to
order them....As others have said , you must remove the trim and get
accurate measurements per the manufacturers instructions...Failure to do so
will likely lead to major problems.......
While windows can be special ordered to any size, there certainly are
standard sized windows and doors, especially in the last 50 years. Older
houses were a nightmare on stuff like that, new houses not so much. I
used to have a door and window business so I do know what I'm talking about.
So Ed-- wanna count? want some credit?
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the
strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face
is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs
and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without
error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best,
knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the
worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that
his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew
neither victory nor defeat."
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
So what are these "standard sizes' you know so much about. I'll
bet there aren't any in my house. [built in 1896- most windows
As I pointed out, houses older than 50 years can be any size. There are
today, though. standardized sizes of windows and doors in new homes. For
someone to say they don't exist is spreading false information. Visit your
local home center and see the variety of standard sizes they have in stock.
My son's house was built in 1749 and the doors are the same as today's
standard size, window's I've never measured.
Doors yes..They stock basic steele and fiberglass doors..Both 32 and 36
wide...Wood or any other size has to be ordered... windows no except for a
few somebody ordered and didn't pick up or were returned..You have to order
them...Even new construction windows picked out of the book if that is what
you mean by standard size..There is no way they could stock all the
different styles and sizes from all the different manufactures of windows..I
know I just ORDERED 3 more for my house..30/48 Alliance Wingate new
construction Vinyl windows , double hung , Low E , full screen , tilt in ,
built in J channel with nailing fin...184.89 each....4 more to
go....Replacing old (1960's) Pella casements which means I changing the
window openings and the siding which is that old cardboard like
We have a stocking distributor for Anderson near us. They don't have every
window, but they have about two dozen sizes in stock at all times. I can
show you hundreds of houses built with the basis double hung window of the
same size. The windows in my house are the same size as the house across
the street even though they were built 20 years apart and are different
And I'm contending that windows in a house built yesterday can be any
size. The OP was looking for a standard. Help him out.
My [nearest] Lowes caries Pella & my HD carries Andersen in stock.
When I've needed to replace a window I always go to both to see which
has a size closer to what I'm replacing. [or have in mind]
Fer instance-- I have a 30x50 window in my house. [a common size]
I'm replacing a window so I can't go above that number without a great
deal of work.
Andersen can sell me a stock DH window 400series that is
The Pella equivalent is 30x47.75.
There aren't even standards between manufacturers. How can you tell
the OP- who didn't even say where he lived, or the style and age of
his house, that he can use a 'standard' window.
He needs to pull off some trim, measure the rough opening, and make a
decision on whether he can match the window-- or buy a standard window
that is close enough to make up the difference with trim---- or
special order a window at twice to three times the cost of a stock
On an entry door, off the top of my head, I would say 36"x80" was more
or less 'standard'. But I sure wouldn't bet anyone they had a 36x80
front door. [just replaced my 31 3/4 by 78 with transom-- had a 40"
door in an 18th century house we lived in. both of those doors are
10quarter solid oak]
Here are a few of the standard sizes that I have dealt with in the past
etc., etc. all the way to
10-0 10-0 fixed glass
When everything is standard, nothing is standard.
It's rough, pun intended, to get the
size exactly right. A lot also depends
on what type of window you will be using
and what kind of window that
is being replaced. On my old house, I
had a 3 sided bay, where they
had constructed the unit on site using 3
separate windows. To measure,
I had to temporarily remove some of the
inside trim. I then went to HD
and ordered Anderson. Anderson offered
a line of individual windows
ordered to size. I also had problems
getting the new windows
to fit because, through the years the
bay structure had sagged making the
2 side openings slightly parallelograms.
A little cheating here and there,
especially with new inside trim, made it
all work, but it was almost too
close for comfort.
If you're replacing double hung, will
the new ones be "replacement vinyl"
or something like Anderson. Replacement
vinyl are made to size and
go into the opening, usually leaving the
outside rectangle of the original
window. Nice thing here is you don't
have to touch the trim, as the
original box stays in tack. If you're
replacing the whole thing, you need
to measure the outside of that original
window box. It's usually 4 1x6s
connected at the corners with a rabbit
or similar joint. Of course, a lot
depends on the age of the old windows.
The double hung windows in
the old house were circa 1970 and cheap
single pane units at that. BTW,
you can check at HD or on-line, for the
blow up on how the windows
are constructed. HD, no surprise,
wasn't too helpful in my bay window,
but the on-line Anderson stuff was very
helpful. When I was ready to
order, I called Anderson and asked about
tolerances, like if specified
as X inches, will it be X +/- 1/32 or
something. They said it would be X.
I know there has to be some tolerance,
but they wouldn't give that to me.
I probably should have specified a
little bit on the small side, maybe
by an 1/8". Things would have been much
easier. BTW, is the house
frame, brick or brick veneer?
Hi Art - I'm off to the Bell Labs retirees luncheon, then off to HD to
see if a 30 x 40 rough opening is a "standard" size. It was, when I
put the windows in 25 years ago to replace some (at that time) 30 year
old casement windows. I rebuilt the wall to put in the new windows
back then using a "standard" window size. I put in double glazed
windows, but over the years they lost their seal and became cloudy. I
have the glass size 20 3/8 x 24 3/8 and am also going to price just
new glass from the company that I got some custom glass from in 2001
to put into all the remaining single-glazed casement windows. A
little bit of routing on those old casement window frames and they
took the new sealed units which have not leaked so far, so I trust the
company to provide good-quality sealed windows I put a single pane of
glass into 1/2 of one window last night and the improvment in clarity
is amazing. I hate to pull the trim off to measure the exact size
when I shouldn't have to.
I measured 13 double hungs (7 different sizes) with the trim in place
and got them all right.
My windows were controlled by aIuminum tracks, with tube-encased
springs, one on each side of the sash.
To measure the width, I used 2 slats from aluminum mini-blinds,
slipping the end of each one into the small gap between the track and
the interior stop. I marked where the slats overlapped, removed them,
laid them on a table with the mark lined up and measured them. I did
this in 3 spots - top, bottom and middle - and used the smallest
I did the same thing for the height, although I didn't have any tracks
to deal with. I placed the slats in the front of opening - in three
places - and marked the overlap, then laid them on the table and
measured. (The sills were slanted, so the front of the opening was the
No trim was removed until I was ready to do the installs.
BTW...the other thing I did was toss the expander cap that came with
the windows and used blocks to raise the window up to the top of the
rough opening. I insulated around the blocks and caulked both sides to
create a dead air space.
I don't like the look of the expander caps, plus if you use them you
have to rip the upper stops to get them even with the side stops. I'd
rather "hide" the adjustment inside the sill.
That is a fine method for replacement sashes, but you are measuring the
INSIDE of the old jamb, not the rough opening. And if I ever upgrade the
windows here, that is the method I will likely follow, since the jambs
seem to be in good shape. But if you are replacing the entire window,
you need to see the actual 2x4s of the rough opening to get an accurate
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