How to Remove an Old Window

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How to uninstall old window. Tutorial by TwoPlusCute

Replacing our home’s windows was a top priority when we bought our house – almost 3 years ago (yes, we are still at it).

We decided to install all new construction windows but, save some greens by installing them ourselves. Well, where does one start with installing new windows? By removing the old ones first. This is how to do it!

How to remove an old window, by TwoPlusCute
Not looking great at all – but it’s about to!

 

This tutorial is for single or double sash windows that come out as one piece. With new construction windows, the whole window is delivered in one piece (sasses, frame and “stops”) and you don’t need to keep anything from the old window (usually the “stops” are kept to be re-used).

The same process applies well with fixed windows (that don’t open). In this tutorial I used photos from both styles of windows.

 

How to remove old windows 

 

TOOLS:

Utility knife

Pry bar or chisel

Hammer (the hammer is for stubborn old trim that refuses to let go)

 

HOW TO:

1. With a utility knife, score well around the interior trim of the window (where the casing meets the wall). You want to cut through any caulk that keeps the trim in place (so your trim doesn’t come off pulling your wall paint and drywall).

 

How to remove a window. Removing the interior trim with a pry bar. Tutorial by TwoPlusCute
I let hubby do jobs like this because, I usually end up pulling even the drywall out. He is way more precise (and patient).

 

2. Using a pry bar (or a strong flat screwdriver) remove the interior trim. Go gently and take your time, to avoid braking the drywall. Remove any protruding nails that remain attached to the wall.

(Removing the old trim was by far, the most tedious and troublesome part. Which goes to say, that removing windows is pretty easy.)

 

3. Go outside and score around the exterior trim.

 

How to remove old windows. Scoring around the exterior trim. Post by TwoPlusCute
Holding a utility knife and cutting through, where the siding meets the trim.

 

4. Remove all caulk and pry the exterior trim off. Remove any left over screws.

Caution: some older windows were help in place just by the trim. Be careful that the window doesn’t fall on you, once you remove everything that was keeping it in place.

 

How to uninstall a window. Step 4, remove the exterior trim. Tutorial by TwoPlusCute

 

Extra Caution: With older windows (usually single pane ones) the glass is quite inelastic and may brake. Prevent that by using masking tape to make a big X across the glass.

5. Remove the window sill – if there was one – and the drip cap (if there was one).

Sometimes you have to remove the window before you can remove those two parts. The level of resistance will let you know which goes first. In our case, the sill stood its ground, while the window started falling apart – and therefore we removed the window, before the sill.

 

How to uninstall old windows. Step by step tutorial by TwoPlusCute
Tug and pull, and push and tug, until it comes out. If the window is really stuck you can try pleading with it (didn’t work for me though).

 

6. This is a very good time to get a helper – windows can be heavy. Pry away any nails (if any) holding the window in place and carefully pull the window out.

~~> Some windows are installed (placed in…place) from the outside and some from the inside of the house. That side is where you need to be at (you can tell by whether you can see the nailing flange), to remove the window safely and easily, as windows do like to come out the way they went in. 🙂

 

DIY photo-tutorial on how to uninstall and remove old windows in 6 easy steps! By TwoPlusCute

 


That’s it, we successfully uninstalled and removed the sad looking old window and we are ready to install a shiny new window.

And I have juuuust the right tutorial for installing new construction windows!

And the q-test tip (<- pun, pun!) for tackling silicone out of really tight spots. 😉

Enjoy!

 

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18 thoughts on “How to Remove an Old Window

  • November 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm
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    I definitely think having help is important. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • August 1, 2016 at 4:00 am
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    The tips come right on time because we have a little renovation project going on right now

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • July 28, 2016 at 2:42 am
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    Thank you for your post. I didn’t know how to uninstall the window before. And now you give me the instruction the removed window. Definitely, I will try to remove the window in my room first. I want to replace the new window. My window is the old window. Thank you for your instruction.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2016 at 3:20 am
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    This is what I’m looking for. My window is so ugly and old. I try to remove it but don’t know how. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2016 at 11:53 pm
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    Great way to remove the old windows! Thank for the tips! I learn so many new things from your blog! Keep it up!

    Reply
  • July 7, 2016 at 7:02 am
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    Smart! Lucky you guys too, we are about to replace the last of our home’s original 1950’s old aluminum windows (at a very high cost), I’d totally try my hand at the project but they are installed in to the cinder blocks. Your window will be great, and I know you are loving the savings of DIY!
    Wendi @ H2OBungalow posted…How to Build A Hammock Stand From Posts

    Reply
    • July 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm
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      Can’t you just saw-cut where the aluminum frame supports go in the wall and go from there?

      We did install one window on a cinder block wall. But, we framed an opening with wood and installed the window in that frame. With aluminum, you will probably have to insert frame supports in the walls?

      Reply
  • July 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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    We have a few old single pane windows in our basement that need replacing, but I’ve been hesitant to do it myself. Thanks for the tutorial that makes it look easy!

    Reply
    • July 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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      It is easier when done by two people (and a very savvy father in law to tell us if we go wrong 😉 ).

      You can definitely tackle the windows and I think our upcoming post on enlarging windows just might come in handy, too. 🙂

      Reply

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