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Doors & Windows

replacement windows

I have 30 year old standard non tilt double hung windows I'd like to upgrade to tilt sashes for easy cleaning.  The windows / frames are in good shape and I'd like to avoid replacing the entire window if possible.  Any suggestions?  Any one heard of or worked with replacement sash kits?  D.

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Posted 2011-10-27T02:17:09+0000  by dsnow dsnow

Hello dsnow, and welcome to the community.


I work in the Door & Windows department at one of the Home Depot's in the Chicagoland area. You have an excellent question, and it is one that I am asked often.


First off, when you have good window frames, but the window sash is old, the paint is peeling, some of the glass panes are cracked, or the windows are single glazed and very inefficient, then you need replacement windows sashes.


The term "replacement windows" means something different to some people, and it can be a little confusing.  It's not that you are replacing the windows, it's how you are going to replace them.


A replacement window is a window that is installed in your existing window frame opening, not within the 2x4 studs. 


A new construction window is a window that is installed within the 2x4 studs of the home, as if the home were just being built.  


Here are some of the Pro & Cons of going with Replacement windows.


Advantages of Replacement Windows

     No exterior damage

     Little or no damage to interior

     Lower costs and quick installation


Disadvantages of Replacement Windows

     Potential for less glass area due to wider frames

     Leaking potential if improperly installed


Home Depot carries a variety sizes of replacement windows in stock, usually white, check your local store for available sizes. You can also choose from a wood window from Andersen or Jeld-Wen, or an all vinyl window from American Craftsman or Jeld-wen, the choice is up to you.


Here are some links to get you going, some of these links are "how to measure", & "how to install" and product links to the manufacture. Also keep in mind that there are tax credits still available for these kinds of home/energy improvements, see the store for details.


Andersen Woodwright Replacement

Andersen Measurement Guide

Andersen insert window replacement video

Andersen 400 Series Tilt-Wash Double-Hung Insert Replacement Windows


Jeld-Wen- Measurement Guide for Double-Hung Sash Replacement Kits

Jeld-Wen Installation Guide for Wood Double Hung Sash Replacement Kits (Zap-Pack)


American Craftsman Vinyl Windows--Measureing for the replacement window

American Craftsman Vinyl Windows--Remove old window & track

American Craftsman Vinyl Windows--Prepare the opening

American Craftsman Vinyl Windows--Installing the window

Posted 2011-10-27T16:46:55+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

 Thanks for the info Tangelo.  I understand replacement windows fit within the current window and not the rough frame.  I was wondering though about just replacement sashes and not a whole window unit.  I understand there are kits to insert the side jambs and then the sashes instead of setting an assembled replacement window.  Could you comment on replacement sash kit vs whole window replacement, and are replacement sash kits available from Home Depot.  D.

Posted 2011-10-28T04:34:08+0000  by dsnow

I am an avid do it yourselfer. I replaced all the windows in my 30 year old house with the Jeld Wen sash replacements (Zap Packs) from Home Depot. We could not be happier. The job was time consuming but very easy. Most of the time was spent in preparing the new sashes before installing them. This involved sanding, priming and painting the inside and outside of the sashes. The sides were treated with a wood preservative, they should not be painted. The actual install only takes about 1 hour per window (includes removing the old sash and jambliner). This depends on the condition of your jambs. Mine were in good condition. There are options to get the replacement sash with aluminum cladding, but I prefer paint, (just my preference). The new windows I got were Low E with Argon gas. The look really good and are airtight. Saved about 50% from quoted price on the  lowest priced vinyl replacement window companies. You do lose a very small amount of window width, but after they are installed you won't even notice it.

Posted 2011-10-28T10:41:23+0000  by Oldmechanic

Hello dsnow, welcome back!


About 5 years ago I installed the Jeld-Wen Zap-Pack sash replacement windows in my house, a total of 17. The old window sashes took longer to get out than the new were to put in. At the time I chose the Zap-Pack windows because they were reasonably priced, and they looked great in my old 1949 Dutch Colonial home, and without sacrificing the visible glass area, I actually gained glass area. At the time, the Andersen WoodWright windows would have been an excellent choice but they were not on sale and I was afraid the insert frame would be cutting into the glass area I currently have. Since the windows have been installed, they have performed well, and the outside noise has dropped significantly.


The one drawback to the Zap-Pack windows is that there is no provision for a screen, unless you have storm windows, or don't have a need for a screen.  In the locations that we use most often, we have those adjustable wooden-frame screens. 


If you decide this is the window for you, then take your measurements to your Home Depot, and order one replacement kit, install it and see how you like it. If your store doesn't have a Zap-Pack window on display then you can probably find out the name of that stores Jeld-Wen Rep, get his or her phone number and find out if they know of any store that has a display, then you can see it in action before you buy it.


Measuring instructions for Double Hung sash replacement kits link


Installation instructions for Double Hung sash replacement kits link

Posted 2011-10-28T14:56:23+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

Hi Tangelo,


I'm installing Zap Packs and have a question. The sort of rubber flap integral to and running the length of the tracks on the outside... should it tuck behind the outside stop or lay on top of it.



Posted 2011-11-21T14:05:26+0000  by johnbright

Hello John, sorry I didn't respond sooner. If weatherstrip or rubber flap should lay on top of the stop moulding, not tucked in behind it-see red circled area below.


Jeld-wen Zap-Pack jambliner edit.JPG


Please post pictures of how you project is going. I know this is always a hot topic when it gets cold outside, and we are all looking for a nice tight sealing windows. Thanks for the question.



Posted 2011-12-01T16:27:04+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

I found a few replies in here very informative, good job.  As a 20 year + replacement window and door company, it's rare to read valid informaton now a days.  Great job.  I find that there are a few other window manufactuers that are very reasonable and can get your job done.  Some were listed in this thread.  A few others are:


Windows Plus

Thermal Industries


which is also Soft-Lite.


Great forum!



Posted 2012-10-31T19:42:58+0000  by WindowsPlus
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