Installing a new window frame can be a significant investment, but it’s also an opportunity to improve your home’s energy efficiency, security, and aesthetic appeal. However, it’s essential to get the installation right to avoid costly mistakes and ensure the longevity of the new frame. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to survey, remove, fit, and glaze a new window frame. We’ll also offer additional insights to help you make informed choices and avoid common mistakes.
Follow the tips below to learn how to fit upvc windows:
1. Surveying The Site
The first step in installing a new window frame is to survey the site. Good surveying is essential to ensure a trouble-free and successful installation, as well as to avoid costly remakes caused by incorrect measuring. It’s the surveyor’s responsibility to determine that the structural openings and surrounding areas are in good repair and provide the correct dimensions for manufacture.
To survey the site, follow these basic guidelines:
- Check the brickwork around the opening for any defects, such as cracks or unevenness, which could affect the installation. If necessary, consider getting a professional to repair any issues before proceeding.
- Check if any provision needs to be made for telephone or TV cables. Advise the customer of these facts before proceeding.
- Take several measurements across the opening to find the narrowest point, having taken care to measure beyond any existing sub-frame or packing. Deduct 10mm from this dimension to give the finished width. (5mm allowance for expansion on each side).
- Measure the height of the opening in the same way as detailed above and deduct 10mm for expansion.
- Take note of any existing cill and establish if this is to be included in the overall frame dimension (e.g. stone cill). If the cill is to be replaced, take note of the depth of the existing reveal and determine which cill is most appropriate (i.e. 180mm, 150mm or the 85mm cill).
- Check the opening is square – it is important that the diagonals are no more than 10mm different, if they are then remedial work may need to be carried out on the brickwork to ensure the opening is square.
- If the window is fitted deep into the reveal, check to see if the extension blocks are necessary to ensure that the sash operates and is not impeded.
- If the customer has chosen a style of window, the surveyor must check to see if the styles are suitable for the intended application.
- Ensure that the units are within the supplier’s specifications and meet the requirements of current legislation.
- [Prompt: Add additional insights on how to choose the right window frame, such as how to consider factors like energy efficiency, noise reduction, and security.]
2. Removing The Existing UPVC Window Frames
Before removing the existing frame, check that the replacement frame size is the same as the existing frame, and ensure that the new frame has a 5mm expansion gap around the perimeter. Once you’re sure your measurements are correct, proceed to remove the old window frames.
To remove the existing frame, follow these steps:
- Run a sharp blade around the inside perimeter of the window to break the bond between the frame and the plaster. This will also minimize the damage to any interior decoration.
- Remove as much glazing as possible to reduce the weight and allow for easier handling.
- Remove any old fixings and break the external silicone seal with a blade. Also, remove the external brick corners to release the old frame.
- After the removal of the frame, remove all sealant and debris from the brickwork. Check that the mortar bed has sufficient clearance, and if not, remove it.
3. Fitting The New UPVC Window Frames
Once the existing frame has been removed, it’s time to fit the new frame. Here’s how to do it:
- Remove any packaging from the new frame and screw the cill onto the bottom of the frame. Be sure to seal the ends of the cill and frame assembly to prevent moisture from tracking along the cill and into the brickwork.
- Carefully position the new frame into the aperture. Centralize it and insert packers underneath to level it and maintain the 5mm expansion gap.
- Check that the frame is both level and plumb, then drill fixing holes into the frame sides. These should be drilled approximately 150mm from the top and bottom corners and approximately 600mm in between (a minimum of 2 fixings per side).
- Fix the side of the frame to the wall, using packers at the fixing points to avoid distortion to the frame and to maintain the 5mm expansion gap. Do not over-tighten the fixings!
- On wider frames, don’t forget to fix the top and bottom of the frames, which will help prevent deflection in windy conditions. Ensure that any holes drilled in the bottom of the frame are sealed with silicone to prevent moisture from absorbing into the brickwork.
- Using a chisel, break off the excess ends of the packers to create a neat finish.
4. Glazing The UPVC Windows
With the frame in place, it’s time to fit the glazing. Here’s how to do it:
- Commence glazing the frame, ensuring that appropriate glazing platforms are fitted around each aperture. These centralize the glass and allow free passage of water to run to the drainage slots.
- Place each pane into position, noting that where opening casements are hinged from the sides, they should have the glass packed at diagonally opposing corners to hold the casement square.
- As each pane is positioned, the beading can be installed using a nylon mallet and tapped securely into place. It is recommended that horizontal beads are installed first and that the beads are refitted to their original position.
- Measure and fit any internal trims that may be required. Trims may be fitted using a suitable PVC-U adhesive or silicone.
- Prior to sealing the frame to the internal wall, clean the frame and glass so it is free from dirt and grit. When using cleaning agents, be sure to keep the room well-ventilated.
- Run a strip of masking tape around the frame, then apply a bead of sealant between the frame and the wall. Remove the tape before the sealant sets. Apply this step to all four sides of the frame.
- Ensure that any trims are bonded to the frames to prevent dirt from entering the joint.
- Apply the end cap to the cill using a suitable adhesive.
5. Finishing off
Finally, it’s time to clean up and admire your newly fitted window. Here’s how to finish off:
- Clean the external surfaces to remove the dirt and grit.
- Apply a strip of masking tape to the frame perimeter. Apply a smooth bead of silicone sealant between the frame and brickwork. Before the sealant sets, remove the masking tape to create a neat finish.
- It’s important to remember to seal below the external cill to prevent moisture and drafts from entering the home.
- Once the area has been cleaned of all debris, step back, and admire your newly fitted window.
By following these steps, you can ensure a trouble-free and successful installation of your new window frame. It’s important to take your time and follow each step carefully to avoid costly mistakes or damage.