When planning to replace old windows with new ones, many are wondering how difficult it is to put them on your own. The answer is a job of medium complexity. In time, replacing a medium-sized window with dismantling the old one takes about 3.5-4.5 hours. This is for a person with no experience. Employees of firms engaged in this constantly spend less than an hour on it. But installing plastic windows with your own hands as the owner of the room does not go to any comparison with the hasty work of “professionals”. They simplify the process to indecent, arguing that prices have not been raised for 6 years now and they have no time to waste time on trifles. If you are lucky to find really masters, then you can entrust them with installation. If not, it’s better to spend the weekend and install it yourself.
Plastic window construction
To properly understand the installation process, you must have an idea of the design of windows. Let’s start with the materials and titles. Plastic windows are made of polyvinyl chloride, which is called PVC for short. Hence the second name – PVC windows.
The main element of any window is the frame. For plastic windows, the frame is made of a special multi-chamber profile. It is divided by partitions into a number of cells – cameras. The more of these cells, the warmer the window will be. When they talk about how many cameras will be in the plastic window, they have the number of cells in the profile.
In the middle of the structure, in the largest chamber, an insert of blue color is visible. This is a reinforcing element of increased rigidity. It gives the profile the required strength. In plastic windows, this insert is made of plastic, in metal-plastic windows – of metal (usually – of aluminum). That’s the whole difference between them.
There is also a division of profiles into classes: economy, standard and premium. The best choice if you need normal windows is the standard class. In the economy class, the partitions are too thin and they begin to freeze almost from the moment of installation. Premium has a high price due to options that, in fact, are not needed.
If you want to have the best profile for plastic windows, take the class standard of any factory. There is no particular difference between the products of different companies. They have been standardized for a long time and all stories of managers about the benefits are fairy tales. If they are manufactured on factory equipment, there is no difference between them: all factory profiles have long been standardized.
Profiles for windows in the standard version are white, but can be brown – to match the color of any tree, and even pink – to order. Color profile windows are more expensive than similar white ones.
To understand what is meant in the description of the installation process, you need to know what each component of the structure is called.
- Frames. This is the base of the window.
- If the window consists of several parts, the frame is divided into parts by an impost – a vertical component. If the window is of two parts, the impost is one, If of the three – two, etc.
- The opening part of the window is called the sash, the fixed part – the capercaillie. A double-glazed window is inserted into them – two, three or more glasses, hermetically fastened together. Between the glasses a foil tape is laid, which ensures tightness. There are double-glazed windows with special properties: with reinforced glass, tinted and energy-efficient, which, according to manufacturers, reduces heat loss through the windows. There are also double-glazed windows, between which the inert gas is pumped. It also reduces heat loss.
- Double-glazed windows are pressed to the frame with a hat – a thin plastic bar. The tightness of the connection is provided by a rubber seal (it is usually black).
- Shutter fittings are installed on the wings. This is a specific set of mechanisms that provide opening and locking. They can be different, as they provide different functionalities: opening, opening with ventilation, opening + ventilation + micro-ventilation.
- To ensure tightness on all parts – the frame, the impost and the wings – rubber seals are installed.
Below on the outside of the frame (the one that faces the street) there are drainage holes that are closed with special caps. Through them, condensate is formed on the street, which is formed inside due to the temperature difference in the street and in the room.
Another window has an ebb – a board outside, diverting precipitation and a window sill inside. Lateral and upper parts from the side of the street and premises are closed by slopes. They can also be put out of plastic or made using another technology.
How to measure a plastic window
When ordering windows, you will need six sizes: the height and width of the window, the length and width of the window sill and slope. In order to correctly measure everything, you need to determine with a quarter you have a window opening made or not.
Inspect the opening. If the outside of the window is narrower, a quarter-hole. In this case, measurements are taken at the narrowest point: openings rarely have perfect geometry, so you will have to measure at several points. Find the smallest value, add 3 cm to it. Transfer the height as it is.
If the opening is even, the calculation is different. Measure the width and height. Subtract 3 cm from the measured width, 5 cm from the height. This will be the height and width of your window. We remove 3 cm in width, since a gap of at least 1.5 cm on both sides under the mounting foam is required. We subtract 5 cm in height, since the same 1.5 cm are needed on top, and 3.5 cm on the bottom will go to the installation of the windowsill.
The length of the window sill and low tide is taken with a margin of 5-10 cm more than the width of the window opening. During installation, both the ebb and the window sill are “drowned” a little in the adjacent walls, and the excess will go there. In terms of width, the tides are standard, so the nearest larger one is selected. On the windowsills, the situation is different. Its width is chosen arbitrarily – at the request of the owner. Some people like wide ones – so that you can put something, someone prefers flush with the wall. So there are no rules.
When ordering, you will need to indicate how many and what parts will be in your window: whether there is a capercaillie, where it is located, how many wings, on which side they are, how they should open. It will be necessary to indicate the type of fittings (ventilation, micro-ventilation).
How to install: choosing the installation method
There are two different methods: with unpacking (disassembling) the window and without it. When unpacking, holes are drilled through the frame, they are driven into the wall of the anchor through them. This method is more complicated, but the mount is more reliable.
When installed without unpacking, metal plates are attached to the outside of the frame, and then to the walls. This, of course, is faster, but the mount is very unreliable: with significant wind loads, the frame is skewed or it sags.
If the window really does not want to be disassembled, you can mount it on the plate, but use not narrow and thin, but thick and wide, which are often used when installing the rafter system.
In principle, small windows mounted on mounting plates, provided that there are no significant wind loads, can stand normally. If you live in a region with strong winds, and they blow mainly to your windows, if the apartment is located in a high-rise building on a high floor, in these cases an installation with unpacking is necessary.
See below an emotional and intelligible video which explains why it is better to use an anchor.