DIY Window Remodel – Removing an Old Window

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So you want to do a DIY Window Remodel? First, the most important thing you need to have is what Napoleon Hill calls a burning desire, Angela Duckworth calls it Grit, and Bob Proctor refers to it as Faith. Which simply stated by Dr. L, myself, is belief that you can do something. Faith is extremely important because it allows you to form that vision in your mind of what the intended outcome will look like. In this case a replacement window that opens and closes with no drafts!

Let the Planning Begin

After you have identified your vision, it’s time to plan the steps to bringing that vision from your mind into reality. Ok, ok, before I get too philosophical, let’s get back to that window. Your plan must include the necessary tools, prep work, and help you will need. 

Here is the plan I used for Removal:

DIY Window Remodel Plan – Removal

-At least 2 People

-A Dumpster 

-Pry Bar


-Multipurpose Painter’s Tool

-Recipricating Saw

-Screw driver (both Flat and Phillips)

-Drill (I prefer Ryobi not because of any affiliation but because of the reliability)

-An assortment of Drill bits

DIY Accessing and Removing the Window Stop

Pretty hefty plan and it was time for removal. A DIY Window Remodel requires removing the old window and installing the new or replacement window. I previously learned from the local window installer who gave me an outrageous quote that I needed to remove the window stops on the sides of the window, located immediately inside the window trim. Basically you take those out and you can access the window sashes. Sounded great and it was even confirmed by YouTube videos. But that advice was horribly wrong because to get to the window stops, I needed to remove the entire window trim.

DIY Remodel Window Stop Removal.JPG copy
DIY Remodel and Window Stop Removal

So what I really needed to do to remove the windows is in the picture below.

DIY remodel window trim removal
DIY remove the Window Trim

The tool in my hand is a Pry Bar. I never heard of a pry bar until it was time to remove my old Anderson Windows. Wait a minute, I should’ve called this post, How to Remove Your Anderson Windows. It’s got a great ring to it! 

Moving forward, the photo shows that I have already removed the left side of the window trim. Be cautious because I didn’t realize until after I was done, but the trim is interconnected at the joints and it may be that way for you too. In most cases you won’t know unless you’ve installed the window yourself. No worries if you mess up. The damage done is nothing a nail gun, some caulk, and/or some wood filler can’t fix.

After you remove the window trim, you will be able to access the window stops. Use your pry bar and some patience to remove the window stops. The window stops keep the sashes in place and once the window stops are gone, you can quickly remove the sashes. Depending on the kind and brand of window, you may have to cut the pulley mechanism. At this point you can remove the sashes 1 by 1. Then the screen and lastly the storm windows. The frame for the storm window is usually drill in on the outside of the window into the wood molding. Should be about 6 Phillips head screws and your done! Please that

Once you have removed the sashes and the storm window and frame, you can begin cleaning the window frame in preparation for the new window. You may want to use a vacuum, you may need to repair precious wood that is or has been rotting. For this you can use Wood Filler and a sander.

At this point you should have a clean window frame without window stops or trim. Next read DIY removing encasement windows.


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