Given basic abilities of home and car repair (i.e. installing new sinks, canned lights, basic wood working, oil changes, etc) what is the relative complexity level to install new windows, in a standard single family home ?

Does it take years of practice to be done correctly and left to a professional...or can it be studied and applied ?

  • "Standard" is a great term, because there are so many standards. Describe the interior and exterior finishes and we might be able to give you a better answer. Please tell us what kinds of tools you have as well (level, miter saw, impact driver). Aug 31, 2019 at 21:49
  • I don't believe that replacing all the aluminum windows in a house is a job for the average DIYer. For one thing, the measurements to order the new windows have to be made with the old windows in place. This requires experience and judgement. Sep 1, 2019 at 10:31
  • I guess I'm above average. It does entail being able to follow directions: awwebcdnprdcd.azureedge.net/-/media/aw/files/technical-docs/…
    – DaveM
    Sep 1, 2019 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's that technically hard. It does take some time and care. A number of years ago, I installed 21 replacement Andersen windows in my house. I was able to do about 2 to 4 a day working part time.

Replacement Windows avoided issues that putting in a "new construction" window requires. You have to deal with the exterior and interior finishes. On the exterior side, its about the flashing and waterproofing. And fitting with the siding. Inside, you have to fit the jambs to the wall, fix any insulation & drywall issues, and fit the interior trim.

Even on replacement windows, I found myself having to fix and replace rotted and failing parts of the existing window sills, jambs and trim.

The job entails attention to detail, ability to cut,shim, and fit, understand the house wrap and sealing. Eventually mounting the window level, plumb, and square.

For the unpracticed, it can be a learning curve that takes time and fiddling. But if you are persistent you will pickup speed. There are instructions that come with the windows, and videos you can watch online.

  • 1
    Good summary. The number one mistake is probably not squaring the new unit, which can result in binding and poor lock engagement.
    – isherwood
    Oct 1, 2019 at 15:22

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