Replacing windows in a stucco home can turn out to be tricky if the window frames have to be removed. Even when you know from experience how to replace windows, if you’re replacing wood or metal windows with more energy-efficient vinyl or fiberglass ones you cannot but replace the frame, and that almost always means that you have to remove some stucco around the opening. And since the unique color and texture of the stucco cannot be easily matched, you will probably end up installing trim and then painting it a matching or contrasting color. Still, you can do the work yourself – here’s a simple guide on how to replace windows in a stucco home.
How To Replace Windows In 7 Easy Steps
Before you learn how to replace windows in a stucco home you will want to enlist the help of at least another person, whether your spouse, a friend, or a neighbor. Fetch your toolbox and make sure you both wear safety gloves and glasses.
How To Replace Windows Step #1 – Mark And Cut The Stucco
Make marks 3 inches out at each corner of the window and use a chalk line to trace straight lines between the points. Then cut along the lines using a rotary power saw. Be careful not to overcut.
How To Replace Windows Step #2 – Remove The Stucco
You’ll need for this a hammer, a wire cutter, and a chisel. Start by tapping the cut stucco with the hammer, then use the chisel as needed to remove all the loose pieces. Cut with the wire cutter the lath left behind the stucco. That done, grab the chisel again and remove any leftover stucco and square the corners. It can be laborious work, but it’s important do to it thoroughly since this is an essential step of our how to replace windows in a stucco home guide.
How To Replace Windows Step #3 – Remove The Old Windows
After you’ve pulled out the screws and nails, ask your assistant(s) to hold the window while you remove the fasteners. Never attempt to do this on your own, or the window may fall over you, bringing your DIY efforts to a tragic conclusion. With a pry bar lift up the bottom sash out of the frame, then remove the upper sash. You won’t need any leftover jamb liners or springs.
How To Replace Windows Step #4 – Install the New Windows
If the new windows are the right size, you should be able to position them in the frame with ease and fasten them in place with screws. You shouldn’t use nails if you can help it, because the hammering might damage both the window and the wall. You should have a 3 inch gap between the new frame and the cut stucco edges you’ve removed in step #2.
How To Replace Windows Step #5 – Install Trim Boards
After flashing the cut opening between the window and the stucco with good-quality felt paper, you will want to install properly measured and cut trim boards, fixing them in place preferably with galvanized staples.
How To Replace Windows Step #6 – Use Caulk For Protection
Even when the trim boards are adequately cut and well installed, you may still notice little gaps between them and the stucco, as well as between them and the new window frame. Caulking these gaps is a simple and effective way to protect the walls from moisture and long-term cracking. Leave the caulk to dry for a day.
How To Replace Windows Step #7 – Paint The Trim
Once the caulk has dried, you can paint the trim around the windows. To preserve the old look, paint the trim the same color as the stucco. On the other hand, if you want to draw attention to your fancy new windows and their size, paint the trim a contrasting color.
How To Replace Windows In A Stucco Home – Conclusion
Now that you’ve learned how to replace windows in a stucco home you can get to work right away. Make sure you enlist the help of at least another person, though, and get the necessary tools, including a rotary power saw. This isn’t a complicated project, but to do it properly you need assistance and the right tools.