GRP Designs

Removing a Window and Removing a Door Frame - How to Remove a Window Frame to Replace With a New One

This project is sponsored by GRP Designs

Summary: How to correctly remove Window and Door Frames so that you can replace with new. This can be a tricky job if not done correctly and if you're not careful you can damage surrounding areas. In this how to guide we show you the best way of removing a window and frame including removing the central uprights, the main frame and jambs and the cill and header timber. Removing a door frame is a similar process to removing a window frame so the same principles apply.

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Regulations For Removing And Replacing Windows

Replacing windows and doors must be done in line with regulations and to undertake such work we suggest you first look at our project on replacement windows and doors.

In 2002 building regulations changed dramatically to keep energy in buildings as much as possible. From the roof to the floor, insulation requirements changed and this includes the windows. Please click on and read our project relating to these regulations to find out more.

Measuring up for your new windows or doors an be a bit tricky and needs to be done correctly. More information on how to do this can be found in the Replacing Windows and Doors project mentioned above.

Remove All The Moving Parts From Your Windows

The first step to removing window and door frames is to remove the moving parts such as the door itself or the windows opening sashes. Usually this can be done by unscrewing the hinges but in a few, awkward cases, a wrecking bar and some elbow grease is required.

Once removed, stack all frame sections out of the way, especially those containing glass.

Removing awkward window sash with a wrecking bar

Removing awkward window sash with a wrecking bar

Remove The Central Uprights From The Windows

Saw through the central uprights (mullions) of the frame to remove and fixed sashes or glass panels. Be very careful here as the glass can easily break at this point. When you have made your saw cuts, bang the frame sections away from the glass using a hammer and chisel. All saw cuts should be made at an angle so the timber sections do not bind on each other when pulling apart.

Saw through window uprights to remove them

Saw through window uprights to remove them

Removing The Main Frame And Side Jambs

With all central frame sections gone its time to cut through the main frame. The sides (jambs) are the first to go and a saw cut is made through them until the saw reaches (but doesn't touch) the plaster inside and the masonry outside. Again you can see that the saw cut is made at an angle

Remove window sides or jambs with a hammer and chisel

Remove window sides or jambs with a hammer and chisel - Be careful not to damage the plastered surface of the wall

Lever off awkward jambs with a wrecking bar

Lever off awkward jambs with a wrecking bar - Again, be careful not to damage the plastered surface of the wall

Once the saw cut is started a chisel or wrecking bar is banged in behind the jamb which is then levered inward. As you lever in the saw cut will open and more of the frame will be exposed. This can be sawn and continued until you have sawn all the way through the jamb. The jamb can then be pulled inwards and wiggled around until it breaks free.

Levering off window side or jamb with a chisel

Levering off window side or jamb with a chisel

Removing The Cill And Head Timber

Next the cill is cut. Again an angled cut is used. The wrecking bar is inserted under the cill from the outside and levered up ward so all of the cill can be cut.

Removing the window cill by creating an angled cut and levering up with a wrecking bar

Removing the window cill by creating an angled cut and levering up with a wrecking bar

Removing the bottom window jamb

Removing the bottom window jamb

Finally, using exactly the same process, the head timber is removed. This, if it is an upstairs window, can sometimes present difficulties. Very often, above the window on the outside of the building, there is a soffit board which fills the gap between the inside of the facia board and the wall. With some construction techniques the windows are installed and this soffit board is actually fixed to the top of the window frame. Simply ripping the head down can damage the soffit board so go carefully. If the soffit board is fixed down onto the top of the frame, you will need to slide a hacksaw blade between the soffit board and top of frame to cut through the nails or screws.

Remove the window head timber by firstly making an angled cut

Remove the window head timber by firstly making an angled cut

Lever the head timber down with a wrecking bar to remove

Lever the head timber down with a wrecking bar to remove

There is a huge variety of windows and doors available these days and we would suggest visiting the GRP Designs website to find further information on all types of windows, doors, composite doors and folding doors. Their composite doors are especially worth a look, combining the stunning appearance of natural wood with excellent thermal and security properties.

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