Are your windows in bad condition and need to be replaced? The first thing that might pop up in your head is, “can I install replacement windows myself?” While it may seem tempting to search DIY videos on the internet and give it a shot, it’s certainly not recommended—especially if you don’t have adept experience in window replacement. As the saying goes, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This blog will go over whether or not you should replace your windows yourself and why.

Understanding How to Install Replacement Windows

The most common thought people get when thinking about replacing their windows themselves is, “how hard can it be?” Well, maybe it’s actually harder than you think—especially if you want your windows to be energy efficient! Do-it-yourself window replacement requires a good understanding of how the original window was installed, how to properly measure, and how to handle common installation issues, such as trying to fit a new window into an opening that has lost its square shape. Watching a DIY video won’t tell you how to work with the exact conditions of the windows of your own home. This is where people get stuck and make big expensive mistakes.

The window replacement installation process can be complicated and tedious, even if the entire process goes smoothly—which is usually not the case. The vast majority of window replacements are retrofit windows. As opposed to new construction windows, the interior and exterior trim are left in place, as well as its original rough opening. Then the new replacement window is placed inside the opening.

Windows often have to be strategically moved around in openings that have changed shape over time. It’s similar to trying to fit a square peg on a circle opening. This process usually requires the use of shims so that the window functions properly.

Can I or Should I?

While you can install replacement windows yourself, should you? There are several things you need to know about the window installation process before making a decision:

Replacement Window Measurements

Taking the measurements for a replacement window is not the same as measuring for new construction. And no, you cannot simply go to your nearest hardware store and buy a stock-sized window. All replacement windows are custom-made to specific measurements to perfectly fit your window opening.

Unforeseen Issues

Unforeseen issues are more common than you might think! What if the window is a bit too big or too small? What if the glass breaks? What if your window opening needs some home repair and you have no idea of what to do? DIYers usually don’t know what to do, which makes projects more expensive than simply hiring a professional to do the job.

Tools & Skill Set

Replacing your windows requires various different tools. While most households have at least a hammer and a screwdriver, it will require more complex tools to get your window installed. Renting or buying all the tools you need isn’t too wise as it can get really expensive—not to mention the manpower you have to put in yourself!


Installations not done by a certified installer will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Warranties are also typically part of the labor warranty of the home improvement dealer. If you install your window incorrectly, not only will it make your window worthless, but it could also lead to your manufacturer’s warranty being voided. That simply leads to a major loss.

While you can install your windows yourself, the most intelligent decision you can make is to let the pros do the job. Your time equals your life, so don’t waste it trying to do something you’re not qualified for. Replacing your window is no simple task, so don’t let your investment go down the drain by attempting to replace them yourself. California Energy Contractors has been replacing windows since 1999, so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re in the BEST hands for all of your window replacement needs! Give us a call at (855) 779-1413, or click here for a free estimate!