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How to Measure a Window for Replacement

Updated: February 14, 2024

Thinking of having your windows replaced but still trying to figure out where to begin? Accurately measuring your existing window space makes your window shopping experience much simpler. Learning how to measure windows properly requires some foresight. South Florida communities have come to depend on Elite Impact’s industry experience and superior storm-rated products. Here, we’ll guide you through the simple but counter-intuitive process for measuring replacement windows at your home or business.

Find Out Which Type of Window You Have

There are numerous types of windows, from single-hung, fixed, and rolling (or slide) windows to designer windows, casement windows, and beyond. Take a moment to be certain which windows you have. For reference, look through these examples from some of South Florida’s most renowned impact-rated window specialists:

  • Fixed, casement, rolling, awning, single hung, and designer hurricane windows from CGI Windows
  • Fixed, rolling, casement, single-hung, arched, half- and quarter-glass, and other options from Eco Window Systems
  • Single-hung, rolling, casement, awning, and hy-vent windows from WinDoor (also see their unique full-glass window walls and courtyard picture frames)

Knowing which window you have or would prefer will help you discuss your window needs with a window installation specialist.

While each window type requires custom measurements for the latching and mounting mechanisms, in most cases, obtaining accurate measurements for replacement windows requires only the window’s width, height, and depth. Grab a pen, paper, and a tape measure, and let’s get started!

How Is Window Size Measured?

With each of the following, we recommend you measure twice to be certain. It goes a long way to ensuring all future efforts are on firm footing. It’s also helpful to take measurements in both inches and millimeters to simplify the shopping experience.

Measuring the Window’s Width

Using your tape measure, the window from left to right at the top, middle, and bottom (small windows may require measuring the top and bottom). This will ensure your window frame is even. If it’s not, you may require a new or reworked window frame or a custom window product.

For each measurement, slide the end of the measuring tape into the left corner of the window jamb and read it at the right jamb while the measuring tape is as flat against the window plane as possible. You may need assistance for particularly wide windows.

Measuring the Window’s Height

Perform the same process for the window’s height, again using three measurements (or two, for smaller windows):

  1. Left vertical jamb
  2. Middle
  3. Right vertical jamb

Again, you may only need the left and right measurements for smaller windows.

Here, you must measure from the top, or head jamb to the bottom sill, if present (or if not, to the trim). Note the sill is the bottom horizontal board the window’s frame connects with; it’s not always (and it usually isn’t) the horizontal trim extending into the room.

Measuring the Window’s Depth

Usually, window depth isn’t required. This is good news for those with fixed windows. Yet if your window does open, it doesn’t hurt to have this measurement on hand. Note that you’ll measure from sill to sill to obtain the space the window occupies. You can also measure the width of the window itself. Just be sure to note which of the two each measurement represents.

See Elite Impact’s Replacement Window Options

Congratulations – you’re now ready to shop for your new window upgrades. To learn about the most effective storm and impact-rated windows that have withstood some of the fiercest real-life storm tests along the South Florida coast, contact Elite Impact Glass. Also, reach out for assistance in determining how to measure windows that are more complex or hard to access, especially if it involves climbing or reaching across an elevated height. We’d rather you call us and stay perfectly safe than take unnecessary risks.

Image source: New Africa via Shutterstock