We bought our property for the land and farm, but when we moved into our manufactured home we were pleasantly surprised with how cozy and nice our house is on the inside. The one exception is that our home, built in the early 90s, really really needed new windows in several areas of the house. The current windows were SUPER HEAVY and aluminum windows, which is the only reason you would really know our home is manufactured. Every time I would open a window, I would imagine it sliding down like a guillotine! The second issue was that we had a terrible draft running through our home, and our electric bill was way higher than it should have been. Time for new windows!
First of all, I called Sears for an estimate. After a 3 hour sales presentation in my living room, ending past 10pm on a Tuesday, we were quoted $24,000 for about 8 windows and a “free new front door”. We did learn that Sears was started by a guy peddling wrist-watches, and he changed the game by being the first to offer a warranty. Cool! Well if we had that kind of money, we wouldn’t be stupid enough to spend it on a scam like a few windows for 24k. (Thanks Josh, you can keep your windows).
After doing a bit of YouTube research, my husband figured out how to measure the windows. The measurement you need for width are top, middle, button, from jamb to jamb. The measurement you need for height are left, middle, right, from jamb to jamb. The rough opening measurement is the smallest out of the three measurements for both width and height. These numbers establish your “rough opening”. You will also want to note width. windows regardless of if they fit or not! The measurements ended up working like a dream, and actually next time we are going to reduce our measurements by just an eighth of a inch so it’s easier to pop the windows in.
With our measurements in hand, we were able to order windows from a local window shop for less than 200 dollars per window. They are double lanes low e vinyl windows, custom made to our measurements … way less than the windows we were quoted by Sears for 2 thousand per window. For a family who is attempting to live sustainably, these saving are a huge game changer…. and because of the saving we have been able to do more windows than we expected.
Hex-head tech screws (these are self-tapping and don’t strip)
1. Remove old windows.
2. Scrape old sealant/putty caulking.
3. Clean area.
4. Dry-fit window (to make sure it really fits, it only takes a second to check).
5. Remove window.
6. Apply new sealant/caulking around outside face of wall, where the window meets the wall. The bead of sealant should be about the width of a pea around the entire opening.
7. Position new window into place. (For this step you will probably need a spare set of hands).
8. Drill bolts into the holes provided by the manufacturer for window installation on the outside perimeter of the frame.
9. Check the window to make sure it opens/shuts properly.
10. Cut and apply new trim to the outside the house to frame the window.
11. Caulk joints if desired. Paint if desired.
12. Sit back and enjoy your hard work and energy savings!
Patrick had this additional advice:
“It’s way easier to do than you think, don’t be scared.”
“Cheat measurements in a quarter inch to a half inch per length and width, just in case (to account for for manufacturer error)”
What other tips do you have for manufactured home window installations? Happy to help with any questions you guys might have as well!
Happy home improving!
Tiana and Dragos Farm