Take the dimensions of your window

Taking the measurements of your windows: all the explanations

The installation or replacement of windows requires taking the correct measures in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later. It is an activity within everyone’s reach as long as we respect certain steps and precautions. In order to help you in this process, we have decided to write a simple and precise user manual. On this page you will find how to measure a window, the necessary equipment, some tips and also a technical glossary.

How to measure a window: proceed step by step

Whether it is a question of installing windows in a new construction or changing those in your current home, the method for measuring a window remains the same. The measurement points simply vary according to the type of installation. But in any case, it remains quite simple if we follow the different steps with precision.

The necessary equipment

No need for a lot of equipment to take the dimensions of your windows. A simple meter is enough, not to mention paper and a pencil to write down your measurements! You can also help yourself with the plan of your home. The measurements can be indicated there but it is always better to check them manually.

Determine the type of installation of your windows

The way to measure a window depends on the type of installation. There are 4 of them: in applique, in tunnel, in rebating and in renovation.

The 4 types of window installation

The wall-mounted installation is the most common method: the joinery is placed on the facade, against the interior wall of the masonry. It rests on the inner overflowing part of the masonry support. This type of installation is preferred for new buildings made of brick or cinder block. That is why we often talk about “laying new”. But it can also be used in renovation in case of total removal of the old joinery.

Tunnel laying is a common technique in old stone or half-timbered houses. It is also used in new wooden constructions. It consists in laying the joinery in the thickness of the wall.

Rabbet installation only concerns old buildings. Indeed, it consists in completely removing the existing window to replace it with a new one that will be inserted into rabbets, that is to say specific notches made in the masonry.

The installation in renovation is perfect for an inhabited house and whose occupants do not want major work. This method aims to remove the sashes and fix a complete window on the existing wooden frame. It therefore leads to a decrease in the glazed surface and therefore in the brightness. It is necessary to be aware of this point before choosing this type of pose. If this is a hindrance for you, then you will have to consider another type of installation with total removal of the old joinery and therefore with masonry work and wall finishing (painting or tapestry). Finally, to choose a renovation installation, it is necessary to check the condition of the window frame because it can only be done if it is healthy. The tightness of the structure must also be checked. To do this, it is enough to probe the frame with a screwdriver in several places: if it sinks into the wood, the entire structure must be replaced.

How to determine the installation that corresponds to your windows?

Despite the definitions of the different possible poses, it is not always obvious for an individual to determine which one concerns his windows. Now it is necessary to measure a window. That is why we have created an explanatory diagram which, without being exhaustive, lists the most common situations.

It emerges that the mode of insulation is one of the elements to be taken into account as well as the building materials. The wall-mounted and tunnel poses are used for both new and old buildings, while the renovation pose, as its name suggests, and the rabbet pose only concern old buildings.

How to determine the type of installation to replace your windows

Take dimensions according to the pose

Once the type of installation has been determined, it remains to take the measurements of the windows.

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Taking dimensions for an applique installation

The dimensions to be retained for this type of installation are those called “finished table dimension”. They correspond to the measurements of the opening once the exterior finish has been done (coating, cladding, exterior insulation). They normally appear on the plan of your house but it is advisable to check them manually in the following way (always take several measurement points) :

  1. Height measurement finished table ;
  2. Width measurement finished table ;
  3. Measurement of the lightening to determine the height of the handle.

Attention, a minimum thickness of the frame may be required depending on the type of joinery as well as its configuration (roller shutter, lock, etc.). This is a point to take into account if your wall panel has several masonry. It should also be known that this installation allows an internal insulation solving the problem of thermal bridges. The frame of the carpentry that protrudes from the interior wall will correspond to the thickness of your insulation and your interior cladding.

Side measurement for a tunnel installation

For this pose, the dimensions to be taken are the table dimensions that correspond to the size of the hole of the opening (without taking into account the external finish unlike the applique poses). To measure a window with a tunnel installation, it is advisable to always proceed with 3 measuring points and keep the smallest one.

  1. Height measurement table ;
  2. Width measurement table ;
  3. Measurement of the lightening to determine the height of the handle.

It should be known that the installation in a tunnel requires a clearance, which will be automatically deducted at the factory, so that the windows can fit into the holes without forcing and leaving sufficient space to install the seal. It corresponds to 10 mm in width and 5 mm in height.

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How to take the dimensions d

Taking dimensions for a rabbet installation

On old buildings, stone notches were made in the masonry. The wooden frame was then embedded in it. When in renovation, we completely remove the old joinery, we then use these notches or rabbets to install the new windows. This technique makes it possible to gain brightness since the frame does not obscure part of the glazed surface because it is not in the painting, unlike a tunnel installation. In addition, this makes it possible to reduce thermal bridges.

The dimensional deviations

It often happens that there are dimensional deviations between the rabbets and the frame. No problem, there are solutions to every problem. First of all, be aware that PVC windows usually have a 70mm frame. This is a little less for aluminum windows. And it’s even different for aluminum sliding bays. Our technical team will be able to inform you more precisely.

If the difference concerns the width, it is because the rabbets are wider than the frame of the new joinery. The solution is very simple: the unused space in the rabbet will be filled in. If the difference concerns the thickness, it is because the rabbets are shallower than the new frame: it overflows. Two solutions exist: either we dig the bottom of the rabbet so that the window is flush with the wall, or we add plasterboard to the wall to make up for the level difference.

Taking measurements for a renovation installation

For this type of installation, the dimensions to be taken are the dimensions “back of the frame” or “passage ribs”. Clearly, it is necessary to measure the dimension of the opening of the frame of the existing window. 3 measurement points will have to be taken. Only the smallest measurement will be kept :

  1. Height measurement “sleeping back” ;
  2. Measurement of the width “back of the frame” ;
  3. Measurement of the lightening to determine the height of the handle.

It should be known that, like the installation in a tunnel, the one under renovation requires a clearance, which will also be deducted at the factory. It must allow the window to be installed without forcing and leaving sufficient space to install the seal. The dimensions of this set are automatically deducted at the factory, you don’t have to worry about it when taking your measurements.

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Some practical tips

We advise you to take the measurements at 3 points, whether on the horizontal or Aspectmontagel plane and to keep only the smallest dimension.

When installing windows in an old house, we encourage you to check the squareness of the opening. Indeed, the old buildings are not always straight and have worked over time. If necessary, masonry work will have to be carried out. In general, it is recommended to take the greatest care in the masonry of the opening.

In all cases of poses and to ensure the proper functioning of the joinery, it is necessary to adjust the strikes and to return the sealing wedge to the axis of the 2 leaves in the case of a sliding

The most of Orion Joinery

For each order, our team performs a technical check to verify that it meets the customer’s needs. We check that the measurements have been correctly taken and we will remind you that the clearance necessary for the tunnel and restoration poses will be automatically deducted at the factory.

For wooden frame houses or with insulation from the outside, we can provide aluminum sheets, straight or round, to dress your painting. They are all custom-made, depending on the size of the window and the thickness of the wall. This dressing allows a perfect finish.

Glossary of terms used

Below you will find a glossary of the technical terms used in this tutorial.

Lightening: part of the wall between the finished floor and the window sill that is used to measure the height of the handle. Dimension: dimension. Removal: total removal of the old carpentry. Dormer: fixed part of the windows, their framing. Rabbet: angle of angle made within a wall to accommodate the frame of the carpentry. Sash: movable part of the windows. Table: part of the frame that is outside the closure.

Lexicon used to take the dimensions of

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