Whether you’re replacing or upgrading old windows, or you’re putting in windows in new construction, you may have a design that includes custom sized windows. While many standard-size windows can be easy to order, and will arrive quickly, custom sized windows may require a couple extra steps to order correctly. You can also expect that many custom sized windows may take longer to arrive once ordered.

Draw a rough sketch

Is the custom window rectangular? Is it circular? Is it in a unique layout of several smaller pieces of glass that will need to fit together in a particular way?

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To order your custom windows correctly, draw yourself a picture that you can refer to when speaking with your window manufacturer. A visual reference will be incredibly helpful, and typically a hand-drawn one will do. No need to get fancy.

Make sure on your sketch to mark:

  • The top, bottom, and each side of the image
  • The measurements of the wall in which the window will be set
  • The measurements of the wall space around the window
  • Notations of any spots near the window for places where electrical wires or plumbing may be behind the walls
  • Notations where security system sensors, cameras, or other equipment may be placed near the window

Use a pencil when you’re creating the sketch, so you can correct errors and reorganize your notes if needed.

Measure twice, then measure again

One of the most important things about ordering windows of abnormal sizes, shapes, or dimensions, is making sure that all the measurements are taken correctly.

Window manufacturers often need measurements in very small, precise increments, such as 1/32 of an inch. Choose an instrument that will let you take incredibly accurate measurements.

If you have the opportunity to use a laser measurer rather than a tape measurer, it may be the best choice. You can take measurements quickly and accurately, and record them with ease. However, if you’re using a measuring tape, it’s worth it to measure at least twice, down to the smallest increment possible.

Consider energy efficiency

Custom-sized windows can often be large or complex windows incorporated into a building’s design to show off the surrounding views or landscaping. Often, these windows are not covered with shutters or curtains, allowing a clear view. But, that also allows for a large amount of sunlight and energy inefficiency.

Not only do you need to measure your custom sized windows appropriately, but consider how much sunlight the location receives. You may want to monitor or estimate the room’s year-round temperature and speak with your window manufacturer about how to choose the best energy efficient materials for the location of your irregularly sized window.

Ordering process and cost of custom size windows

Most custom windows involve a longer ordering process, and can often come with a higher price tag. Because the frame must be built by hand, the glass cut to the precise size, and the window assembled according to your exact specifications, it takes more time.

When you have put in your order for your custom windows, your manufacturer should give you an estimate for when you  can expect to receive the windows. However, understand that if materials become unavailable, there is difficulty or delay in manufacturing or shipping, your custom windows may take longer than that to receive.

As with any other customized item, you will get what you pay for. When you need a custom-sized window, it will cost more, however, it will add value to your building. Unique window design and custom features can greatly increase the resale value of your home or business. In addition, having the exact windows you want will increase your enjoyment of your property every day.

Replacing custom sized windows

If possible, keep up your relationship with your window manufacturer. Chances are that over time, you may need to repair, replace, or upgrade your custom sized window. Having an established relationship with the company that installed the window to begin with can make it easier when these things come up. The company will have records of the measurements, materials, and previous repairs, so you will get the best care of your custom-sized windows in the long run.