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Window Installation Walkthrough: A See-Through Procedure

by Tom Grant on Oct 10, 2013

A popular old saying about DIY work that goes “measure twice and cut once” makes particular sense for those attempting a window replacement project on their own. Even experienced DIY enthusiasts are often surprised at how basic parts of such a job – like making precise measurements and straight cuts – can be fiendishly complex.

On replacement window projects, you find that the window openings that you work with are rarely properly shaped. Since building structures shift and settle with time, you are certain to find irregularities. Experienced window installation contractors know how to allow for these variations. DIY enthusiasts may not.

Mistakes are not an option in window replacement jobs.  A window that isn’t perfectly installed can fail to offer the thermal efficiency that you need to save on your energy bills. It can also be a serious safety hazard in the event of a storm.  Not only is it important to call in a professional, you need to check his credentials and reputation thoroughly, too. Window replacement projects require real expertise.

Finding a professional window contractor

You’ll find hundreds of businesses that specialize in window installations in NYC or another large city. If you live in a small town, though, you may have no more than a couple of businesses to choose from. Nevertheless, it’s always important to shop around. You’ll learn about the price levels to expect and the kind of product choices the market offers. Even more important, you can benefit from the different angles that contractors offer you on the kind of work you need to get done.

Good contractors often try to save you money by telling you if you can get the results you need by simply replacing the glass in your existing windows instead of ripping them out altogether. They may even notice that your thermal efficiency problems come not from inadequate window design but from something as minor as worn out rubber seals around your glass panes.

What to expect through a window installation process

Depending on the scale of the project, it can take a window installation crew anything from a couple of hours (to simply replace the glass in one window) to a week (if you need them to rip out every window frame in your house and put in new ones).

As with any home improvement project that involves inviting a crew into your home, you need to prepare their workspace. You need to remove any clutter around every work area and make sure that the crew is allowed to work in peace without interference from family members. If the work area has articles that are breakable, you need to clear them away, too. It is usually not necessary to cover all your furniture over with drop cloths. Window replacement doesn’t create much dust.

When the crew is done

If you hire a professional installation crew, you won’t typically need to do anything once they’re done, other than pay your bill. Since you don’t know how professional your crew is, though, it’s a good idea to inspect the work that’s been done for any shortcomings. You need to check for any signs of poor sealing around the edges of the window frame. You can open and close each window a few times to make sure that everything works smoothly. If you see a problem, you should get it fixed before you pay your bill.

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tomgrant0012

Tom Grant

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