Looking to Complete Window Installation Yourself? Why It’s Not a DIY Job!

July 17, 2020

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Go online to review a step-by-step tutorial, and you might assume that window installation is an involved yet relatively simple DIY job. Before you get out the measuring tape and putty knife and start hammering away at your home, however, you might consider why installing new windows is not something to tackle on your own!

Basic window installation steps include:

  1. Measuring current window frames for new windows
  2. Removing the existing panes
  3. Prepping the empty frame and dry fitting the new windows
  4. Leveling the new windows
  5. Pre-drilling holes for nails and connectors
  6. Applying caulk
  7. Installing new windows

While these steps might seem simple enough and especially to someone accustomed to managing DIY projects around the house, they’re more complicated, difficult, and involved than you might realize. There are also many reasons to rely on the services of a professional window installation company near you, so that you end up with beautiful windows you’ll love.

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New windows are often a costly investment and one that homeowners want to enjoy for years to come. To ensure you’re making the right decision for your home when it comes to window installation, note some precautions against trying to “DIY” this work and added reasons why it’s good to rely on a window installation contractor near you instead.

Why Avoid DIY Window Installation

It’s helpful for homeowners to know a bit of detail about all the necessary window installation steps and why this work involves more than cutting out current windows and caulking in the new!

  • Measuring for new windows is more complicated than homeowners might realize, and incorrect measurements result in gaps and leaks around windows or overly large windows that won’t fit into existing frames.
  • It’s also important for homeowners to consider if they might want a new window style and especially a larger or custom windows! Larger windows allow for more light and fresh air into a space and provide a better view of the outside, but they require cutting of the existing frames and openings.
  • Removing existing frames means cutting through caulk and loosening connectors. Without proper training and expertise, a homeowner might shatter the existing pane, bend or chip the wood framing, or otherwise damage that opening during this process.
  • Removing nails from existing panes is also more difficult than you might realize, as those connectors are typically covered with caulk and paint! The job becomes even more messy and tedious when you have several windows that need replacing.
  • Prepping an empty frame involves sanding, leveling, and caulking holes and other damage. If done incorrectly, new windows might not fit or might not stay level so that they stick or squeak when in operation!
  • Leveling new windows properly is vital; crooked windows stick, as said, if they open at all! Crooked windows also tend to sink, settle, and shift, pulling away from the frame and leaving gaps and leaks. Those gaps allow cold air, heat, and humidity into the home while letting out your air conditioned and heated air as well.
  • Applying caulk for new windows is also more difficult than homeowners realize, as many amateurs tend to use too much caulk, perhaps to close up gaps and leaks, only to find that the window doesn’t adhere and they have an unsightly mess!
  • Even if all preliminary steps are followed properly, keep in mind that windows are heavy and cumbersome, and even more so the larger their size. It’s not unusual for homeowners to underestimate their weight and the difficulty of putting them into position properly and keeping them in position while fastening them to the home’s framing.

Additional Reasons to Work With a Window Installation Contractor

Now that you know why window installation is often more difficult than it appears, you might note some added reasons to work with a window installation contractor. One reason is that he or she might offer advice on new window styles. If you want more light and air in the home or more stylish windows but aren’t sure your choices, your window installation contractor can help! He or she can note which window styles open fully for added air circulation, provide the best view to the outside, or otherwise suit your needs.

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Window installation contractors can also explain and recommend a window’s features in plain English and according to your local climate. For instance, many websites recommend windows with Low-E coatings, which let in light while blocking heat. You might assume that’s not a good choice for colder climates, where you want as much of the sun’s heat inside your home as possible! However, a window installation contractor might explain that a Low-E coating can be applied inside or outside the windows; when applied inside, it keeps your warmed air in the house during cold winter months.

A window installation contractor also inspects window framing fully before installation and knows what repairs and prep work are needed. This might include lots of sanding for a level frame or to make room for fresh caulk, filling in holes and cracks with wood putty, and other such work. Without this prep work your new windows might sag or pull away from the home or you might see unsightly gaps appear.

Window installation companies also ensure delicate and proper handling of new windows, which is especially vital for oversized and heavy panes and frames! Some windows are also delivered unassembled, to protect them from breakage during transit, and a window contractor ensures proper assembly and careful installation. Remember that replacing a new window you break during installation is probably more costly than relying on a window installation contractor, no matter that company’s costs!

Do Energy-Efficient Windows Really Save on Your Utility Costs?

One common question posed by homeowners is if energy-efficient window installation really save on your utility costs. Most homeowners see a savings of a few hundred dollars every year, which might not sound like much but consider how those savings add up over time! Your new windows might pay for themselves in just a few years and continue to reduce your energy costs for another decade or so, until they need replacing.

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Note, too, that old and outdated windows might detract from your home’s appearance while updated windows give your house an entirely new look. Larger windows that let in more light and fresh air help to create a welcoming environment inside your home, while new vinyl or fiberglass frames ensure windows open and close with ease. Thick, double-glazed or triple-glazed panes are also far harder to shatter than old, thin and brittle windows, increasing your home’s overall safety.

New windows also provide more sound insulation from outside noise and vibration than older windows. If you live near a busy highway or noisy playground, installing new windows can mean the peace and quiet in your home you deserve! Fewer vibrations also means less rattling and distraction every time a heavy truck rolls by or a strong storm arrives.

When It’s Time for a New Window Installation

There are many benefits to choosing new windows for your home, but you might note some signs that it’s definitely time to call a window company near you! One consideration is if the home’s current windows always look dingy and dirty, even after a professional cleaning. This often happens when windows suffer scratching and etching over the years; those etches then trap dirt and dust that cannot be removed even with power washing.

If you feel drafts around your home’s windows, this is also a sign that it’s time for new windows. Over the years a home might tend to shift and settle, so that window frames become uneven. As this happens, gaps and cracks form and these then let in outside air. An installer will level those frames for your new window installation, reducing those gaps and providing an airtight seal.

Note, too, that there is nothing wrong with investing in new windows simply because you’re ready for a change or want to improve your home’s overall appearance, both inside and out! If you’ve lived with standard single-hung windows for years and crave more sunlight in your home, investing in new casement windows or sliders is an excellent choice.

New bow or bay windows also add lots of charm to a home, with seating under the windows and an enlarged living area. For spaces where you want added light or a great view to the outdoors but don’t need to necessarily open the windows, such as over a bathtub, consider a stationary or picture window. Whatever your choice, your new windows are sure to add style to your home and become an investment you love for years.

Related Questions

Are triple-glazed windows worth the cost?

Triple-glazed windows provide added insulation against outside noise and cold. If you live in a particularly cold climate or loud area, triple-glazed windows provide excellent insulation; otherwise, double-glazed windows are usually sufficient.

What is safety glass?

If you need added protection against broken windows, such as for homes in high-crime areas or if you have kids who play ball outside, consider safety glass for your new window installation. Safety glass is made with a mixture of plastics and glass, for a tough, durable material that resists breakage.

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