Getting replacement windows soon? One factor you should highly prioritize is the quality of installation. Ensuring proper window installation is as important to the overall performance of the units as the manufacturing process and materials used. During the manufacturing process, replacement windows undergo quality control measures to make sure they maintain their high-quality features and meet–if not exceed–current performance standards. These measures might be voided if any step in the installation process isn’t executed the right way.
Poor installation doesn’t only affect the windows’ overall performance, especially their thermal performance, but also their safe and smooth operation. Besides window-seal damage, more than 80% of service issues with windows are a product of poor installation practices. In today’s post, we will discuss why it’s smarter to hire a professional window contractor instead of taking the DIY route when installing new windows for your home.
The Dangers of Performing DIY Window Installation
Some homeowners think that going the DIY route is the best solution for their window replacement concerns, especially if they’re focusing on staying within a limited budget. That’s understandable—a significant portion of the total window replacement costs, after all, is attributed to labor.
What many homeowners fail to realize, however, is that choosing to work with a professional window replacement team can actually save them time and money in the long run. For instance, a simple mistake in the installation process can negatively affect overall window performance, especially the energy efficiency of the units. In addition, improperly installed windows will require extra money for repairs.
If you’re considering the DIY route for your new window installation, here are a few things to keep in mind:
• DIY jobs are always prone to mistakes. One of the realities of performing DIY window replacement is that it’s very easy for the homeowner to make mistakes. Even those with experience in performing minor home improvement tasks may face difficulties when replacing their own windows.
Windows are complex home components, and they require accurate, professional installation to function effectively. Even the slightest mistake in measurement can cause your whole upgrade to go awry and can set you back several days, or even weeks. Window measurements need to be exact to ensure a correct fit within the existing wall opening.
Poor installation can leave gaps. Even if you get the measurements right on your replacement units, there are still more challenges you need to overcome. Improperly installing your new windows might leave gaps around the frames. Casement windows, for instance, offer great energy efficiency, thanks to a well-structured design. Gaps between the existing window opening and your casement frames, however, will promote substantial energy loss, which will directly impact on your home’s comfort and energy bills.
• Accidents might prompt you to buy another set of new windows. Due to lack of professional experience, some homeowners encounter accidents on installation day. If you accidentally break your units, for instance, the cost would be on you. Plus, you’ll need to shell out even more money to buy new replacements.
• There are alarming dangers with climbing a ladder. Did you know that a huge percentage of fatal falls over the last decade involved a ladder? If you’re replacing windows in the upper stories of your home, you should definitely consider hiring a pro. Leave the installation process to them and keep your feet planted safely on the ground.
Advantages of Working with an Expert Window Contractor
There can be numerous reasons for you to decide it’s time for a window replacement. It might be that you want to enhance your property values or are looking to reduce your utility costs while improving your energy efficiency. Or, you might simply want a new look for your home. Whatever your reason, it’s important to have an expert come in to do the window installation.
Regardless of the fact that there are countless DIY videos and articles available on the Internet today showing how to perform window installation yourself, it’s not a viable solution for homeowners who aren’t professionally trained to carry out the task. It might be appear to be a cost-effective option, but you could end up paying much more than you had originally intended.
Planning for a window replacement soon? Set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation with Renewal by Andersen® of New Mexico today! Call us at (505) 395-5120.
Let’s take a closer look at why working with a professional window contractor instead of choosing DIY makes perfect sense for your replacement project:
They use the latest and appropriate tools. Window projects often require special tools for the job. Most homeowners will have to buy them at the local hardware store, adding to the total project cost. When you work with a professional, you can rest easy knowing they have all the tools necessary to install your new windows. In fact, they’re likely to have the most up-to-date tools and techniques to provide nothing less than the best service for their customers.
They give you access to high-quality materials. Every part of your window contributes to its performance, which is why getting the right materials is important. There is a diverse selection on the market today, and professional window companies can help you choose the right one for your needs.
Vinyl and wood are two of the most popular materials due to their low-maintenance properties and strength. However, they have a few drawbacks, including high expansion and contraction rate, as well as poor insulation. One superior material that combines all the excellent attributes and none of the the cons is Fibrex®. A composite material made from wood fiber and a special polymer, it helps improve the thermal performance of your windows. When paired with High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass, Fibrex frames will deliver top-notch energy efficiency and strength.
They make use of a comfortable and time-saving process. Having an expert team work on your project won’t only save you money, but also time. You can eliminate the problem of having to select and transport your replacement units; windows are cumbersome, and depending on the type of units you choose, a good bit of strength and skill is required. A professional team can offer that.
They are highly experienced. Getting windows properly installed is not just about the tools and materials that will fit perfectly together. It’s also about determining the right application and techniques to prevent issues from occurring.
Without a doubt, expert window contractors have the necessary skills, experience, and expertise to handle such problems. Because they’ve been in the business for years, true professionals have handled nearly every problem that could possibly take place during the process. Hence, they can handle those issues with ease and deliver the quality results.
They offer strong warranties. If your newly installed windows endure damage, warranties can cover the repair or replacement cost over a specified period. In contrast, opting for a DIY project will void material warranties, leaving you holding the bag.
Simply put, working with a professional team is your most practical choice. Doing so will help you save a lot of time and money while allowing you to enjoy the remarkable benefits DIY installation cannot offer.
Critical Questions to Ask Your Window Contractor
Window replacement is a process you may know nothing about until you actually need to get your old windows replaced. Thus, you’ll need to learn about the materials and procedures relevant to your unique needs. The window contractor you choose must be capable of giving you good advice and of performing techniques vital to your individual concerns. The key is to find the right professional for the job.
But how will you best be able to tell whether your potential contractor is, indeed, a true professional who can stand behind his work? While there’s no single, direct answer to this question, there are a few indicators you can look for when going through the selection process. Here are some questions that can help you determine the reliability of your window contractor:
Is your company fully licensed and insured? Licensing and insurance are two of the most important credentials that a home improvement contractor should have. Not all states require contractors to be licensed, but if your state does, your potential contractor might have had to pass certain examinations in their specialty to qualify for a state license. That means they’ll have passed the strict qualifications set by the state, making them a top choice for your project.
Insurance policies, on the other hand, help protect homeowners and workers in the event of an accident during the replacement process. Comprehensive liability insurance helps protect your home from damage or negligence of the contractor, his technicians and any subcontractor brought onto your home. Workers’ compensation insurance, meanwhile, covers all the expenses involving employee accidents and mishaps that can potentially occur mid-project.
How long have you been in business? Longer is usually better. Contractors who have only been in operation for three years or less might be a red flag, but then again, every company has to start somewhere. This is where references will come in handy. References are a great way to double check any business, and are particularly important when dealing with newly established companies.
Do you offer custom-fit windows? Different contractors carry different types of window products for customers. Some claim that they offer much more affordable products and services–and many homeowners are known to fall for this approach. However, a lot of these contractors only provide standard, one-size-fit-all windows that don’t exactly meet the unique needs of homes.
To get the best value for your money, pick a contractor that offers windows that are custom-fit to the exact specifications of your home. Expert contractors will help guide you in getting units that are designed precisely to match your architectural style and your home’s existing design elements. They will recommend the ideal designs for your units, whether you will need a white trim, a black trim, or anything in between, plus the right grill patterns and accessories.
What types of warranties do you offer? Making upgrades to your home can be stressful. Warranties can give you peace of mind, helping minimize any anxiety you might experience in the process of installing new windows. Material and workmanship warranties will allow you to rest easy knowing that any product issue or installation error will be covered by the manufacturer and contractor.
Window Installation: A Systematic Process
Your new windows are only as good as their installation. This means that their performance depends on how well they are installed. Even the highest quality replacement windows might perform poorly when they are installed incorrectly. Contrary to what some homeowners believe, window replacement is a complex process. It isn’t simply about removing old windows from the wall and putting in new units in their place. The whole process involves skill, precise techniques and accuracy.
As an example, let’s take a look at the systematic process of installing replacement units by Renewal by Andersen®, one of the country’s leading window companies today:
The window replacement process starts with factory-trained specialists taking notes and measurements of your old windows and wall openings. This is to make sure your home receives the necessary care and attention.
Step One: Arrival of the Crew
Once the crew has the correct measurements, they will come to your home prepared for the job ahead. You can count on them to have the tools and every bit of knowledge necessary to create eye-catching designs with efficiency and functionality in mind.
Step Two: Protecting Your Property
Window replacement can cause a mess. Before starting the installation, the installation team will carefully remove your furniture and other valuables from the construction area to avoid damage. They will also cover your landscape and flooring with tarp to minimize the mess and don protective footwear.
Step Three: Removal of Old Windows
Once the crew is properly set up, they will remove your existing windows with care and precision.
Step Four: Installation of New Windows
After removing your old units, the crew will put in your replacement units according to their pre-installation measurements. If the open area has warped, which is a common issue during replacement, they will realign and readjust to allow your new units to fit perfectly.
Step Five: Weatherproofing
A gap between your new windows and the house frame is not really unusual after the installation process. To eliminate these gaps and prevent drafts, the crew will fill them in with a special insulation foam. This will help ensure your new windows will be airtight, weatherproof and energy-efficient.
Step Six: Finishing Touches
Remember the insulation foam used by the crew to fill in gaps? The truth is, they aren’t really visually appealing–to rectify this, the crew will add a trim to accentuate your interior and cover up the unsightly effect of the insulation foam. They will then test every aspect of your replacement units to make sure the windows open and close easily and that their sashes operate properly.
Step Seven: Cleanup
Upon delivery, your replacement windows should come with a protective film. The final step of the replacement process involves the removal of this film, cleaning the work area thoroughly, shining the glass and putting your household back to its original order. The team will also give you complete instructions on how your new windows work, how to best maintain them and the details of your warranty coverage. Once it’s all done, you can sit back and enjoy the beauty, comfort and energy efficiency brought by your replacement units.
Window replacement is a popular project among many homeowners because of its amazing benefits. If done right, it results in a more comfortable living environment, improved energy savings and a more beautiful home. So when you decide to get new windows, it’s important to make sure they are installed by a professional. Only someone who knows how to do it professionally can consistently ensure your desired outcome.
Renewal by Andersen® of New Mexico can help ensure the success of your window replacement project! Call us at (505) 395-5120 for a FREE estimate.