No matter where you are in the world, windows serve the same purpose. Windows are made for aesthetic and functional purposes. Aside from uplifting a structure’s appearance, they protect us from harsh weather and too much sunlight, insulate sound, and promote indoor air circulation.
Most home builders anywhere will tell you that windows and doors are the trickiest home parts to install and replace. It’s way more difficult to install than cleaning your windows, that’s for sure.
But, if you’re up for the challenge, here are some tips to make window installations less complicated.
1. Check out many available resources
If you decide to install new windows on your own, taking advantage of several resources can be one of the best ways of making the installation a breeze.
For instance, look at digital guides and videos to help you with the process without hassle. Many DIY books on home upgrade projects can provide convenient tips and instructions. The more resources you have to guide you, the faster you’ll learn and make the project an effortless task.
2. Careful with the bricks
To avoid window problems in the future, avoid jamming the bricks to hold the window frame. If you’re in a country like the USA where this specific tip applies, make sure to be thorough about it.
3. Measure it right
No matter what type of window you’re working on, taking proper measurements is perhaps the most important part of installation work. Take three horizontal measurements of the window frame, particularly on the top, middle, and bottom portions, to get the rough opening width. Do the same for vertical measurements of the window frame to get the rough opening height.
Here are more measuring tips:
- To get the main measurement reference, always use the smallest measurement from the three samples you got as your baseline.
- Always list down window measurements width first and height later.
- For sloped window sills, measure from the highest point, which is typically right against your window.
- To measure window depth, use a tape measure from the outside part of the frame and run it toward the inside. Measure from edge to edge of the window frame.
- You can measure twice to validate the figures. Again, use the smallest measurement as your basis of reference.
- If your window is stuck and you can’t open it, run the tape measure along the depth of each side of the glass and add them. Then, add the thickness of your window glass pane.
- Finally, check the exterior trim and list down all materials that need to be replaced.
4. Learn about different window materials
Once you have the measurements in place, familiarize yourself with various window materials so you’ll know their benefits and downsides before the installation begins. When you learn about a certain material or style, you can quickly come up with an installation strategy that makes the entire process smoother.
For example, if you’re looking for something that provides a clean and minimalist look, you might want to explore the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum as a primary window material. You may not know it, but installing an aluminum window requires careful consideration to function properly.
It also helps if you understand some carpentry work procedures, such as checking for the plump and square, using shims, and measuring a rough opening. Prior knowledge of basic processes helps before embarking on any installation project.
5. Use an ice shield wrap
Some experts suggest taping a three-inch-wide ice shield to wrap and seal the window openings prior to the installation and, upon installation, sealing the nailing flange properly using caulk. This way, the water penetrating the window will instead flow down the wall between the house wrap and the brick veneer’s backside.
6. Consider shrinkage and movement
If your home is made of wood, it’s naturally subject to shrinkage and movement. Depending on the material used, wood shrinkage can range from 0.05 to 0.5 inches vertically. If you have a two-story home, don’t be surprised why your upper and lower windows seem to show a gap. Wood shrinkage and movement may cause the exterior area of the window sill to bow, allowing water to penetrate.
7. Be creative
You could run into instances where you can’t find the right size for your replacement windows. For such scenarios, you may want to work with professionals who can help find the perfect fit for your home, thereby making the window installation an easy one.
For example, if you’re in New Hampshire, you can get a customized window from a residential contractor or home builder like Universal Windows Direct of Manchester, NH, or wherever you may be to make sure you install the right windows for your house. Typically, most home builders in an area are experienced at customizing and installing windows within their communities. Conduct some research to narrow down your options before hiring the right one for your home needs.
8. Don’t damage your old window
When taking out your old window, be careful not to damage the trim, flashing, even the brick molding, and the window itself. That’s because you may need to re-install everything if your newly-purchased replacement window doesn’t fit. These materials can also be re-used for future re-installation purposes.
9. Double-check everything
Make sure wood frames are solid and properly placed before installing your new window. This extra step will prevent you from having to remove and re-install your windows later because of major problems.
If you have sliding windows, check that everything works before putting it in place. Adjust or make the necessary changes if your new window looks unstable.
10. Seal windows properly
To prevent water from seeping in, existing gaps could be insulated with expanding foam material made for doors and windows, while smaller cracks could be sealed with silicone. You could also use caulk to prevent water penetration and avoid serious damage.
Don’t let the wide choices for caulk overwhelm you, though. Acrylic latex, polyurethane, solvent-based, and hybrid are the typical choices. But for your window’s exterior trim, hybrid caulks may be the best to use, as they offer better adhesion and flexibility.
11. Know which ones to cover and which ones to leave open
While it’s important to seal windows properly, know that it’s equally critical to leave the weep holes unobstructed. Such small holes let the moisture pass through the window frame and prevent water from accumulating in the window tracks. Moreover, if you want to make your new windows look perfect, you could install awesome window curtains, too.
Benefits Of Installing New Windows
Now that you’re already familiar on how to make installing new windows less daunting, it’s time to know some essential benefits of new window installations. These can include the following:
Take advantage of many options
Installing new windows allows you to choose the right one from a wide range of options. Generally, modern windows come in various sizes, styles, and materials. Depending on what you want, you can shop around and pick the appropriate one for your needs. It might be time to experiment with new styles for your home or better upgrades of your existing ones.
Offer enhanced security and safety
Putting in new windows in your home lets you benefit from enhanced security and safety. Most window options nowadays come with improved functionality and security capabilities, such as up-to-date locks and security sensors. Thus, if you want to keep your home safe against intruders, make sure to install new windows that could also give you peace of mind.
Provided enhanced curb appeal
Having new windows can also help improve your home’s overall curb appeal. Depending on what fits the style of your home, it can dramatically boost the appearance of your dwelling place both inside and out.
For instance, you may consider enhancing your curb appeal by installing a striking black exterior window finish or a vibrant red exterior cladding if you want to make a colorful statement. It’s a helpful touch for when you decide to put up the house for sale, too.
Save money on energy bills
By installing new windows in your home, you can get bigger energy savings since most options today are energy-efficient. Whether you want fiberglass, wood, or vinyl windows, all these materials are available in energy-efficient variants, which can help lower utility costs, improve the overall comfort of your home, and protect the environment at the same time.
Easy to maintain
Installing new windows and replacing old ones comes with maintenance benefits. Most modern windows available in the market today feature advanced designs crucial for maintaining sustainability.
Thus, if you’re looking for window replacements that’s easy to maintain, consider easy-clean features, durability, and construction quality. For example, innovative windows designed and made of fiberglass or vinyl are weatherproof and don’t require deep cleaning. Also, there’ll be no flaking or paint peeling. Hence, you don’t need maintenance work like scraping, priming, and painting every couple of years. As a result, you can save a huge amount of time, money, and effort.
Do-it-yourself gurus on television and video streaming platforms can make installing windows look easy, but it’s not the only thing to explore. Since putting in new windows could be challenging, follow the tips mentioned above to make the task easy breezy.