There are many factors that can contribute to how long the installation of a replacement door or window will take to complete. At Clera, we randomly inspect dozens of jobs every week and use this checklist to measure installation quality. Installers get a copy of each report and we will note deficiencies in their file, talk to them about them and then do follow-up inspections to ensure that the same issues don’t persist. Most companies don’t even bother to inspect and, unless you’re looking at the installation while it’s happening, you can’t see what went on underneath. That’s when you’ll have problems: something was improperly done, but you have no way of seeing it.
The criteria we use to ensure your new window is properly installed include the following:
- Blocking: Replacement windows require proper shimming and support because the openings that they go into are rarely square. Homes settle and shift which can cause changes to occur to your window frames. It is also unlikely that they were even framed 100% square to begin with.
- Square, Level, and Plumb: Ensuring that the new window is installed square, level and plumb is an essential element of proper installation. Even if the rough stud opening isn’t any of these things, the new window must be, in order to operate properly.
- Anchoring: Where screws are placed, the types of screws used, and how many screws are used are all critically important factors. We have actually removed windows that weren’t even mechanically fastened into the opening!
- Insulation: A new window will still leak air (and water) around its perimeter if foam insulation isn’t applied at all, or if it’s improperly applied. The type of insulation being used (low expansion foam, fiberglass pink, etc.) and whether or not you have a vapor barrier on the interior are also critical to the performance of a newly installed window.
- Sealing: Proper caulking is important as it is an essential line of defense against moisture penetration, is important aesthetically (especially if you have an uneven surface on the exterior like stone or bricks that have shifted), and prevents air infiltration. A good caulking job is almost an art form onto itself.
- Trim: Both interior and exterior sides of the window will need to be properly accented. Aesthetically this aspect is very important and usually a critical consideration in a customers’ eyes. Trim can be difficult to get right as we are often dealing with walls that are not plumb and openings that have shifted. Again, this can be quite the art form and requires a fair bit of practice and expertise to perfect.
Due to the above factors, a proper window installation will take about an hour per window. This is a really rough approximation since the size of the window and the complexity of the particular installation can greatly affect how long it can take. Hidden complications such as rotted wood underneath the old window or bricks which have come loose as the old window is removed will cause extra work which will slow down the installation.