Replacement windows is similar to vehicle maintenance or repairs. Most people don’t start thinking about it until the obvious symptoms that a replacement is needed starts to show. It isn’t until rain is leaking through the cracks in the window or there is obvious damage to the window that we begin to look into our options for replacing our windows with new ones. One of the more obvious symptoms that your window needs replacing is that it’s not longer opening, closing, or locking with ease. Whatever the situation is, if you’ve been a homeowner for more than a few years, especially living in an older home, it’s inevitable that sooner or later you’ll need to consider replacement windows.
If the time to consider replacement windows has come around for you and you get your first quote from a window company, you may might be taken aback with the cost. It’ll probably become quite tempting to turn this into a do-it-yourself project in order to trim costs. Understandably, most homeowners are on a budget and part of that budget may mean that they are left with choosing to install their own windows.
While a ton of DIY projects, tutorials, and instructional videos are readily available online, window companies would still highly recommend hiring a professional window installer for this type of home improvement project. Installing new windows is a process that most homeowners will only experience once or twice in their life so, it’s not unusual that you wouldn’t have the slightest clue of what exactly happens during the process. Pro window installers can knock down this type of job within hours before you’ve mastered your learning curve however, if you’ve been waiting to exercise your handy skills and are ambitious enough to install your own windows, consider these pointers first:
There are two different types of residential windows, new-construction and replacement
Which means, you can just waltz into a window store and buy any windows you like right off the shelf.
New-Construction: The type of window used when building a new home or structure, such as an extension to a home. The can be identified because they have something called nail fins on the front which are used to nail the window flat to the front of the house. This type of window is not designed to slip into an opening as the nail fins stop the window short by making contact with the exterior of the house.
Replacement: Replacement windows are used when removing and replacing existing windows in existing structures. These do not have nailing fins. This allows the window to fit into the window opening.
Some experienced installers or builders suggest that they could cut off the nail fins to make new-construction windows fit like replacements windows, but you probably don’t want to tamper with something like that if you already don’t know what you’re doing!
Working with aluminum
Exterior cladding is often installed with replacement windows, which is aluminum that matched the colour of the windows and provides a tight seal against outside air leaking in. Specialized tools and techniques are used to form the cladding and there is quite the learning curve to working with aluminum.
If you have your mind completely set on installing your own replacement windows, watch videos ahead of time so that you know what you are getting into before you find yourself standing on a ladder while toggling with the videos playing off your laptop.
Mistakes add up
The most expensive home improvement project is the one you pay for twice. In the event that you botch your own installation, you may have end up having to pay a professional to fix your mistakes.
DIY replacement are hard to find!
Replacement windows have never been something that’s easy to find and purchase just anywhere. Perhaps it’s something to do with industry and keeping window companies in business however, the fact that DIY windows are hard to find, kind of makes it hard to DIY in the first place.
You could buy a select amount of designs at big box retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, and Rona however, you’ll find most sales associates at these departments stores aren’t experts at windows, so you’ll need a fair share of your own knowledge before you buy windows from department stores.
If you should accept a large delivery of replacement windows at your home and then find that the job is too much for you, a local contractor or even a motivated, experienced window installer can complete the job for you.
“A penny saved is a penny earned” is a smart way of thinking and can be applied to many areas of your life. However, attempting to take on a project that stretches beyond your skill set can leave you terribly disappointed. Replacement windows are the prime example of when it’s better to have a professional do the job, they do this job day in and day out and the experienced ones are well past their learning curve. They also have all the tools and equipment needed for the job which means by the time you purchase all the tools you’ll need for the job, plus the windows, how much money are you really saving? Hiring professionals is not particularly cheap, but is it worth it? The answer is yes. That’s not only to save yourself the time and hassle but to protect your investment in replacement windows for years to come.