What Are Replacement Windows

Can I Install Replacement Windows Myself?

If a homeowner is looking to upgrade their windows but isn’t sure whether they can install them without help, they’ve come to the right place. Replacement windows bring benefits such as improved aesthetics, more indoor comfort, and increased energy efficiency, but with poor installation techniques, all these benefits are quickly lost. So if you’re asking yourself, “Can I Install Replacement Windows Myself?”, it may be time to call in the professionals.

While a do-it-yourselfer may be able to install replacement windows, the process is more complex than most people believe, which leads to a range of unplanned expenses and other issues. On the other hand, if the homeowner has significant experience, DIY window replacement may be a substantial cost-saver. In this guide, readers will learn the pros and cons of do-it-yourself window installation, and they’ll learn which factors to consider when making the decision. 

The Benefits of DIY Replacement Window Installation 

The first and most obvious benefit of DIY window replacement is the decrease in job cost. When homeowners install their own windows, they can cut the cost by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but only if they already own the tools necessary to finish the job. If the customer doesn’t already have the tools they need, they’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars more to buy the right implements. 

The Disadvantages of Do-It-Yourself Window Installation 

On the other hand, DIY window replacement carries several big disadvantages. If the windows are installed incorrectly, the homeowner may lose most of the aesthetic and energy saving benefits they may have gained. If a window gets broken during installation, or if an opening is measured incorrectly, the customer is left to deal with the expense and hassle themselves. However, when homeowners hire professional window installers, these issues are less likely to arise, and if they do, the customer isn’t liable. 

Think About It: Do Homeowners Have the Right Window Installation Skills? 

One of the first things a buyer should think of is whether they have the skills necessary to replace the home’s windows. The level of skill required may vary depending on the project type. For instance, installing full-frame replacement windows is more complex than putting in retrofit windows. A retrofit window allows the buyer to retain the existing trim and frame, where a full-frame window requires complete removal and replacement. If the buyer reviews the product’s installation instructions before beginning, they can determine the complexity of the project and if their skills are a match. 

Another Consideration: Are the Right Tools Available? 

Does the buyer have the tools to do the work themselves? While most manufacturers’ installation guides provide specific lists of required materials and tools, there are a few standard tools used on almost every project. These include: 

  1. A caulking gun 
  2. Safety goggles 
  3. Tape measure 
  4. Level 
  5. Waterproof shims 
  6. A hammer 
  7. Screwdrivers 
  8. A power driver/drill combo 
  9. A utility knife 
  10. A putty knife 
  11. A pry bar 

Something to Think of: Setting an Attainable Timeline 

When considering a DIY window installation project, it’s important to be realistic about scheduling. For instance, full-frame window replacements require approximately four to six hours per window on the first floor, and more for those on top floors. Retrofit windows typically come with lower time requirements, but it’s best to set aside some additional time to read the product guide or handle unforeseen issues.  

Measuring for Windows: It’s Important! 

Measuring an opening for a retrofit window isn’t the same as measuring for full-frame replacements. And, unfortunately, it’s usually not possible to buy prefab windows in stock sizes from the nearest home improvement store. In almost every case, replacement windows are custom-made to precise measurements by manufacturers. Window installation professionals will take exact measurements and help homeowners order replacement windows that are a perfect fit. 

Homeowners Should Understand the Original Installation Method 

Replacing wood-frame windows is different than replacing those made of metal, and each type requires a unique skill set and range of tools. By hiring a window installer, homeowners will learn about the installation process and get the job done right the first time. 

DIY Installs Don’t Come With a Warranty 

Window installation isn’t covered under the manufacturer’s warranty; it’s usually covered by the dealer or installer. Poor installation of replacement windows not only makes the units less efficient, it may cause issues that void the manufacturer’s warranty. When buyers work with professional installers, they’re covered from start to finish. 

In Closing 

Hiring a window installation expert is the easiest way for homeowners to maximize their investments. While many general contractors and handymen install windows, they don’t specialize in it, and they may not offer the same work guarantees or quality that an installation specialist can provide. Count on us for professional advice, measurement, sales, and installation.