Are your windows old and drafty? Do they creak and rattle? Maybe they just look outdated and you've decided that it's time for a refresh. There are as many reasons for replacing windows as there are homeowners, but whatever is driving your particular decision you will want to make sure that your window installation is done quickly, professionally, and correctly. Your home's windows are a major component of its curb appeal, overall value, and livability, so getting them installed properly is a necessity.
There are a variety of potential installation pitfalls for new windows, so keep these three tips in mind before you begin.
Tip #1: Be Sure to Consider Your Climate
It's easy to be wowed by a window that you love or a brand that you're familiar with, but always keep your climate in mind when choosing new windows. Window replacements are expensive, especially if you are replacing all of the windows on your house, so it is likely that you will be living with your choice for a long time to come. This isn't simply a matter of choosing well insulated issues for cold climates, however. It is also important to factor in how much humidity and heat the windows will be exposed to, as not all window materials are equally durable in the face of these climate challenges.
Tip #2: Be Aware of How Long the Installation Will Take
Professionals can install new windows in as little as 30-45 minutes per window, but do-it-yourself installations can be significantly lengthier. It is important to choose a time for installation that will be minimally disruptive to your life. If you are performing the installation yourself, it may be a bad decision to begin during the colder months or when your particular area is likely to face significant rain or snow.
Likewise, if you are working with a contractor, consider how long it will take to begin work once you schedule an appointment. If your windows are in particularly bad shape, you may want to choose a contractor that begin work right away. This may be especially important if winter is approaching and your old windows are likely to send your heating bill through the roof.
Tip #3: Assuming All Contractors are the Same
If you've chosen to have a professional install your windows, then it is important to understand that the quality of contractor that you select will have a major impact on the final result of your window replacement project. Be sure to choose a contractor that has experience in your area and with the particular type of windows that you will be installing. Many contractors should be more than happy to provide you with pictures of houses that they have worked on in the past, and if possible, you should seek out recommendations from other homeowners in your area.
When it comes time to actually make a final decision, vet your short list of contractors as if you were hiring an employee. Speak with each contractor on the phone at least once, and meet with your top couple of choices in person. Ask questions about both the windows you will be buying and the window installation process, and be sure that you feel confident in the answers that you are given. Remember that you are under no obligation to choose a contractor simply on the basis of an estimate, so do not hesitate to find someone else if you are not satisfied with the first installer that you speak with.