The Perils Of DIY Window Installation
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
The cost of replacement windows can be one of the most difficult home renovation pills for a St. Louis homeowner to swallow. It’s hard to accept spending so much on something you almost never think about in day-to-day life. So even when you know that you need new windows, the urge to cut the cost is difficult to resist. And one of the simplest ways to lower the price is to install your new windows yourself.
Or so you might think.
Installing Replacement Windows Is About More Than Swapping Out A Rectangle
How hard can it be, right? The hole is already cut, and the new size matches the old. Just pull out the old and shove in the new. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Right? Right?!
Not even close.
Here’s a short list of things that can ruin your DIY window installation dream:
- Rotted Wood
- Inaccurate Measurements
- Inadequate Insulation
- Dealing With Siding
- Dealing With Flashing
- Dealing With The Results Of The Original Bad Installation
- Inexpensive Big Box Store Windows
- Your 5th Trip To Said Big Box Store
- The Thing Nobody Said You Needed But You REALLY Need
There’s more, but you should be getting the picture by now. Installing windows is a craft. It takes specific knowledge, experience, and more than a little skill.
There’s No “Good Enough” In Window Installation
One of the biggest reasons homeowners buy replacement windows is to increase their home’s energy efficiency. If you don’t install them correctly, you’ll end up with less efficient windows than the ones you took out.
Because in the world of replacement window installation, good enough simply isn’t acceptable. There are only two options: Done right, or not. There are no in-betweens when it comes to properly covering a giant hole in the side of your house. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
Think about it.
You have to account for a gazillion sources for failure while making everything safe and secure. You have to account for:
- Keeping water from working its way into your walls.
- The different rates of movement of different materials as the temp rises and falls.
- Properly securing something that is most likely much heavier than what you pulled out.
- Puzzling it all together with your siding.
- Understanding the specific needs of the window system you purchased.
- Preventing the heat loss that is probably why you bought the windows in the first place.
- Updating the framing if it’s out of date and being able to recognize the need.
- Zero warranty (no window company covers DIY installed windows).
And if you miss a step or leave out something small but important, you’ll end up needing a professional installer anyway. Except now they’ll need to rebuild the framing, too. And fix your wall. And siding. And get rid of that mold.
Installing your replacement windows yourself will inevitably cost you all the money you saved on installation fees and inexpensive windows, and more.
What Professional Installation Gets You
The biggest benefit of letting the professionals handle your replacement window project is peace of mind. They know their product intimately and can act to head off problems that you’d never even consider. They know how to measure the openings to accommodate their window system’s design. They know, well, absolutely all there is to know about installing their window systems, especially what can go wrong.
When they are done, you will have airtight windows that control heat loss exactly as advertised. And your windows will look like they’ve been in place ever since your home was first built except better.
Plus, no leaks, no peeling paint, and no jammed sashes, several years down the road. Just gorgeous windows that function as they should for decades.
Picking A Window Company That You Can Trust
Not all window companies are alike. In fact, some companies haven’t kept up with the times, and many use some seriously unpleasant sales techniques. When searching for a good replacement window company, your best bet is to ask three key questions and forget about any company that can’t give you the correct answers.
- How Long Have They Been In Business? – anything under five years is unacceptable. Most contracting companies fail within the first five years, and you don’t want to be left in the lurch if the company you chose disappears on you if you have a problem.
- What warranties do they offer? – Watch for depreciating warranties that become virtually useless ten years after you sign the paperwork. And make sure they warranty their workmanship, too.
- What Is Their Reputation? – Go on third-party review sites like Google Reviews, Angi, Better Business Bureau and see what their past customers have to say. While internet trolls can make holding a full Five-Star rating difficult, don’t even approach companies with anything less than a 4.5 approval rating.
Any company that can pass those three parameters is worth talking to about your needs. From there, you can get a feel for how they treat their work and their customers.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask multiple contractors for an estimate and think long and hard before you jump on the cheapest bid. Those bids are usually low for a reason, and it’s not because they liked your smile. Instead, look for the most value for your money.
If you are ready to invest in replacement windows for your St. Louis area home, contact us at XteriorPRO / Window Depot USA of St. Louis for a free quote. And don’t forget to ask about our industry-best Lifetime Oops-Proof Windows Warranty.