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Everything to know about professional and DIY window installation

With delivery challenges and longer lead times, a surge in home renovation might seem counterintuitive during the pandemic. But, it makes sense that while being cooped up indoors, we come up with more ideas for home upgrades. Homeowners finally carve out enough time to tackle "back burner" projects that had been shelved for years. Today's "remodeling boom" is mainly a yearning for improving housing facilities, including installing modern windows for energy efficiency and creating beautiful views inside and out. Most enthusiasts choosing the DIY route for cheap window replacement find it a daunting task that requires more than following a set of instructions. Due to underestimating how challenging a window replacement project might be, they experience stress, injuries, or arguments with their family. Many end up with a less-than-satisfying fit or visual effect instead of one more thing to love about their home.

Everything to know about professional and DIY window installation

What to know to carry out window installation like a pro? Is it possible to do so without special knowledge and skills? Or is it better to hire a window contractor? The answers to these and other questions are given in this article. Keep reading to find out more.

Table of contents

  1. Why and how often do homeowners replace their windows?
  2. How to install replacement windows - The essential guide
  3. The pros and cons of DIY home window installation
  4. The advantages of using professional window installation services
  5. How to get the best price for professional window installation near me?
  6. Frequently asked questions

Why and how often do homeowners replace their windows?

While the average window life expectancy is about 15-20 years, performance-related reasons top the list of the decision-making factors for a window upgrade. According to the Principia's survey, the average window age is 9 years when replaced for this reason, compared to 22 years when replaced due to functionality issues, decay, damage, or other age-related causes. 

The modern products feature outstanding ventilation, UV protection, energy-saving & insulation properties, and often come with a 20-25-year warranty. That's why the growing number of homeowners consider an upgrade based on aesthetics or performance-enhancing factors and materials that require less maintenance. However, if you notice signs of decay or mold, moisture build-up, cracks in the frame, drafts, or problems opening and closing your windows, they need replacing regardless of their age.

How to install replacement windows?

A DIY approach to installing replacement windows

Most replacement projects involve inserting windows or pocket-type installations into the existing frame with different window designs. However, some exceptions require a full-frame replacement. When old windows aren’t a standard size, adjustments can be made to the frame, or replacement windows can be shimmed to fit. But new window installation is the best option, especially if the framing is in bad shape or out of square. 

Here are the basic steps to replace an existing window:

  • Remove the old window and the jamb liners
  • Inspect and prep the window opening 
  • Add insulation foam and allow it to harden
  • Dry fit the window to ensure it fits snugly into the opening
  • Caulk the opening
  • Position the window to make sure it is level
  • Fasten the window
  • Adjust the shims and attach the trim
  • Apply insulating foam from the outside
  • Apply caulk along with the interior trim

The pros and cons of DIY home window installation

The amount of work that goes into window installation isn't as inspiring as the idea of spending less. Saving money is the main reason to install everything yourself. However, many DIYers have already vowed never to replace windows without professional help, claiming this was the key takeout from their frustrating experience. 

One of the top reasons for poor energy efficiency contributing to higher energy bills is improper installation. When carrying out a window project yourself, you risk spending more in the long run. So, the key takeaway here is that hiring a vetted window contractor who knows the ropes is a secure option for forward-looking homeowners. 

Here are the window repair works that should never be done by yourself:

  • framing a window for a nice-looking finish to make a visual impact 
  • airtight installation for energy-saving benefits
  • installing a window in an existing wall that is bigger than the window opening
  • installing windows of complicated shape

Free yourself of the stress of making mistakes and running into extra expenses to fix them. Instead, hire a reputable window company in your area to save yourself the trouble. 

The advantages of using professional window installation services

The US window installation market hit $4.6 billion in 2021, with a 2.6% expected annual growth rate. It is forecast to further increase, with a 3.8% yearly growth rate by 2023. According to the Windows & Doors Study, the residential replacement segment is projected to show the most significant market growth. 

What can potentially go wrong with DIY window installation? Well, almost everything. However, these rookie mistakes are the most common: 

  • taking inaccurate measurements
  • making poor window-purchasing decisions
  • faulty or tilted placement
  • poor insulation or esthetic quality
  • window operation issues
  • damaging the frame or the window

Many potential flaws that are not apparent to an untrained eye may only surface weeks later. If your fitting is slightly off, this can null all the energy savings potential you were aiming at, causing you to pay more in the long run. The cost of professional services doesn’t seem as off-putting if you consider eliminating the risks listed above. Hiring the pros to fix the things you got wrong or reinstalling your window isn’t cheap, either.

How to get the best price for professional window installation near me?

Look for window installation near me services with HomeQuote

Even if you consider yourself a competent DIYer, entrust the installation to experts if you want your windows to provide high security and energy efficiency. It doesn't make sense to compromise the long-lasting benefits of high-performing products to save money. Let one of the local window installation companies do the work while getting the best price offer from HomeQuote - the contractor-matching platform that finds the most suitable options based on your requirements. Just fill out the details, and we take care of the rest, linking you to home improvement pros in your area. 

Don't hesitate to trust your window makeover projects to the professionals you will find through HomeQuote. We handpick window contractors in every city, ensuring they possess all the required licenses and equipment.  Prioritize your new windows' quality, longevity, and energy efficiency while we help you find the best deal and cut costs.

Frequently asked questions

How messy is window replacement?

It depends on the number and the condition of the windows. You can expect dust and debris from removing your old windows and trims and scraping off old paint or sealant. The mess can be minimized by using drop cloths and tarps, and it may be a good idea to move some furniture or other objects away from the windows to prevent them from getting damaged or dirty.

What can affect the window replacement cost?

While the costs associated with hiring a professional can be a major concern, some projects will naturally cost more because of how extensive or complicated they are. You can expect to pay between $150 and $1,000 per window depending on the window type, glass, and framing material. Most upgrade options, design-driven solutions, and customized features cost a good deal more than standard styles.

What are the main pitfalls of window replacement?

  • Take window measurements without making sure they are correct. Double-checking the measurements is essential for professional window installers, just as post-inspection.
  • Not discussing the solutions and products with professionals. Determining what type of window will work best for your needs is the essential starting point. 
  • Not negotiating a fair price. Lower isn’t better if the quality of work is compromised. However, many professional installers have discounts if you replace multiple windows, and by getting price estimates from different contractors, you can compare the costs to find the best offer.
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