Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Installation (Part 1 of 4)
There are four key pillars that combine to support up a successful replacement window experience. Like a table or chair with a broken leg, losing just one of these supports can cause your satisfaction with your new replacement windows to collapse.
We began this series with two articles on the Window Frame. In other articles, we will discuss the Window Glass and the Window Design. In this, the first of four parts, we’ll look at why proper installation is such a critical piece in the replacement window puzzle.
Windows are Only as Good as Your Installer
Your windows can only perform as well as the installation will allow. Consider this: your window openings are big holes cut into the building envelope. The roof and walls and siding are engineered to keep outside weather out and inside environment comfortable. Window openings cut into that sealed envelope and provide an entry point for the outside to get inside. Without windows to fill those holes your home will be the same temperature as it is outside and anything that’s happening outside (rain, snow, wind, bugs, noise, intruders, etc.), will be inside. Windows fill those holes to let light into your home and allow you to see outside.
Windows are Holes in the Building Envelope
If your windows are not built and installed accurately and sealed absolutely perfectly, you will still have holes in the critical building envelope. Although likely small, these holes can let the outside elements in and the heating and cooling you paid so much to put in to leak out. If you then multiply this by the number of windows in your house you can see how poor window installation can add up to many holes in your home wasting your heating and cooling dollars. Worse yet, these gaps in the building envelope are allowing rot-and mold-creating moisture into the structure of your home, where it will begin doing unseen damage over time.
Even the Best Windows Can’t Beat a Poor Installation
You can see that even the best, most energy-efficient windows can only perform as well as the installation allows. A great window, installed badly by poorly trained or inexperienced installer can make the extra money you paid for a top-of-the-line window worthless. If the installed window has gaps that open up around the window they will allow heat and cold to pass through the opening into your home. In this case, you might as well have left your old windows in place. Eventually, these gaps can lead to dangerous moisture and insect damage to the structural framing of your home which may result in very expensive repairs down the road.
Proper Installation Keeps the Outside Elements Out
While it may look simple to the untrained eye, installing your new replacement windows so that they maintain the integrity of the building envelope over the long haul is a somewhat complex project requiring specialized skills and experience. Many well-meaning contractors without specialized window installation training will simply caulk gaps left from a poorly fitted windows or inaccurate installation. While your new windows may appear to be sealed against the elements, at least initially, this type of remedy can not last. After a few seasonal weather changes where all building materials expand and contract as temperature and humidity levels rise and fall, the caulk will fail, gaps will open and air, moisture and insects will have easy access to your home.
The importance of proper installation of your new replacement windows cannot be overstated. Poor installation methods will likely undo all the hard work and expense you undertook to select the right window frame, the right glass and the right options to get the perfect window for you.
Measuring, Manufacturing & Shipping Your Windows
In our next post, we’ll describe other critical aspects of proper window installation: the initial measurement, manufacturing and shipping to the jobsite. In the third article, we’ll discuss removal of the old window and in the fourth and final article, we’ll cover the actual installation of the new replacement window and how to maximize the window’s performance and longevity to keep you comfortable for many years.
For more information about Renewal by Andersen of Long Island’s replacement window installation methods, give us a call at 1-877-313-9052 or fill out the short form on this page.