Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Installation (Part 4 of 4)
If you’ve been following our blog, by now you know that there are four pillars that make up a great replacement window experience: the Window Frame, Window Glass, Window Installation and Window Design.
In this, the fourth and final article on Window Installation, we’ll talk about the installation process of the new replacement window. We’ll discuss the proper steps to install your windows to ensure the best performance for the long term.
Window Opening Preparation
Picking up where we left off, the old window sashes have been removed and discarded. Your installer now has to inspect the opening and begin to prepare for the introduction of the replacement window.
Your installer must clean out the opening, remove any stray nails and look for any unstable framing. Any damage or rot he or she discovers must be repaired or replaced prior to installing the new window. The window opening must now be inspected and checked for “square”. This ensures that all corners are at 90 degrees to each other and that the sill and header are level and the jambs are plumb. Houses regularly settle over time and often some remediation must be undertaken at this time to plumb and square the window. Installing a new window in an out of square opening will prevent proper sealing against the elements and likely lead to trouble with the window’s operation over time.
Installing Your New Window
Finally, we come to the most exciting part of the entire installation process. The opening is prepared and your installer can move on to putting your new window in its prepared opening and secure it to the existing framing.
Unlike traditional New Construction Windows, Replacement or Insert Windows do not require disturbing the exterior siding of your house. While New Construction windows use nailing flanges to secure the windows to the sheathing of your house under the siding, Replacement Windows are secured through the window frames into the framing of the house. This keeps your existing siding in place and undisturbed so there is no need to replace or repaint your siding.
Depending upon the window frame of your previous windows, your installers may cover the existing window frames with color-matched or contrasting low maintenance flashing. Your replacement windows will likely be installed from the interior of your house and secured to the framing with strong screws into the structural framing of the window. These screws are usually covered with decorative or color-matched cover panels.
Square, Level and Plumb
Just as the window framing had to be squared, your new replacement window must be installed in that opening square, level and plumb to ensure that it continues to operate at peak performance for many years to come. Your installer must use finesse and precision in securing your new replacement window to the framing. If he or she over-tightens the installation screws they can bow the window frame or pull it out of square. The window was manufactured to tight tolerances to ensure its energy efficiency and weather tightness and any deflection in the frame will adversely affect those qualities and prevent proper operation.
Leaving screws too loose, on the other hand, can have the same negative efficiency and operational effects and could affect your personal security as well. Your replacement window installation screws must be driven with just the right amount of force and tension to ensure there is no “play” between the window frame and the window opening framing.
Insulating & Sealing Your Window
The final step in the installation of your new window is to properly insulate any small gaps between the window frame and window opening that could cause air leakage or moisture penetration. When the window is securely fastened to the framing and insulated, your installers will seal around the window to prevent potential air or water infiltration.
Checking Operation of Your Window
With the window securely fastened to the framing, insulated and sealed, your installer should check the window’s operation. This is likely something that was done when the window was secured, but it must be double-checked before the sealants finally cure, just in case any adjustments need to be made. Your installer should open and close the window, check any easy clean tilt-in operations, if applicable, and any other window operation procedure.
Installing Window Trim & Cleaning
Once confident that the window operates as intended by the manufacturer, your installers can put on any trim included with the window. Prior to installing the window’s insect screens, your installers should thoroughly clean the window and the area around it before packing up their tools.
Proper Window Installation Requires Skill & Experience
Proper installation by an experienced crew is critical to your window performance. Not only does your window need to perform well when your installers leave, but they must continue to perform well for many years to come. You want an installation crew who installs windows every day. The most perfect window in the world will not keep you warm and dry or cool and comfortable if it is not installed correctly. There are literally dozens of specific tasks that must be completed accurately to install a window perfectly so it lasts for many years to come.
Improper Installation Voids Warranties
Remodeling companies and general construction workers are often not aware of the specific, but critical, installation instructions each window manufacturer demands to ensure applicability of its warranty. If just one manufacturer-specified installation step is not followed, your manufacturer’s warranty may be invalidated.
Your Start to Finish Replacement Window Solution
Renewal by Andersen of Long Island is your complete start-to-finish replacement window solution. Our installation crews are well aware of our specific installation steps and carry them out to the letter every day of the year. They understand that the key to your satisfaction is to use the same proven installation system on every window they install.
Do You Have Questions?
For more information or to schedule a free, no obligation replacement window consultation, give us a call at 1-877-313-9052 or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.