Windows are an essential part of your home. They significantly impact everything from your home’s appearance to your energy bill. This is why getting house windows replaced can be a major decision and should always be done by a professional.
Whether you want to give your home a new look, are upgrading to more energy-efficient windows or need to replace old and damaged windows, here is what to expect when replacing windows and proper preparation for new windows.
What to Expect When Replacing Windows
Most homeowners only need to replace windows once or twice in their lifetime, as windows are typically built to withstand the elements and last for decades. Therefore, the replacement process may be new to you. Typically, window replacements can be done in less than a day. Larger, more complex jobs may take more than one day, but your installer will let you know either way.
If the installation takes a few days, professional teams will ensure there are no “empty” windows. They may replace one window at a time or set a number for the day so that windows are always in place. Final touches like trim and cladding may be left for the last few days.
Replacement windows are mainly installed from the inside. Installing windows from the inside can also ensure a tighter seal on the windows for improved weatherproofing. Some window styles are easier to install from the outside because they open outwards. Some projects may need installers to work inside and outside if you want to change external features around the windows.
How Are Windows Replaced?
There are five steps to window replacements:
- Initial walkthrough: Before work begins, the team lead will walk through the project with you and review all the windows that need to be replaced. It is the perfect time to confirm the team uses the right windows, ensure all the window parts are in working order and share any special instructions like saving old glass for you to use on other projects.
- Old windows are removed: The next big step is removing the windows. The installation team will move the old glass outside and take it with them once completed. If you are keeping it, the team may move the glass to where you want it stored.
- New windows are installed: Once the old windows are removed, the new windows are put in place. They are leveled and then nailed in place.
- Cladding and trim put in place: Trim and cladding are the last elements to be installed. If the external trim remains, teams may only replace or install trim on the inside. Trim and cladding help seal your windows to protect your home from the elements.
- Final walkthrough and testing: Once the windows are replaced, it is time for the last walkthrough with the team lead. During the final walkthrough, test that all the windows work properly. Check that they open, close and lock correctly. You can also make sure that all the tools and any mess from the installation are cleaned up.
6 Tips to Prepare for Window Installation
Once you have chosen your new windows and set a date for installation, it is time to prepare. Here are six tips for preparing for window replacements:
1. Clear Windows
Take down any curtains, blinds, shutters and hardware on your windows, as they will get in the way. Installers can remove these items, but it will make installation quicker if you remove these items before installers arrive.
Clear away anything on the windowsills and place them somewhere safe. You may also want to remove any pictures or wall hangings around your windows to prevent anything from being knocked down during installation.
Check with your contractors if they need to access windows from the outside. You might need to clear bushes, trees, outdoor furniture and potted plants near the windows to give teams safe access.
2. Make Space
Installation teams bring tools and windows into your house. They will move in and out repeatedly, fetching tools and removing windows. Make sure the installation team has a clear path through your home by moving furniture and other obstacles. A clear path is safer for the installation team and can protect furniture and fragile items from damage. Move furniture as far away from the windows as possible.
In smaller rooms, installation teams may need to move furniture out of the room so there is enough space to maneuver windows. The project lead should talk about this with you during the initial walkthrough, or you can move the furniture before the team arrives. Installers may also need access to electrical outlets. Typically, your driveway will be the best place for a workstation, so please keep it clear.
3. Use Dust Covers
As with any construction work, window replacements can get dirty and dusty. Most window installers use drop cloths to protect the floors around the installation site.
You can put dust covers on furniture near the windows or in the same room to protect them from dust and dirt. Remember that installation teams will be moving around your house, so you may want to put drop cloths on floors and carpets teams use to make cleanup easier.
Talk to the project lead about what they will cover, then decide if you want to add additional covers. The team lead will also advise you on the best places to put duct covers and cloths to protect your interior.
4. Remove Window Alarms
If you have a security system with sensors on your windows, you must remove them for the windows to be replaced. Notify your service provider about the replacement and the estimated timeline for the work. They will need to send a technician to remove the sensors and reinstall them on the new windows.
5. Give Installers Access
Ensure the installers have access to your home. Try to organize installation for a day when you are home or can be there to let the team in. Being there at the beginning allows you to confirm everything is in order. You can always leave the team to their work and return when they are estimated to finish. If you cannot be there, organize a friend, neighbor or family member to be there.
6. Restrict Work Site Access
Keep your loved ones and the crew safe by restricting access to the work area during installation. Ensure pets and children stay away from the work sites. You may need to confine pets to one area of your house to prevent them from getting in the way. Make sure children know to stay away or take them out for the day.
Trust Coldstream Exteriors With Your Window Installation
Coldstream Exteriors has over 25 years of experience installing windows. Our experienced team and project managers put your needs first. We make sure work is completed on time and with minimal disruptions to your daily life. From the start, you work with one dedicated project manager. They will perform the initial inspection and guide you on everything all the way through to installation.
During the window installation process, Coldstream Exteriors project managers are available to answer any questions. Our highly knowledgeable project managers can provide expert advice on preparing your home for window replacements. We also ensure most of our jobs are completed within a day, so you can enjoy your new windows quickly.