When a home is over 20 years old, the roof and faucets begin to leak, HVAC units break down, wood decks deteriorate, and windows get drafty. It is usually the time most homeowners need to make repairs and upgrade some features. In this article, we are going to concentrate on windows. Here are some issues a homeowner may have with old windows.
- Failing Seals – failing seals can allow water and air leaks.
- Water Leaks – moisture around the windows can lead to rotting frames, mold, and mildew
- Air Leaks – air leaking in and out can raise energy bills
- Noise – failing seals can allow higher levels of outside noise into the house
- Sticking Frames – the windows may not be easy to open, creating a safety issue in case of an emergency
- Broken Locks – a security issue
If you are experiencing any or all of these window issues, a new window installation may be in order. However, since most homeowners rarely go through having new windows installed, here’s a general outline of what to expect.
New Window Installation: What to Expect
Find an Experienced Window Installer
The first step of any renovation project is finding a professional contractor for the job. The process is similar no matter what the task.
- Research – get referrals from friends and family, read online customer reviews, check with Better Business Bureau, check affiliations with professional organizations.
- Scope of Work – contact contractors and discuss what you want done. Some may decline the job because it is too big or small for them.
- Request Credentials – All hired contractors should be insured and bonded. Check that their credentials are valid and up to date.
- Compare Costs – Get an estimate for the work in writing. Ensure that the windows in the estimate are what you want and are the same on all proposals received. The type and style of windows have a wide range of costs.
- Timeline – Ask about the timeline for installation. Do they have to order windows, or are they in stock?
Before the Installation
Once you’ve selected a contractor, the next step is having the contractor inspect the windows in your home and take measurements for the new windows. For example, are you changing the size of any of the windows – making any bigger or smaller? Are there any noticeable issues with the framing of the windows (decay or rot)? Once this task is completed, the windows are ordered.
What to Expect When Your Windows are Installed
Window delivery may happen before installation day, or the installers may bring the windows with them. This detail will be discussed and arranged with the hired contractor.
On installation day, before window installers arrive, the homeowner needs to clear away furniture or obstacles in front of the windows being replaced. The installers will also need outside access, so clear away anything that will block a ladder or workers walking past. Note – it is recommended that all valuable items be removed from the room to avoid damage.
Once the installer arrives, they will complete a walk-through to ensure everything is in order. Then, the workers will put down drop cloths before the project begins. If there is a small crew, they will work on one window, while a large crew will tackle several openings at once. In most cases, most work will be done from inside the house.
A simple window replacement (remove old window & install new one) will take about one hour. However, if the window frame needs to be replaced, the job will take several hours. Multiply this by the number of windows being replaced for an estimated timeframe. A house with many windows may take a few days to complete the project.
Inspect the Work Upon Completion
Once the installers complete the work, go around and do a final inspection with the contractor. Here’s what to look for:
- Windows should open and close fully and smoothly – no sticking
- No draft should be felt around the edges of the window
- Sealant or caulking should be applied on the exterior
- All locks should be functional
- If the windows are single- or double-hung, ensure the tilting latches all work
- Look for any cracks in the glass or sashes
Communication is also essential during any project for it to run smoothly. If you notice something that you think is wrong or don’t understand, speak up ask questions. Most contractors want to do a good job and have satisfied customers.
Do you think you need new windows? Odyssey Contracting offers high-quality window installation. They ensure that the windows are installed correctly and keep the area sparkling clean before leaving. For more information, call us at 919-916-5640.