The Common DIY Mistakes To Avoid When Replacing Your Windows

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
Whether you’re tackling this particular project on a DIY basis, or you’ve decided to hire professionals, the replacement of windows can be tricky. Windows are a huge part of not only how your home looks, but also its energy efficiency. Improperly hung windows throughout your house can cost you as much in energy as leaving a single window wide open.

Know the most common mistakes made by homeowners while installing replacement windows. Even if you’re hiring professionals, it only makes sense to be knowledgeable about potential errors. Not only will you be saving yourself money on energy bills, but you’ll also be avoiding the time and potential expense of a premature repair job. In addition to pointing out these common errors, we’ll let you know how to avoid them in the first place.

Know What The Style Of Your Home Is
Your windows need to match your house. While this may seem obvious, far too many homeowners make the mistake of purchasing the least expensive windows they can find, without even bothering to look around. This mistake has led to countless return trips to the store, which translates into a lot of wasted time and effort.

A surprisingly common mistake involves the purchase of the wrong style of window frame. If your home features windows which slide up, don’t buy a replacement window which uses a hand crank. This simple slip-up has sent many homeowners back to the home store, shaking their heads at their own lack of observation.

Before you shop for windows, take a few pictures of your house. A picture taken from the street will give you a good general view of your home’s style. Take some closer shots as well, capturing the style of casements and other details. If your home has any custom or irregularly shaped windows, remember that they will have to be specially ordered. Write down the dimensions of all windows before you leave for the store.

If you happen to live in an old home, you probably have wooden window frames. You may even have some severely outdated hardware which is literally not manufactured anymore. If this turns out to be the case, don’t worry. Many companies specialize in creating hardware which mimics the appearance of old fixtures while still retaining modern safety and ease of use.

Whether you’re replacing a single window due to an errant softball or refitting your entire home, remember to keep the home itself in mind when shopping. You’ll save yourself a great deal, both in money and in time.

Different Window Types
There are three major types of windows: wood, aluminum and vinyl. Each material has its disadvantages and advantages. Sometimes, a particular material is called for, regardless of the ups and downs. For example, you wouldn’t want to install modern vinyl windows on a historic farmhouse, as the resulting clash would be unmistakable. However, most homeowners do have a choice, and it pays to make an informed decision.

> Wooden windows are beautiful, and devotees swear they last much longer than the other options. However, keep in mind that wooden windows are more costly to install. They require much more precision than vinyl, resulting in the need for more skilled labor, which costs more money. In addition, many wooden windows are custom made, pushing the costs even higher. If you truly love the look, perhaps the expense is worthwhile for you. Base your decision on your home’s style, your budget and your taste.

> Aluminum windows also require custom manufacturing and skilled installation. In fact, most companies will not guarantee their aluminum windows for any length of time if they re not installed by a worker who has been licensed by that particular manufacturer. Aluminum is also very unforgiving of minor mistakes. Extremely precise measurements need to be taken into account, and being off by even a hair can result in leaks.

> Vinyl windows are regarded by many home improvement professionals as the smartest option. These windows are very forgiving of small errors. A tiny miscalculation will not result in a leak with a vinyl window, since they retain a certain amount of flexibility. In addition, vinyl windows are simply easier to install, leading to a shorter work time which will cost you less.


Make Sure The Windows Are Energy Efficient
When shopping for replacement windows, it can be easy to simply grab and go, purchasing the least expensive windows which meet your needs. However, ignoring the new energy-efficient windows on the market is a huge mistake. While these windows do present a higher initial cost, the savings they offer more than makes up for that initial investment.

Energy efficient windows can save you significant amounts of money throughout the year. They can keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, requiring less of your HVAC system and therefore lowering your utility bills.

Be aware that in certain cases, specialized training is needed when installing these windows to maximize your eventual savings. A knowledgeable home center employee will be able to let you know the requirements of each brand.

Not Planning Properly
As you can see, simple things like taking a bit of extra time when choosing a contractor and putting some careful forethought into purchasing decisions can make a big difference when it comes to window replacement.

Remember that your windows are a huge part of your home’s appearance, and they also play a very large role in the energy efficiency of your home. Whether you’re replacing a single window or a whole house’s worth, take that extra time when making decisions. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.