Your house is filled with dust and dirt, strangers tromp through every room and the sounds of saws and hammers break the silence of the neighborhood. Birds are flying into your home. This is what you’re imaging your window replacement project to be? Well, stop right there!
One of the great things about installing replacement windows is that the process is efficient. Your home won’t be left open to the elements overnight and in most cases old windows can be removed and new windows installed in a matter of hours, not days.
Window replacement is a progressive remodeling project. Only one or two windows are taken out at a time and then those windows are immediately replaced. The entire home will not resemble a piece of Swiss cheese with holes in it for birds, weather or animals to enter through during the replacement process.
To help you prepare for your upcoming replacement window installation step-by-step, consider the following:
Strip windows. Remove window treatments (including shades and blinds) before the installers arrive to give them easy access to the windows. Glass ornaments or decorations should also be removed from the windows, ledges and sills.
Clear space. Pre-determine with your installer how much space will be needed to operate inside and outside the home for each window. Some furnishings may need to be moved away from windows and breakables taken off wall shelves. On the outside, ladders may need to be used in gardens or over bushes to reach windows for replacement.
Designate access. Decide and communicate with the installation team which doors will be used to gain access to the home and what procedures you feel most comfortable with for home access.
Safety first. Kids, pets and contractors -- they’re like oil and water. For safety’s sake, make arrangements to keep young children and family pets secured and away from workers at all times.
Out with the old. Discuss removal of your old windows with your installer. Sometimes either the new or used windows may need to be stored at your residence for several days. Direct the team where to store the windows, how to protect them and a timeframe for removal.
Talk about the weather. Find out your installer’s weather policy. While they may be fine working in the rain or snow, you may not want the interior of your home to get muddy or wet. Decide together what are acceptable weather conditions for your project.
Look for the labels. When the windows arrive, double check the paperwork that comes with new windows and the windows themselves. If you requested ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, make sure the labels are on the windows. And, if you see any broken glass or damaged frames, bring them to the attention of your installer before the windows are placed in your home. Also make certain to save your window warranty information and individual window labels (like the NFRC label) in a secure location.
Ask about clean-up. Discuss beforehand if furnishings should be covered during the installation process and what the company’s policy is for clean-up after installation both inside and outside the home.
Remember, if your home was built before 1978, request a window contractor who has been trained and certified in safe practices regarding lead-based paint. Visit the EPA’s website for information on the Renovation, Repair and Painting Program and a directory of EPA or state lead-safe certified renovation contractors in your area.