Window Replacement Tips

Ten ways to prepare for an effective, efficient installation

Installing vinyl replacement windows is a smart home improvement project. But if prospect having your home opened to the elements leaves you feeling a bit queasy, there are some simple ways to prepare for the project. 

Effective, efficient window replacement begins by having a thorough discussion with your window installer, well in advance of the day the work is scheduled.

A professional vinyl replacement window installer can ease concerns and answer questions, helping you to feel far more comfortable and ready for the window replacement activity. Here are ten things you can do to prepare your home and your family for a smooth and pleasant window replacement experience.

  1. Remember that window replacement is a progressive remodeling project. Only one or two windows are taken out at a time and then immediately replaced. Your entire home will not resemble a piece of Swiss cheese with holes in it for birds, weather or animals to enter during the replacement process.
  2. Home ImprovementRemove window treatments. Remove all shades and blinds before the window installers arrive to give them easy access to the windows. Additional glass ornaments or decorations should also be removed from the windows, ledges and sills.
  3. Clear the way. Find out from your window installer how much space will be needed to operate inside and outside the home when replacing a window. Some furnishings may need to be moved away from windows and breakables taken off of wall shelves. On the outside, ladders may need to be used in gardens or bushes to reach windows for replacement.
  4. Designate installer traffic lanes. Decide and communicate with the window installation team on which entries they may use, which restrooms are available to the crew and what procedures you feel most comfortable with for home access.
  5. Keep kids and pets out of the way. Kids, pets and contractors --- they're like oil and water. For safety's sake, make arrangements to keep young children and family pets away from workers at all times.
  6. Confirm installer insurance. When selecting a window installer, make sure to request paperwork confirming that the entire window installation team is bonded and insured.
  7. Carefully check windows and paperwork. Double-check the paperwork that comes with new vinyl replacement windows and the windows themselves. If you requested Energy Star qualified windows, make sure the stickers are on the window. If you asked for low-maintenance vinyl window frames, double-check to make sure you've received those vinyl replacement windows. And if you spot any broken glass or damaged frames, make sure to bring that to the attention of your window installer before the windows are placed in your home. Also make certain to save your window warranty information in a secure location. This documentation is also important to be able to claim replacement window tax credits.
  8. Arrange window storage and removal. Discuss removal of your old windows with your window installer. During a replacement window project, either the new or used windows may need to be stored at your residence for several days. Show the team where to store new and removed windows, make sure they're protected, and set a time frame for removal of old windows.
  9. Make a rain plan. Find out what your window installer's weather policy is, and decide together on acceptable weather conditions for your project. While they may be fine working in the rain or snow, you may not want the interior of your home to get muddy and wet.
  10. Keep window installation zones clean. Be sure to ask about cleanup, because there's a fair amount of dust and mess that accompanies a replacement window project. Discuss beforehand whether furnishings should be covered during the installation process and what the company's policy is for cleanup both inside and outside the home following installation .

If you communicate with your window installer in advance about concerns and expectations, the vinyl window replacement process can go quite smoothly for both you and the installation crew.

 For more information about vinyl replacement window installation, check out Energy Savers' window installation guide or The Money Pit's Complete Window Replacement Guide.

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