Replacement windows – Professional or DIY, a checklist for homeowners.

DIY Replacement WindowsMy windows need replacing – should I try to replace them myself? That’s a question many homeowners consider when it’s time to replace the windows in their homes. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) window replacements are certainly more affordable than windows that are installed by professionals. But are DIY window replacements a good idea? For homeowners who possess considerable knowledge and skills, DIY windows may make sense. To determine if you should replace your windows yourself, we’ve compiled a brief list of what you’ll need to get the job done. Before undertaking a window replacement, be sure you can check these items off:

  • Knowledge: replacing windows is a big job, and one that requires one have an in-depth understanding of common construction terms. Andersen Windows offers a list of common window replacement terms on its website, which include terms such as rough opening, structural anchoring material, fastener embedment depth, flashing, water management, shimming, drainage plane, backer rod, cladding, and installation flange. Are these all familiar terms? If so, DIY window replacements might be a reasonable undertaking for you, so read on.
  • Assistance: Most DIY window replacements will require at least two strong individuals. Do you have someone to assist you with the entire installation process? If so, read on.
  • Time: When people ask us, “Should I DIY window replacements?” one of the first questions we ask is, “How much time do you have?” A single full-frame replacement window will generally take approximately four to six hours to install (insert-only replacement windows will take less time). Need to replace a whole house full of windows? That’s a huge undertaking that will take many hours to complete, especially if you have a second floor, which will require more installation time per window. Got nothing but time? If so, read on!
  • Patience and Persistence: If you’re thinking you can speed up the installation time and get away with it, you may want to reconsider. Window installation is a painstaking process, and it’s not for the impatient. If you’re prone to rushing through jobs to get them done, or you tend to leave jobs 90% finished for days, weeks, or months on end, DIY window replacements are probably not a good idea for you. Each window must be fully and completely installed to ensure it will work as intended. Do you have what it takes? If so, read on!
  • Understanding: In order to full answer the question, “Should I DIY window replacements,” we ask our customers if they understand what’s at stake. Replacing windows yourself may save you money, but if you don’t install them properly, your new windows are at risk for failing, rotting, leaking, or fogging up. The windows may become difficult to open or close over time, and improper installation can void the product warranties. What does that mean? Install your windows incorrectly and you’ll probably need to pay a pro to install brand-new ones anyway, which will end up costing you a great deal more in the long run. Willing to chance it? If so, read on!
  • Disposal Method: You’ll want to ensure you have a truck to haul away those old windows. They must be discarded properly, and municipalities and waste management companies have strict policies regarding how you must recycle or dispose of your old windows.

If you’ve reached the end of this list and feel confident in your abilities to take on a DIY window-replacement project, then you are probably a good candidate for DIY replacement windows. However, if you feel this is a job best left to professionals, give us a call today at 973-927-0963! George J. Keller and Sons has been in the home-improvement business for over 35 years, and we’ll be happy to come out and give you a free estimate.